When prima ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) suffers a career-ending injury, she and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced.
We take a look at elegant and beautiful locations in Budapest (Hungary), Keszthely (Hungary) and Vienna (Austria) that Jennifer Lawrence visits in her role as secret agent Dominika Egorova.
New York Café inside the Hotel Boscolo | Budapest
One iconic scene in the movie RED SPARROW was shot inside the New York Café, the crown jewel of Hotel Boscolo in Budapest. In the first half of the 20th century, the café has been the official office of the important literary journal “Nyugat”. Upon entering, you feel like a time traveler going back in time. The ceiling is adorned with frescoes of Gusztav Mannheimer and Ferenc Eisenhut, dating from the middle of the 19th century. Venetian lamp shades diffuse a soft light, while gold-plated stucco brightens the room with millions of colours. Inside, feel free to ask the barmen for their delightful suggestions and enjoy a visit to the Belle Époque.
Danubius Hotel Gellért | Budapest
A place for legends
Violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, US president Richard Nixon, Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky, the Dalai Lama, Hollywood actors, such as Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn and Jane Fonda, plus a vast number of European royals all enjoyed their stay at the Danubius Hotel Gellért in Budapest. World-famous for its spa including a wave pool, hotel guests appreciate wellness programs and medical treatments at the adjacent Gellért Baths.
The Danubius Hotel Gellért with its Art Nouveau architectural style first opened in 1918 and has ever since been an iconic landmark. If you ever happen to stay at this beautiful hotel, watch out for the rich decorations, including tiles produced by the well-known Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory, the imposing carved marble columns as well as the colorful Roman style statues of the spa area. No wonder the building was already a popular filming location before RED SPARROW, for example for Wes Andersons’ “Grand Budapest Hotel”.
Hungarian Opera House | Budapest
Designed by the famed architect Miklós Ybl, the Hungarian Opera House in the centre of Budapest was built from 1875 to 1884. For the opening night even Emperor and King Franz Joseph I. made appearances, listening to a gala performance conducted by Ferenc Erkel and his son Sándor.
Over its 130 years of existence, the neo-renaissance building has remained virtually unchanged. Every year it attracts thousands of tourists who also come to see the impressive bronze chandelier in the main hall, which weighs 3,050 kilograms. The opera and ballet season lasts from September through June – so make sure to reserve a few of the 1,261 seats in the auditorium for a very special opera night.
Michaelerplatz | Vienna
Breathe in the history of this special square
Located in front of the imperial palace Hofburg in the center of Vienna, Michaelerplatz used to be a major intersection of two main roads during the Roman period. Excavations in the centre of Michaelerplatz in the early 1990s uncovered the ruins of a wall and floor heating system, as well as building foundations dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
The square is surrounded by a number of impressive buildings like Hofburg, Looshaus and Palais Herberstein, not to forget one of the most important churches of Vienna, Michaelerkirche. Take a rest and watch out for a secret agent arriving in a BMW 7 Series. In the meantime, you can gaze at the horse-drawn carriages lining up around the square.
Festetics Palace | Keszthely
With 200,000 guests per year, the Festetics Palace is considered the most visited Hungarian palace. Located in the small town of Keszthely near the famous Lake Balaton, it functions as an events centre for almost a hundred musical events each year with open-air concerts during summer. Construction works for the palace started in 1745, when Christopher Festetics bought the estate, and brought a surgeon and craftsmen to the town and even established a pharmacy and a hospital.
Festetics Palace is built in a Baroque style. The former dining room, which now functions as a concert hall, has rich stucco décor. Other eye-catchers include splendidly framed dormer windows typical of the Neo-Baroque style. The whole palace is surrounded by a park, including centuries-old trees, flamboyant flowerbeds, statues and a garden pond with a fountain. In short: a perfect location for filming a movie like RED SPARROW with its story set in the glamorous world of double agents.
The BMW 7 Series in the new thriller RED SPARROW
Facts about the movie RED SPARROW
Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.
Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika Egorova
Joel Edgerton as Nate Nash
Charlotte Rampling as Headmistress of Sparrow School
Jeremy Irons as General Korchnoi
Matthias Schoenarts as Vanya Egornov
Mary-Louise Parker as Stephanie Boucher
Justin Haythe after the novel RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews