London filming for Phantom Thread

Phantom ThreadDirector Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis filmed their new movie Phantom Thread in a Georgian townhouse in central London, rather than in a studio.

Day-Lewis stars as fictional high-society fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, who works from a grand base dubbed the House of Woodcock, in 1950s London.

Filming locations changed during the production process but Anderson decided he didn’t want to shoot in a studio. The production team instead filmed in a townhouse in Fitzroy Square near Regent’s Park. 

Anderson wanted to pursue the intimacy of working in fashion houses of the era, but the plan proved enormously challenging.  

“It was awful,” said Day-Lewis of the filming experience. “We had hoped to find that way of working again where we would be self-contained, beholden to no-one, and uninterrupted. We built a world we could create and just stay in and no one could get into it. But in this townhouse, which was very beautiful, it was a nightmare.

“We were living on top of each other. It was an enormous unit. There was no space. The way it works if it’s helpful is that these rooms belong to you.

"But of course these rooms for us become storage spaces. You work in a room, then you have to move all that shit into another room, and that space becomes a storage space. That entire house was like a termite nest.”

Filming in such a location also proved a practical challenge as the crew had to carry bulky production equipment up and down stairs, something which meant Anderson had to abandon his original plan to shoot the movie in sequence. 

Images: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features


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