On Sunday, Ben and Erin Napier's new show Home Town Takeover premieres, where they tackle their biggest renovation yet: an entire town! The six-episode series follows the couple as they breathe new life into Wetumpka, Alabama, through 12 major renovation projects. In the first episode, Ben and Erin will team up with Fixer to Fabulous stars Dave and Jenny Marrs to renovate the home of Kasey and Ray Moody, who are foster parents in need of a home upgrade, as well as work on a colorful mural in town with some local students. On their own, the Napiers will also makeover a local boutique on the verge of closing, as well as meet with the Whitfield family who live in a home that you might recognize: the white Victorian house seen in Tim Burton's 2003 film Big Fish.
Erin tells House Beautiful that getting to work on the classic movie home was a "once-in-a-lifetime project." As she explains: "Big Fish is my all-time favorite movie. I'm seen it a million times and I can recite the script." However, this makeover was special for her and Ben for a number of reasons.
The 1874 house, which sits perched upon a hill, overlooks the entire downtown of Wetumpka. It can be seen from almost everywhere in the town and continues to attract tourists and movie fans. When Shellie and Wade Whitfield and their two sons moved there three years ago, they didn't know it was a movie house. However, once they learned of its significance in both pop culture and their local community, they knew they had to save it—but were overwhelmed by how big of a project it turned out to be. That's when Ben and Erin stepped in to not only restore the family's home but to preserve this iconic movie landmark that brought joy to so many people.
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Having watched Big Fish so many times and then getting to actually step foot into the house where a huge part of it was filmed was an eye-opening experience for Erin. "I learned so much about how this house that we renovated was really just the shell that they turned into a film set," she tells us. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to its movie screen appearance, though: "It was not up to code," she explains, adding that before the Whitfields moved in, the property was not even livable. Despite the extra amount of work it posed, though, there were "so many strange things we uncovered that you would only find because it was a movie set and that was so fun," she recalls.
You can catch Erin and Ben's initial walkthrough of the home in the first episode of Home Town Takeover (later episodes in the series will showcase the actual renovation). Home Town Takeover premieres on HGTV on Sunday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It will also be released on discovery+ that day.
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