Jade Healy Interview: ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ production designer
“It was so special to work on Fred’s film,” proclaims “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” production designer Jade Healy, who got to help “carry his message and create his world. It meant a lot.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Healy above.
Tom Hanks stars in Marielle Heller‘s film as Fred Rogers, host of the iconic children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The Tristar release examines how his message of love and forgiveness affects the life of Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a fictionalized version of journalist Tom Junod who wrote a profile of Rogers for Esquire magazine in 1998.
Healy wanted her work to both “get his message across” and “recreate his world accurately.” It was important “to make sure that the neighborhood and his stage set were going to be exactly right so we were transported back into Fred’s world.”
This proved difficult considering the original show was “taped a while ago, so you really have to look closely at the colors” and pay attention to how “the set changed so much throughout the years.” So Healy and her team “spent a lot of time at the archives looking at a lot of photos,” including some “you can’t find online.” They “were also able to visit some pieces of the set at the museum,” including some of Fred’s favorite puppets and trains. This was all thanks to the decision to shoot in his hometown of Pittsburgh, which gave them “incredible access.”
Healy just received her first Art Directors Guild nomination for “Beautiful Day” in the contemporary film category. This year she also worked on Noah Baumbach‘s “Marriage Story.” And she has worked on other films including “Pete’s Dragon” (2016), “A Ghost Story” (2016), “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017) and “I, Tonya” (2017).