'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'On the Basis of Sex' Production Designer Nelson Coates Featured in 'Behind the Screen' Podcast

Coates also provides an update on Art Directors Guild activities.
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Production designer Nelson Coates is featured in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Behind the Screen podcast series.

Here, he talks about two of his latest films, Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians and Focus Features’ On the Basis of Sex, the biopic about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Coates also serves as president of the Art Directors Guild and talks about the Guild's latest diversity and education efforts, while offering an early preview of the 23rd annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards, which will be held Feb. 2.

Crazy Rich Asians was shot in Southeast Asia, with the climatic wedding scene shot at the lavishly designed Chijmes, a landmark in Downtown Singapore that was once a Catholic convent. Coates reveals that, for research, he attended more than 35 Chinese and Singaporean weddings. He also describes working on locations including Singapore's Marina Bay Sands hotel and its Supertree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay.

He admits that rain was a considerable challenge. "Malaysia is the third highest lightning strike country in the world, and we were there right in the the middle of monsoon season," he says.

A period drama, On the Basis of Sex was filmed almost entirely in Montreal, which was used for both Massachusetts and New York.

Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, this new Behind the Screen podcast series features conversations with editors, cinematographers, composers and other artists who create the magic of motion pictures.

Hear it all on Behind the Screen — and subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode.