The Colorful Queen Anne Victorian in “Meet the Fockers”

by hookedonhouses on September 19, 2010

Meet the Fockers DVD cover

Okay, so the 2004 Ben Stiller comedy Meet the Fockers wasn’t the best movie ever made. But it made me laugh a few times, and it featured a rambling old Queen Anne Victorian that I thought was fun. Production Editor Rusty Smith says that they wanted it to have a Caribbean vibe, filled with odd and interesting objects that reflected its well-traveled owners.

Meet the Fockers house

When they found this house East of Los Angeles, they thought would be perfect for the Focker family home, but it was “too white.” The Byrns house in the first movie (Meet the Parents) was white, as you may recall, and they wanted something different. Smith says they went through a lot of colors before deciding on this rustic red.

Here’s how it looks normally (white):

Queen Anne Cottage-white

Built in the 1880s, it was known as “Baldwin Cottage” because it was built by Elias Jackson Baldwin. Today it’s referred to more often as “Queen Anne Cottage” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

You may recognize the house from the old TV show Fantasy Island–remember that one? You can read more about Queen Anne Cottage on the L.A. County Arboretum website (thanks to Derek for the link!).

staircase 2

The interiors were all built on soundstages at Universal Studios. As you can see in this behind-the-scenes video tour, those stairs don’t actually lead to anything.

purple room 1

The movie is basically a set of about 5 jokes that are rotated endlessly. One of the jokes is that Greg’s real name is Gaylord Myron Focker. Here is the “Wall of Gaylord” that his parents have decorated like a shrine to their son in the purple family room:

purple room 3

purple room 4

purple room 5

Greg is wearing moose antlers in an attempt to entertain Jack and Dina’s grandson who has been left in his care:

purple room 6

There’s only one working bathroom in the house, and Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) sees no problem with sharing:

Hoffman-DeNiro-bathroom

Rozlyn (Barbra Streisand) is a sex therapist, and her study is filled with all sorts of things that embarrass Greg when it becomes a guest room for his in-laws:

Rozalin's study 2

Rozalin's study 1

Rozalin's study 3

I love the yellow kitchen, and that fabulous old blue stove:

kitchen 1

Production Editor Rusty Smith says that the rooms were all huge to make it easier to film in them.

kitchen 4

kitchen 5

kitchen 6

kitchen 3

The Screened Porch:

screened porch 1

The stairs were designed like this so that the director could do a “Hitchcockian” look down them during the scene when Greg loses the baby and is frantically searching for him:

staircase 1

A glimpse at the upstairs hallway:

upstairs hallway

Roz and Bernie’s Bedroom:

Roz and Bernie's room 1

Roz and Bernie's room 2

Roz and Bernie's room 3

Having drinks by the lagoon:

the lagoon

Jack’s RV parked in front of the house:

house and rv

I don’t think I could live with this much pattern in color in my own home, but I thought it was perfect for the house on “Focker Isle.” You can take a fun video tour of the set with Production Editor Rusty Smith here.

Visit TV/Movie Houses to see more, from Daddy Day Care to Dan in Real Life !

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Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish September 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I think for me – most of the rooms were a little dark. But I LOVE that kitchen! And that stove is amazing! Thanks for sharing!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..A Fall Wreath with Bling! =-.

Kim September 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thanks for sharing this! The kitchen, staircase, and outside are nice, but there’s too much going on in the interior. You can really tell that the parents went on tons of vacations, with all of that stuff on the walls, and outdated furniture.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman September 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I thought the rooms were a little dark, too…but the movie cracked me up! I just loved Gaylord’s parents, I found them hilarious!
.-= Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last blog ..Busy Weekend- and Bloggy Business =-.

anna see September 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm

great kitchen and fun photos! thanks!
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Game Giveaway =-.

Derek September 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm

You may want to note that it is the house used in the old 70-80′s show “Fantasy Island”
De plane! De plane! It belongs to the LA County Aboretum & Botanical Gardens.

See it here:
http://www.arboretum.org/index.php/explore/historic_structures/

and here: http://lisaburks.typepad.com/home/2008/04/index.html
.-= Derek´s last blog ..The Demise of Old houses =-.

hookedonhouses September 20, 2010 at 7:23 am

Thanks, Derek! I just updated the post. Very helpful! -Julia

Josanne September 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I think the outside of the house is neat! I don’t care for how clutterly the inside of the house is, nor most of the colors they chose. I guess the too words that come to mind are…Too Much.
.-= Josanne´s last blog ..Upcoming Events for 9-21 Through 9-30 =-.

Laura September 20, 2010 at 5:54 am

I’m going to have to say that for some strange reason ‘I like this house’… I love that it’s eclectic and has a warm happy feeling to it… whether I’d like it for my own home… no, but if I lived in a warmer climate, with a house that size, then yeah I could live with it… except for the study… I’m not sure how that would fly with the parents?? Lx
.-= Laura´s last blog ..A cup of tea &amp a fig &amp pistachio scone =-.

Heather September 20, 2010 at 8:17 am

I totally agree with you about the movie……..not exactly a 5 star.
But I always watch it when it comes on because of the house!

Lesley @ The Design File September 20, 2010 at 8:20 am

Can you imagine how fun this set would have been to create? Just keeping adding and adding and adding stuff. Really fun. Thanks for featuring it.
.-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..Idea 20- Use wallpaper in unusual ways =-.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy & Vintage Whim Wham! September 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

It must have been so fun to be the set designer for this movie.
Everything is an eclectic mash.
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy & Vintage Whim Wham!´s last blog ..Book Beginnings Friday- Risk &amp Rules =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints September 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

Lovin’ those yellow kitchen cabinets! Crazy pictures or whatever behind the hide-a-bed:o
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Junk Market 2010 =-.

Stephanie@Geezees September 20, 2010 at 9:04 am

Thanks for sharing this! Love the kitchen cabinets!
.-= Stephanie@Geezees´s last blog ..Fighting for Leukemia- Canvas Giveaway for great cause =-.

Pat September 20, 2010 at 9:10 am

I think I may have been able to decorate this movie house…just keep layering! What fun to see it though, and what I would give for a house that size!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Sunday Scripture =-.

Susan September 20, 2010 at 9:32 am

Julia-Maybe it doesn’t take much to entertain me, but I loved this movie! Perhaps it was seeing these big name actors in such silly roles–Barbara Streisand was a perfect sex therapist! DeNiro’s “I’m watching you” motion has become a staple at our house :) I remember thinking how dark and dreary the house seemed, but I love the outside! Thanks for another great one!
.-= Susan´s last blog ..The Little Engine That Could…A Metamorphosis =-.

Susan September 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

ps-I just read the history of the Baldwin house—wish we could find photos of the stained glass and portrait memorial to the third Mrs. Baldwin!
.-= Susan´s last blog ..The Little Engine That Could…A Metamorphosis =-.

hookedonhouses September 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

Me, too! I’d love to see some interior photos. If anyone finds any, let us know! -Julia

Carrie September 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

The house is just too cluttered for me, but I did love the Bendix washer in the kitchen. The outside of the house (when it’s white) is just beautiful.
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..Menu Plan and an Update =-.

Mandy Sadler September 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

my husband loves this movie – i guess its a guy thng – we watched “You, Me and Dupree” this weekend and the movie itself while not great has an AWESOME house where the whole movie is based in – would love to see the behind the scences to that one. thanks…

hookedonhouses September 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

I just finished writing a Movie Monday post about “You, Me and Dupree,” and I plan to publish it in early November. Hope you can wait that long! Thanks, Mandy. -Julia :-)

Amanda @ Serenity Now September 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

It was nowhere near as funny as Meet the Parents, but I had a laugh (or two). I have to agree with you–love the stove! I also like the yellow lower cabinets. :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..This the Week =-.

Penny September 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

It was such a silly, inane movie – and I watch it each and every time it is on. Funny and slapstick and a great way to escape, now, even more so with your behind-the-scenes take on it. Is that an old washing machine or freezer just left of the refrigerator? There is just so much to take in – good thing my schedule is light today and it is gloomy outdoors. I can enjoy this all afternoon long. tee hee

Thanks for yet another good movie house.
.-= Penny´s last blog ..Moonflower =-.

Lauren September 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

As soon as I saw today’s title I was praying it wasn’t a fake house. You broke my heart with the Practical Magic bombshell & I’m still recovering. Think it looks way better red!!
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Flipping Rule 17 =-.

Kathy :) September 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I agree with you Julia…..not the greatest movie….but funny funny in some parts, I enjoy Babs…

Did not know that about Fantasy Island…I loved that show !!! If I could have or be anyting for the week-end hmmmmm I don’t know….that would be a fun post !!!

Kathy :)

Pat September 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I had lots of good chuckles watching this movie and it was fun to have a good look at all the interior quirks that are often hard to spot while a movie is playing. Set designers have such a great imagination!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Napa Valley Beringer Winery =-.

Bre September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Wow what a difference red paint makes! This movie was not as funny as the original but I loved Greg “Gaylord’s” parents. Brilliant casting and watching Bob and Dustin together is always amusing. That house is a menagerie of stuff, color, prints, and textures! I have to agree with you, I’m partial to the yellow kitchen and awesome vintage stove. Thank you for another great Movie Monday!
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Fill in the Blanks =-.

Cody September 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I really don’t like this house in white either. The darker color lends a sense of mystery and the details show up better. In white, it’s glaring and too “bridal lighthouse” for my taste.

Susan September 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I missed that movie…what an “interesting” looking house! :)
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Welcome to the 88th Metamorphosis Monday! Glass Front CabinetsHow Do You Decide =-.

Amit September 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Have you done a posting of the Burns family home from Meet the Parents?

hookedonhouses September 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

No, I haven’t done “Meet the Parents.” Sorry! -Julia

Angela September 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Well….my work has officially “banned” the internet…and you are one of the few sites I still have left…THANK YOU…not sure how you did this – but so glad you don’t fall under “web communications”! Due to this, I am also nixing any new blog posts of my own!

This house is CRAZY – but I love that thing in the back of one of the kitchen scenes – is that a light blue old-school washing machine?!

~angela @ peonypatch

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