New York Film Locations

Vanilla Sky to be Revisited

6 September 2015

This month, the psychological thriller, Vanilla Sky will be revisited.

New film locations and higher quality screen grabs will be added to the 2001 film which starred Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz, with Jason Lee and Kurt Russell appearing in supporting roles.

(Tom Cruise)

(Jason Lee and Penelope Cruz)

(Cameron Diaz)

Vanilla Sky was the English remake of Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 Spanish film, Open Your Eyes, which was written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil, with Penélope Cruz reprising her role from the original movie. The movie is described as "an odd mixture of science fiction, romance and reality warp".

(Film: Abre Los Ojos)

Principal photography for Vanilla Sky took place in late 2000 and concluded in March 2001. On November 12, 2000, shooting for the scene of the deserted Times Square in New York took place in the early hours of the day. A large section of traffic was blocked off around Times Square while the scene was shot. There was a limit on how long the city would allow the filmmakers to lock everything up. Several times they rehearsed with Steadicam and Crane including a mockup of an unmovable guardrail that they had to work the crane arm around. Tom Cruise participated in these rehearsals as well so the filmmakers shared a clear understanding of what the limitations and requirements would be.

(Sketch of Penelope Cruz featured in Vanilla Sky)

Filming lasted for six weeks around the New York City-area, which included scenes shot in Central Park, Upper West Side, SoHo, and Brooklyn. One prominent location in the area was the Condé Nast Building that served as Aames Publishing and David’s office. After filming finished in New York, production moved to Los Angeles, where the remainder of interior shots were completed at Paramount Studios. Studio executives wanted Crowe to use special effects to remove shots of the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Crowe didn't remove them, and they appear in several shots in the film.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz-Bardem was born April 28, 1974, and is a Spanish actress and model. She was signed by an agent at age 15, and made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year in Jamón, jamón, to critical acclaim. Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000). Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in the 2001 films Vanilla Sky, All the Pretty Horses, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Blow.

She has since appeared in films in a range of genres, including the comedy Waking Up in Reno (2002), the thriller Gothika (2003), the Christmas movie Noel (2004), and the action adventure Sahara (2005). She was critically acclaimed for her roles in Volver (2006) and Nine (2009) received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for each. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for playing María Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She was the first Spanish actress in history to receive an Academy Award and the first Spanish actress to receive a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cruz has also modelled for Mango, Ralph Lauren and L'Oréal. Penelope and her younger sister Mónica Cruz have designed clothing for Mango.

Although Cruz has been appearing in films since 1992, there have only been a handful of projects shot in New York such as The Goodnight, Sex and the City 2, Noel, Elegy and Vanilla Sky.


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