On the Set: Sofia Coppola’s ‘Somewhere’ at Chateau Marmont


Though she now spends most of her time in Paris, there is no doubt that Sofia Coppola has Hollywood in her genes. For her latest film, Somewhere, which took the top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Coppola chose the quintessential Chateau Marmont for the setting. The Hollywood hotel’s history as an oasis for celebrities to hide out (and often pass out) is well-known. In Somewhere, the hotel is a fitting address for the film’s transient actor protagonist, Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff). Set decorator Fainche MacCarthy (Nick Casavette’s Alpha Dog, Spike Jonze’s I’m Here) says the hotel room where many of the scenes were set was designed “to reflect the impasse Marco had hit in life. This was not his home but rather a space for him to exist.”

Since Coppola wanted to keep the look authentic, MacCarthy used the hotel’s existing furniture pieces, accented with items such as custom throw pillows and lighting from Los Angeles boutiques Orange and Blackman Cruz. “Sofia picked some items as well,” says MacCarthy. “She chose the print by Ed Ruscha, Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, which shows up in many of the scenes.” MacCarthy played up the Chateau’s combination of Moorish and modern details, from its vaulted ceilings to its orange shag carpeting—a blend perfect for a timeless tale of personal reinvention told in a contemporary setting.


More news: