Bellagio Towers Las Vegas, Nevada Starring Role: Oceans Eleven
In the three Ocean's films, recently-paroled con artist Daniel Ocean (George Clooney) calls on a team of career crooks to carry out elaborate robberies. The first of the series, Ocean's Eleven, was filmed entirely in Las Vegas. The plot revolves around the fact that the team wants to score the biggest heist in history by tapping into the vaults of a trio of iconic Vegas casino - the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand.
For the filming of Ocean's Eleven in 2001, producers were looking for an upscale location to match the calibre of their A-list cast and fit the high-stakes glamour called for in the script. At the time, Bellagio was one of Las Vegas' newest and most luxurious resorts, so it fitted the bill perfectly. The majority of the film took place on-site and the hotel itself was a part of the film's storyline - it appears as itself and is referred to by name as Terry Benedict's resort. (Bellagio also played a smaller role in Ocean's Twelve.)
The design and décor of the hotel fitted the filmmaker's vision, so few changes were needed during the shooting. Filming took place in many areas of the hotel, include the casino, front lobby, porte cochere, driveway, guest rooms, executive offices, grand staircase, parking garage rooftop and valet pickup. The movie also featured the famous Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the iconic Fountains of Bellagio (famous for its water ballet), the Picasso restaurant, the Via Bellagio shops, the Petrossian Bar, and Club Privé, the high-limit lounge and gaming area.
Many of the cast and crew checked into Bellagio during the filming, and employees enjoyed watching some of their favorite actors at work. Favorite staff memories apparently include catching a glimpse of a shirtless George Clooney playing basketball in the old parking lot, now the site of the Spa Tower. Some local residents and hotel staff were also made an appearance in the movie; one of the Chairman's executive assistants, for example, played a small part as Terry Benedict's assistant in the scene where he enters the Bellagio executive offices.