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The Flight Attendant Is an Addictive Thriller With a Flair for Interiors

The Flight Attendant Is an Addictive Thriller With a Flair for Interiors

The new HBO Max show The Flight Attendant thrives on suspense, and is packed with it from the very first episode, when the main character—a flight attendant named Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco)—wakes up to find her date from the night before next to her in bed, dead. From here the limited series (it will be eight episodes total) continues at a fast pace, with Cassie’s drinking habit and hazy memory making the viewer wonder if she’s a reliable narrator. As she tries to piece it all together, she has trauma-fueled flashbacks to her childhood, and also to the stylish Bangkok hotel room where the murder happened.

“She goes into the mind palace, as we called it,” production designer Sara K White tells AD. For the decor of the luxury suite, she and set decorator Jessica Petruccelli sought to create a room that was “contemporary and glamorous and masculine and strong,” says White, but also reflected Thai design, drawing inspiration from tile work in local temples, traditional Thai symbols like the lotus flower, and the work of silk merchant Jim Thompson. Natural materials like silk and grass cloth wallpaper and carved teak partitions added texture, all in a color palette of brown, black, and umber with pops of metallic.

The interior of the Bangkok hotel suite was created on a soundstage.

Courtesy of HBO Max

“We wanted the furnishings to emphasize the dark and seductive qualities of this contemporary noir while keeping details, shapes, and materials somewhat traditional and evocative of Thai design,” says Petruccelli. “We wanted everything to feel visually rich and seductive.” To keep things exciting during the multiple flashbacks, they used “a lot of moving panels, screens you can see through, a lot of hinges or pivots and mirrors,” says White. “We did design it so that later on in the episodes we find new spaces not previously revealed.”

A rendering of the hotel suite.

Courtesy of Sara K White

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