While the interior of the beloved Corner Spa is simply a sound stage, the exterior of the former mansion is a law firm located in Covington, Georgia. A popular filming hub for television shows like The Vampire Diaries and films like Selma and Sweet Home Alabama, the historic location is known as the Hollywood of the South.
For anyone looking to visit in the future, you can even eat at Dana Sue's restaurant, the fictional Sullivan's, which is filmed at a real-life restaurant called, Mystic Grill. For eagle-eyed fans of the series, you can spot Miss Angie, who owns Mystic Grill, in episode 10 as the lady at the table talking to Dana Sue when Micah comes out from the kitchen to surprise her.
Speaking to Glamour, series producer Sheryl J. Anderson shared that “[Covington, Georgia] is as beautiful as it is in our show, and everybody is absolutely delightful”. But if you’re looking for tours of Maddie’s house or a Chef Erik sighting in Dana Sue's kitchen, sorry to disappoint: The sound stages aren’t open to the public and are located 20 minutes away.
The iconic margaritas weren't even actually margaritas after all
Since watching the show, it's safe to say that we've all been craving margarita parties with friends, but it seems that the delicious beverages they drink on the show, weren't alcoholic at all.
When Garcia Swisher, Headley, and Elliott film those scenes, it’s actually “some magical mixture that our prop department came up with,” Anderson says.
Either way, the drinks almost became a character themselves.
Maddie’s son, Ty, is a real-life former baseball player
While it wasn't a requirement for Carson Rowland, who plays Ty, to have experience on the pitch, it was certainly an added plus.
With a high school career in the sport, it certainly helped his chances in getting the role. “We knew the character of Ty was going to be playing a lot,” Anderson revealed.
Sweet Magnolias was Jamie Lynn Spears' first role in 12 years
While her presence in Hollywood is still prevalent, Jamie Lynn Spears hasn't actually taken an acting role since she last appeared on Zoey 101, 12 years ago.
Despite it being quite some time since she last appeared on screen, she's clearly a natural when it came to playing Noreen.
For several cast members, it was their first time acting on a TV show
Despite the leading trio being well-versed in the acting world, there were an array of cast members who made their onscreen debut. Anneliese Judge, who plays Dana Sue's daughter Annie, had never acted professionally before appearing in Sweet Magnolias.
Another fresh face was Chris Medlin, who played Isaac. Traditionally a Broadway actor, he has taken to the stage for acclaimed shows like Mean Girls, and the upcoming musical about Princess Diana. The series was also another break for Harlan Drum, who played Ty's girlfriend Cece, who impressed us all.
JoAnna Garcia Swisher has played a character who's dealt with infidelity before
In Sweet Magnolias, JoAnna Garcia Swisher plays Maddie, whose husband leaver her for another woman. However, her character in TV-series Reba, was the daughter of a woman in the same position. Additionally, both of the men are doctors, who leave their wives for one of their staff members, with both betrayals leading to pregnancies.
There’s a special meaning behind the church in Serenity
When scouting for filming locations, Anderson spotted the church while driving. Stopping immediately, she entered the church, noticed the stained-glass windows, and knew that it was the perfect fit for the fictional Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, after noticing something above the altar.
“Above the altar was a Black Jesus, while the stained glass above the choir loft was a white Jesus, and that’s to commemorate the fact that it was the first integrated church in the area,” Anderson revealed to Glamour.
And since the town of Serenity is so inclusive, the church was just one more piece of the puzzle.
There are a some huge differences between the series and the books
Based on an 11-part book series, written by Sherryl Woods, the television adaptation strays from the original storyline in many ways. First, the car accident that ended season one wasn't even in the books.
“Fans on social media kept saying they were going to buy the books to find out who was in the car,” Anderson stated. “But I wasn’t going to say anything because Ms. Woods deserves all those people to buy her books. I’m sorry they didn’t find the answer, but I’m sure they enjoyed the book.”
And both Isaac Downey, Helen's longtime love interest Ryan Windgate, and one of Dana Sue's employees were all made up for the series. But not to worry, the series kept as true to the books as possible from then on.
Only one couple had a chemistry read before they began filming
However, after the pair were so "intensely physical" with one another, the crew couldn't deny that they were both perfect for their parts.
The cast doesn’t even know who was in the car accident
In the last moments of season one, we see Kyle, Maddie and Bill's son, being carried out on a stretcher from a car accident. However, mystery surrounds the identity of the person sitting in the passenger seat. While we continue to speculate if it's Ty, Annie or another loved character, it seems that the cast have been doing the same.
All three leads swear they don’t know, according to Heather Headley. “They knew I’d be too cheap and I’d sell it for food and shoes,” she jokes.
Ready for a re-watch? Sweet Magnolias is currently available to stream on Netflix.