The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my all-time favorite movies, so I was thrilled to see it featured on AV Club’s Pop Pilgrims, which checks out the memorable real-life locations of TV and film shoots. While Wes Anderson and his crew were scouting locations for the unfinished script, Wes spotted this amazing house in Harlem and rented it for six months for both exterior and interior shots.
The Royal Tenenbaums is set in New York, but not really. The city viewers see in the film certainly looks like New York, but the names have been changed and, in at least one case, an iconic landmark covered up. Consequently, the house that Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) bought in the winter of his 35th year is located on Archer Avenue in the film, not in Harlem on Convent Avenue at 144th Street, as it is in real life.