The most important part of a good heist is having timing down to a science and choosing the exact right moment to strike. With the highly anticipated ensemble crime flick Ocean's 8 centering itself around the most hyped real-life party in one of the world's busiest cities, timing isn't just a matter of pulling off the job, it is the job. So just when did Ocean's 8 film at the Met Gala, and how did they manage to pull off not interrupting the season's toniest party?
Every year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City hosts a fundraising party for its Costume Institute, known colloquially as the Met Gala. The creme de la creme of fashion, high society, celebrity, and the A-list art crowd all come out to celebrate in high style, going hog-wild on a theme announced by the Gala six months in advance. Everyone who's anyone is there, covered in exquisite outfits and, to the point of Ocean's 8 heist plans, just dripping with rare and expensive designer jewels.
Filming a Hollywood movie is like operating a small army under the best of circumstances — hundreds of technicians operating expensive, delicate, and in some cases, dangerous machinery, lights strung everywhere, people flying back and forth with costumes, props, coffees and scripts, and on top of that, the entire entourage surrounding the stars of the show. While the actual Met Gala has a similar operational structure (security, staff, etc.), the point isn't to create a space for the illusion of reality to be viewed on the big screen later, it's to create a safe space for real celebrities to enjoy a slammin' party in real time — which explains why Ocean's 8 did most of its major set piece filming outside of the actual Gala.
According to ET Online, the crew shot for two and a half weeks inside the Met, and spared no expense recreating every detail of the actual ball. Mindy Kaling said they even hired the same caterers Anna Wintour uses for the real Met Gala. That kind of realism doesn't come cheap, and Page Six claims permission to shoot in the museum allegedly cost the Ocean's 8 team a cool $1 million donation on top of other expenses. But it was clearly worth it, as the filmmakers shot at the museum's famous Temple of Dendur, an actual Egyptian temple moved into a large glass atrium surrounded by water. As seen in the movie, the team even nabbed cameos from fashion designers Alexander Wang and Zac Posen, as well celebs like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, as the ball's reigning queen herself, Wintour. Really, would it even be a Met Gala without her?
The Ocean's 8 filming likely took place around October 2016, as On Location Vocations got snaps of Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock filming their walkup to the Met on Oct. 25 of that year. SlashFilm reports the gang came back for reshoots in the Big Apple around August 2017, after the script's heist plans got even more elaborate. Sarah Paulson confirmed the reshoots after a Television Critics Association panel, saying, "They decided to add more things."
While it's still mere rumor the film picked up shots at the actual party, fact is half the Ocean's 8 cast attended the real-life 2018 Met Gala, dressed to the nines following this year's theme: "Heavenly Bodies" Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." Rihanna not only served as co-chair for the event, but served up one of the evening's most intense looks with a Pope-inspired jewel-encrusted mitre and matching minidress and cape. Anne Hathaway, who in the film plays the ditzy mark the Ocean's gals aim to relieve of her million-dollar jewels, wasn't wearing anything quite so sparkly, but sported a gorgeous blood-red gown and gold thorn-like headdress.
Whether or not the movie's team got together on the red carpet for one last heist (of pickup footage) is debatable, but if their film version of the Gala is anywhere near as gorgeous as this year's real deal, they'll have pulled off the major heist of stealing audience's hearts.