In Thursday’s episode of The Other Two, young viral-music-video sensation ChaseDreams (Case Walker), mom Pat (Molly Shannon), and big sister-slash-assistant Brooke (Heléne Yorke) officially move into one of New York City’s hippest bachelor pads: Justin Theroux’s apartment.
Chase’s manager Streeter (Ken Marino) claims to represent the out-of-town actor “for music,” which means the Dubek family is free to marvel at his motorcycle toilet, hold meetings with Chase’s music publicist (Wanda Sykes) by his rock garden as well as inside his home church, and sleep in his walk-in closet of black motorcycle boots or on the chaise beside his indoor pool. (Justin Theroux’s apartment has three saunas, but only one bedroom.)
For Other Two creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, the goal was to place Chase and Pat in the most inappropriate, discordant setting possible for a 13-year-old and his Midwestern mom. When the writers started pitching celebrity homes and Thoreux’s name came up, everyone immediately had ideas. “We could picture what it would look like, and we picture it being very hard and concrete and not for kids — like, full of curiosities and things that shouldn’t be touched,” Schneider says. “When you hear his name, you picture a whole aesthetic for him, but he also doesn’t feel like somebody who has been used or referenced a thousand times,” Kelly adds.
Neither of the former Saturday Night Live co-head writers knew Theroux personally, but they wanted his blessing, so they sent him the script to read and hoped he’d enjoy the joke. He did, and even approved the six-foot-tall photo of himself that production designer Angelique Clark hung on the wall. (“We just wrapped it up and it’s in storage,” Clark says of its current whereabouts. “It’s not hanging in my living room right now.”)
It perhaps helps that Theroux is friends with Marino, enough for the Maniac actor to have crashed his Colbert appearance last month. “He invited us over to his apartment to watch the show tonight, but everybody’s all over the country so we weren’t able to go over there, but he’s aware of it,” Marino told Vulture. “He thought it was funny. He texted me a picture of his real boot closet, or his real shoe closet, and it wasn’t far off from the fictionalized version of his shoe closet.”
Below, Kelly, Schneider and Clark (who researched the real Los Angeles home Theroux shared with Jennifer Aniston via Architectural Digest) take us on a virtual tour of Justin Theroux’s Other Two apartment.
The Bathroom Motorcycle
“That was our first no-brainer for his house. We were like, Well, we know he has a motorcycle toilet. Let’s think of what else could be in there. We just thought it was funny and dumb,” Kelly says. The bathroom, described in the script as featuring just the motorcycle and a small sink, was one of the sets Clark’s team built. She imagined a spare cement bathroom in the style of Japanese architect Tadao Ando. How would that motorcycle toilet actually function? Kelly did think it through: “In my mind, when you flush, it has to go through all of the tires and all of the machinery and then it circles down through the ground.”
“It’s like a silly straw,” Schneider adds.
“I would just like to say that it is a preposterous idea for a toilet, but I do think that Justin Theroux might figure out a way to get one made, if he sees this,” Kelly says. “I just want to put this out into the world.”
The Walk-In Boot Closet
For this build, Clark’s inspiration came from another celebrity’s home. “Angelique showed us a picture of Elton John’s sunglasses closet, and we were like, Yes, this is his equivalent, his motorcycle boots,” Schneider says. This room also ended up dictating the others in the apartment. “We had this dumb, specific visual of Brooke having to sleep in the center of a 360-boot closet,” Kelly says. “So early on, we were like, Oh crap, there can’t be anywhere else for her to sleep. That’s why the living room only has concrete chairs and there’s no couch at all.’”
The Orb-Filled Pool
Originally, Brooke was supposed to find Pat sleeping in a tanning bed in a spa room, but then the show’s location manager found an old, converted industrial building on Lafayette Street that not only had a space large enough for Thoreux’s living room but also a swimming pool. “The pool was so dramatic and ridiculous — an indoor pool in New York City is insane,” Kelly says. It was the ideal absurd location in which to set one of those sweet family moments that keeps the show grounded. “It’s actually a nice, semi-dramatic conversation between mother and daughter,” Kelly says, “but then you remember that she is sleeping by a pool in Justin Theroux’s house.” Bonus selling point: The art on the walls was already there.
The Living Room/Rock Garden
Because this space is normally rented out to a company that uses it as a showroom for high-end speakers, the production crew had its hands full. “There are hundreds of speakers all over the house and we had to strategically cover them,” Kelly says. “Justin can have some speakers in his house. But we don’t think his vibe is ‘speaker showroom.’ We think it’s ‘motorcycle boot closet.’”
For the living room itself, Clark wanted nods to the real Theroux — “I think he likes to collect flea market finds and stuff like that,” she says — but she also needed to incorporate the scripted focal point: the Zen garden. “What could that look like mixed with a little bit more of a cool, dark, masculine aesthetic?” she remembers thinking. “And I didn’t want it to be completely, Oh, this is silly.” They built those faux cement chairs, and brought in faux rocks, a Japanese maple tree, and approximately 500 pounds of sand. “It was a huge ordeal,” she says.
While the team also made Justin’s Zen artwork, it’s those special touches Pat added that truly complete the look. The “I’d give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter” pillow was purchased on Etsy as a tribute to Schneider’s mother (who owns one); the Thomas Kinkade calendar is an homage to Kelly’s mother’s love for the Painter of Light; and the “Bee Happy” sign was something the set decorator painted last minute.
The Home Church
The concept for this room in particular went through multiple iterations. At one various points, it was going to be an apothecary, an armory, or a room with taxidermy. In the end, a church was deemed easier to pull off in the space and budget. Clark’s team made faux windows and brought in a pulpit, pews (two sets, since the first didn’t fit), and a light-up ‘t’ instead of a cross. (“That’s a ‘t’ for Thoreux,” Streeter says in the episode, “because Justin believes in himself so much.”)
Also, the church was funnier. “We liked that Justin was probably very spiritual and needed a place in his house to center himself a couple times a day and just reflect,” Kelly says. “Reflect on his beauty, reflect on his fashion, reflect on his art.”
Additional reporting by Jackson McHenry.