How ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ Recreated the Classic Walton House in Atlanta, Georgia
The Waltons’ house was a character itself in the original series. It plays a pivotal role in The CW TV movie The Waltons’ Homecoming, too. It’s the house where the entire family waits at Christmas for John Walton (Ben Lawson) to return. However, the house from the ’70s TV show is long gone.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Waltons’ Homecoming.]
Executive producer Sam Haskell was on a Zoom panel for The Waltons’ Homecoming on Nov. 10. He explained how they recreated the Waltons’ home in Atlanta, Georgia for the movie. The Waltons’ Homecoming is now streaming on The CW.
Finding ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ house in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta has become a major hub of Hollywood. Marvel movies film there and the Netflix series Cobra Kai does, too. That’s why The Waltons’ Homecoming found themselves in Atlanta.
“We were shooting in Atlanta because of the tax incentives and, and the business side of The Waltons’ Homecoming,” Haskell said. “And we tried to find a house as close to it as we could that had the upstairs, because I knew I wanted to end it with the ‘good night mamas and daddies’ turned into Merry Christmas, of course. And we wanted to try to honor the family.”
Even if they could film The Waltons’ Homecoming in Hollywood, they would have had to find a new house. Not because of the house fire in the classic series, but because the studio lot changed since the series ended.
“The original house, if I could have had it, I would have,” Haskell said. “The house no longer exists. It was on the backlot here at Warner Brothers and it no longer exists.”
There were ‘Waltons’ era houses aplenty in Atlanta
The Waltons’ Homecoming takes place during the Great Depression just like the original series. Atlanta has a rich history of that era, and so the production had plenty of authentic homes to choose from.
“You know, in 1933 in the Depression, there were a lot of people who were middle-class in the ’20s who lost everything, but they didn’t lose their homes and they didn’t lose their things,” Haskell said. “So I didn’t have any problem with having a two-story clapboard house that looks rather nice. But if you saw in a lot of the closeups, it was very worn and we did not try to enhance the look of the house. It was very worn and we took it as it was.
Recreating the Great Depression in 2021
The Waltons already had quite a task recreating the 1930s while filming in the 1970s. 2021 is another 50 years later. Haskell has also produced Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, so he knows how to do period pieces in the present day.
“I think period is always difficult, but I’ve done four previous period pictures, and we have such an incredible crew and group of production designers and costumers down in the Atlanta area that we’ve used,” Haskell said. “So, while it is always difficult, especially when you go into a town and you have to remove all the modern day looks and cars and store windows and turn them around into something that happened 80 years earlier, it is difficult. But it’s something I love and I’ve always been drawn to period, and I’ll go the extra mile to be able to deliver it accurately.”