Movies Filmed in South Carolina – Sleeping with the Enemy

South Carolina Movies Filmed in South Carolina Sleeping with the Enemy
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Sleeping with the Enemy: Overview

  • Director – Joseph Ruben
  • Cast – Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin
  • Genre – Drama, Thriller
  • Plot – To escape from an abusive husband, Laura Burney stages her own death and begins a new life ... until her husband learns the truth and finds her.

Sleeping with the Enemy: SC Locations

  • Part of the sequence in which Laura (Julia Roberts) learns to swim was shot in the swimming pool swimming pool at Converse University in Spartanburg.

  • The scene in which Laura is on stage on a swing was shot at the Abbeville Opera House.

  • When Laura tries to run away to Iowa she passes a square while she's in a bus. This is actually court square, located in Abbeville.

  • Part of the bus ride also passes through Laurens County. The "Welcome to Iowa" sign was filmed on Highway 221 South, just outside of the town of Waterloo. (This info was contributed by J. Scott Tollison of Laurens. He wrote, "It was quite a sight seeing that sign near the Rolling 'S' Golf Course. It caused many drivers to do double takes and review their directions.")

  • Several scenes were filmed at Presbyterian College in Clinton (Laurens County), including one showing the husband walking across PC's front plaza. Actual PC students were captured in the background, playing frisbee and football. (This info was contributed by Teresa Inman, a PC librarian whose dog was also captured in this scene!)

  • A section of the old Spartanburg County Nursing Home, on New Cut Road, was remodeled for filming scenes of the movie. The building was later torn down and is now part of Spartanburg Community College's property. (Thank you Jayne Marsh for sharing this tidbit and for also letting us know that Julia Roberts stayed at the Residence Inn on Fairforest Road.)

  • The bathroom in which Laura is searching for clues was built in Abbeville by the film company.

  • The interiors of the house Laura moves to in Iowa were shot in Abbeville.

  • The parade that takes place in the town square in Iowa was filmed in Abbeville's City Square. To give the illusion of being in Iowa, the film company changed the license plates of the street cars to fake Iowa plates. They even built a pay phone on the street. All Abbeville residents were invited to be extras in this staged celebration, but were told not to wear any brand name clothes.

Sleeping with the Enemy: Fun Facts

  • Dr. Joe P. Dunn shares, "As the Director of Summer Programs I was the manager of the events of the filming at the Converse pool. Our biggest summer programs client, who ran a number of basketball camps during the summer, was on campus that day. In their contract, they had exclusive rights to the swimming pool in the evening for their campers. The contract for the filming was done at an administrative level above me, but I had expressed my concerns about the existing contract with the basketball camp. As I remember the college did not receive that much money for use of our facilities, but the basketball camps brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was able to get inserted in the contract an absolute deadline on being off campus with a very large penalty if the movie went one minute over the deadline (which I believe was 6:00 p.m.). My ten-year old son was sick that day. I was juggling care of him with my wife and was coming and going from campus during the day, so I didn't take in all that happened."

    "I remember that in the late afternoon Julia Roberts was sitting in a chair in the middle of the quad in her bathing suit wrapped in a robe. No one was allowed to get anywhere near her. Our security guards monitored the quad to keep campers and college personnel away. Occasionally, film personnel would come over to her, and I remember someone bringing her food. For the most part, she seemed to be reading. Outside the pool were a large number of big trucks with sound and lighting equipment and seemingly endless rolls of cables and cords. Two Converse students had been engaged to swim endless laps of the pool to get the lighting, sound, film takes, and whatever else done prior to Ms. Roberts' appearance. The students alternated swimming for a couple of hours. There were also some 'extras' from the community who arrived to be a backdrop for some aspect of the filming. I heard a rumor that while I was off campus, one community 'extra' fell, hurt her leg, and had to leave in an ambulance. I never heard more about that."

    "As the 6:00 p.m. deadline approached, Ms. Roberts was still sitting on the quad. I could see that they could never meet the deadline and I was already contemplating collecting the penalty and having to deal with the director of the basketball camp. Then suddenly within the last half hour, Ms. Roberts headed to the pool, She must have swam one lap and was filmed, I heard someone come outside and yell 'It's a Wrap'." Suddenly in a frenzy of activity, people started rolling up cables, packing up equipment into the trucks, etc. In amazement I watched the trucks all depart campus minutes before 6:00 p.m."

Sleeping with the Enemy: Interesting Facts

  • When Julia Roberts expressed severe disdain for Abbeville in a Rolling Stone interview, town locals pooled their money to take an ad out in Variety that read, "Pretty Woman? Pretty Low" in a reference to the film that helped launch Roberts' star career. Residents also planned to place a billboard in Roberts' home town of Smyrna, GA that would read "Pretty Woman? Pretty Low. Julia, apologize, pretty please."

  • 1990 New York Times article on Julia Roberts' controversial remarks about Abbeville

Sleeping with the Enemy: Purchase The Movie

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