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PERFECT STRANGER

About The Production
"New York is very much a character in Perfect Stranger, and it lends itself perfectly to the voyeuristic themes of the movie,” says Goldsmith-Thomas. "The film is about what we see and what we oversee – and what better place to do that than a city where you live on top of each other. In many instances, people's lives become your view.”

Goldsmith-Thomas continues, "Harrison Hill's ad agency, H2A, is above it all – it looks down on the city and wants everyone to look up at it. Ro's apartment is in the middle of the world – as she looks out, others look in. Miles's apartment is underground – it's the place you bury your secrets.”

According to co-producer Daniel A. Thomas, "We came to a place of such energy and that energy comes through in the film. New York is a place where anything goes, where almost anything is believable. The city has its own eroticism that's palpable in its look, its feel, its light.”

Director James Foley found filming in New York to be "blissful. I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Staten Island, and twenty years ago I thought I'd be going to NYU Film School but instead I went to U.S.C. and I stayed in California. But the whole time I was growing up in Staten Island, although I didn't know I was going to be a filmmaker, I knew I would leave the island, and that I'd move into the city to do something. It was unexpectedly thrilling to spend a year in New York shooting and editing this movie. I felt more ‘me' as a director than I ever have because I was born there and my siblings were there; they'd come to the set and see me filming, not some guy who'd grown up in California.”

Foley even enjoyed the crowds of paparazzi who flocked to the set for outdoor scenes. During a sequence taking place in front of the venerable Ansonia Hotel apartments, where Halle Berry's character lives, he exited the building and saw a swarm of paparazzi. Wondering what celebrity was in the immediate vicinity, he suddenly realized—it was the star of his movie they had shown up for.

Hill's spare, cutting-edge offices are mirrored in the chic restaurants where he and Ro meet, which include the stylish Manhattan watering holes Asia de Cuba and Sapa. Ro's sphere is an earthier one, as seen in her older, rambling Upper West Side apartment, the cluttered newspaper office where she works, and the neighborhood bars and cafés where she hangs out with Miles and her editor. Meanwhile, Miles occupies another world entirely: a seedy, cramped West Village apartment in chaotic disarray.

Production designer Bill Groom wanted to depict Miles's surroundings as seen through Ro's eyes when she visits him. "You start with the script,” says Groom. "For me, it's really sort of imagining the journey that Ro makes from the top of the stairs into the common hallway, into Miles's apartment – all the way to the back. I tried to divide that look into three looks: first, the sort of landlord look, the area that the landlord decorated and painted, or didn't paint, as the case may be; then the area that Miles creates where he might have friends over, and then the more private areas where he works on his computer and keeps to himself. So each area has a different look and reveals itself as Ro walks through the apartment.”

The most striking location of all was surely the newly-completed 7 World Trade Center, the company's home base for three weeks as the site of Harrison Hill's offices. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and developed and owned by Silverstein Properties, it is the first of the new buildings on the former World Trade Center site to have been be completed. In fact, it was only barely finished by the time the Perfect Stranger production moved in to take over its 25th floor. The site's wraparound views of Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and New Jersey, all of which are visible in the<

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