Life on Set

27873568Rocky’s Pasadena home where parts of The Godfather were filmed (Photo courtesy of Panoramio)

Living on a movie set is reality for senior Rocky Rodriguez.  Her life is nothing like The Truman Show, but her English Tudor Style home in Pasadena has starred in several TV series, indie movies, student films and Hollywood blockbusters.  Kicking and Screaming, Princess Diaries 2, Greek and CSI Miami are among the projects that have featured the Pasadena residence.  Most notably, the study and gardens were used for The Godfather.

Movie crews will arrive up to a week before filming to prepare and transform the house to fit the film’s theme.  The quiet neighborhood makes for a prime shooting location and the home is not a typical American house.  Being an English Tudor more than a century old makes the home of special interest to film crews looking to achieve different looks while remaining in southern California.

Rodriguez’s bedroom has been transformed into an apartment for certain projects.  All of her possessions had to be removed and stored elsewhere.  For other filming endeavors, her sheets, furniture, and even her stuffed animals remained intact as set decoration.

The movie set lifestyle doesn’t stop there for Rodriguez.  Her Pasadena high school, Mayfield Senior School is also the backdrop for major film projects.  Heroes and Gotta Kick It Up were both filmed there.  “It was much more fun to have filming at my high school than my house,” admits Rodriguez.  When filming, Rodriguez and her family are confined to certain areas and required to keep quiet.  Even the family pets have to be kept away to avoid disruption.  The interruption of a grueling high school class schedule does seem more appealing than a home invasion.

Film crews pay the Rodriguez’s for the use of the home and invite the family to free buffets on set, but the biggest fringe benefit may be the chance to mine with Hollywood royalty.  Rodriguez has met several celebrities including Anne Hathaway and TobyMcGuire. “Will Ferrell was one of my favorites,” she said.

Julianne Heckel

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