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Sister residents enjoy a photo opp with actress Kate Winslet

Blauvelt Dominicans
Motherhouse becomes movie set

There was a flurry of activity in the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt Motherhouse as HBO converted the first floor into a 1930s hospital.

Earlier this year, the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt were approached by HBO about using the Motherhouse for their remake of the classic film noir, “Mildred Pierce.” It was with both excitement and hesitation that they said “yes,” not wanting to disrupt the prayerful daily lives of the Motherhouse residents.

In only three days time, a parlor was converted into a doctor’s office, guest rooms were transformed into hospital rooms, and the foyer and cloister walk became hospital hallways. Chris, the site manager for the film, and the crew were, “very pleasant and respectful,” according to the sisters. Other than seeing furniture being moved, you wouldn’t have known they were here.

Then, trailers and trucks arrived with cameras, lights, costumes, catering, and makeup supplies for the two days of filming. Actress Kate Winslet, who is starring as Mildred, made an appearance in the dining room to be welcomed by the sisters. She greeted them with smiles and “hello” in her soft British accent, shaking hands and posing for pictures. Having the cast and crew on the Motherhouse campus brought excitement and memories that will be told long into the future.