Where is Self Made filmed? Filming Locations Guide

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The Self Made series, as the full title says, is inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove), an African-American woman born to slaves who became the first female self-made millionaire.

This is the true story of Walker, born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana in 1867, who raised an empire based on hair care products.

Madam CJ Walker series

The pioneering entrepreneur and civil rights defender is played by oscar-awarded actress Octavia Spencer (The Help, Hidden Figures, The Shape of Water). Blair Underwood (L.A. Law) is her husband Charles James Walker, and her daughter Lelia is performed by Tiffany Haddish (The Carmichael Show). The industrious maker of balms Addie is played by Carmen Ejogo (Fantastic Beasts, True Detective).

The series follows Walker's successful life in St. Louis (Missouri), Indianapolis (Indiana), and Irvington (New York).

However, Self Made was completely filmed in and around Ontario, in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Cambridge, St. Catharines, and Hamilton. Here are the spoiler-free filming locations of the show.

Villa Lewaro: The Walker's house featured in Self Made

Villa Lewaro
The original Villa Lewaro (named after an acronym of Walker's daughter name, Lelia Walker Robinson) is located in Irvington (New York) and boasts 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) divided into 34 luxurious rooms.

The house was constructed from 1916 to 1918 in Italianate style and was declared National Historic Landmark in 1976. The Feel the Beat city was also set in New York and filmed in Canada.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Dmadeo - Villa Lewaro Map

Self Made house
However, in the Self Made series the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa doubles as Villa Lewaro.

Built in 1916, this historic manor with Italian gardens and beautiful fountains was the house of Samuel McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada. The 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) mansion has 55 rooms and is a Canadian National Historic Site.

The state was also seen in an episode of the outstanding 2019 Amazon Prime series The Boys and Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley film.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Jeff Hitchcock and Google Maps

Self Made Filming Locations

market scene
The busy market in St. Louis where the series opens was shot in downtown St. Catharines, in a corner of St. Paul and James street.

Some buildings were added or changed via special effects. Walker’s house interiors in this city were recreated in a studio in Mississauga.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Google Maps

Indianapolis mansion
The large house where Walker started her business in Indianapolis was filmed in the Forbes estate property at 171 Guelph Avenue N in the Hespeler neighborhood (Cambridge).

The Canadian city of Cambridge is a lovely place to visit, featuring plenty of period architecture of the 19th century and early 1900s. Cambridge was extensively used to film many The Handmaid's Tale locations, the Hulu hit dystopian show.
Image courtesy of Netflix - House Map Location

Liuna Station
The Liuna Station (Canadian National Railway Station) in Hamilton was a also used as filming location of The Umbrella Academy series.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Saforrest - Map

Hamilton Scottish Rite
This whimsical scene pictured was filmed in Hamilton's Scottish Rite, a location that has been featured in multiple films and TV shows.
Image courtesy of Netflix and Jeff Hitchcock - Map Location

Self Made drehort
Architectural Digest reported that Walker's factory is an old building in Dundas. The rooms of the Dark Tower, originally situated in Harlem, were also built in a soundstage (pictured).

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