John Paino, the production designer for HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” spoke to Variety about bringing the world from Gillian Flynn’s novel to the small screen.
That involved finding the perfect Victorian mansion to use as Adora’s house, as well as designing Amma’s dollhouse, which also became a metaphorical focal point of the series.
“It is Adora’s world,” Paino said of the mansion in the show. “It is her medically sealed glass menagerie so to speak. While the location manager found what he thought was the perfect estate in Redding, Calif., though the surrounding location wasn’t suitable for shooting so the team used the mansion as a model for the exterior of the stage set they would ultimately design. As for the interior, Paino said the style of the 1950s socialite Helene de Rothschild served as an influence throughout the creative process.
He also explained what went in to creating Amma’s dollhouse design, which had to be constructed after choosing the real-life house. While he knew from the outset that its construction would be a challenge, he said it was “amazing how that became a world unto itself.”