Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman © Universal
The Other Boleyn Girl Movie Trail
A story of Love, Passion and Ambition at the court of Henry VIII. will take you to some of the filming locations used in the film as well as showing you the family home of Anne Boleyn. Travel back in time as you roam through the corridors of Dover Castle and visit the costumes on show at Penshurst Place. Walk in the foot steps of the stars as you discover more about The Other Boleyn Girl.
Director: Justin Chadwick
Kent Filming Locations: Knole, Dover Castle, Penshurst Place
The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana.
Adapted from the best selling novel by Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl is a story of love, passion and ambition set in the cut-throat court of Henry VIII . Mary (Scarlett Johansson), considered the more beautiful sister, gains the young Henry’s (Eric Bana) attention and becomes his mistress despite being married already. She is cast aside for her dazzling younger sister, Anne (Natalie Portman). Unwilling to be the king’s mistress Anne’s ruthless pursuit of the crown propels her towards her doom.
The Boleyn family had extensive connections with Kent. Thomas Boleyn inherited Hever Castle from his grandfather in 1505 and continued to live there with his wife and 3 children – George, Mary and Anne. After the death of Thomas Boleyn, Henry VIII took over the estate and bestowed it to his fourth wife Anne of Cleaves as part of their divorce settlement in 1540.
Hever Castle attracts many visitors each year. though the gatehouse remains the only orginal part of the castle, tourists can view Tudor paintings and Anne Boleyns’ prayer books within the main keep. Although Hever was not used as a location in the film, Digital Kent has looked into the castle’s Boleyn connections.
Henry VIII adored Knole. It was handed over to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, in 1538 after which Henry made it worthly of a royal palace. despite this, reports show that he did not spend much time there and in 1566, Henrys’ daughter by Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, presented the house to her cousin Thomas Sackville in 1566. Knole House was left by the Sackville family to the National Trust in 1946 and is open to the public.
With these connections in mind, filming took place at three fantastic locations across Kent.
Filming in Kent began at Penshurst Place and Gardens near Tonbridge. Once owned by Henry VIII, this unspoiled estate and Tudor gardens helped to bring the era to life. It is here that Henry first lays eyes on Anne and where the wedding feast was staged.
Production then moved to Knole, in Sevenoaks, a grand Tudor house set in a deer park. This stunning location doubled for Whitehall Palace and where the horse scenes, which saw the arrival and departures of our star,s were staged.
As England’s oldest fortress at the shortest sea crossing to Continental Europe, Dover Castle was a vital strategic centre in the Tudor era and able to provide the ideal setting for the execution scenes in The Other Boleyn Girl.
Dover Castle made a very convincing Tower of London. The grand chamber was used as the prison meeting room and the courtyard housed the scaffold where Anne and her brother George were beheaded. In celebration of the film Digital Kent travelled to the historic locations featured in the film: check it out here.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Kent Resident Karol’s experiences as an Extra on The Other Boleyn Girl “My first experience of filming in Kent was for The Other Boleyn Girl’. I went along for the casting at the County Hotel in Dover, not expecting to get anything as there were hundreds of people lined up hoping to get picked. Fortunately I got the call to go up to the studios for a costume fitting two weeks later; when I got there I was told that I would be a peasant woman, and would have a few days filming at Dover Castle, but luck must have been on my side, because when I went to get my costume fitted, the head costume assistant, Veronica dashed out, in a tizzy because the lady they had lined up for a Seymour noblewoman didn’t fit her dress.
The highlight of the shoot was during a break in filming at Dover castle, when I met and had a long chat with Bill Wallis (who was playing Archbishop Cramner). He told me some lovely stories about his time at university and working as at the BBC in comedies such as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Blackadder. As we were chatting on the steps of the castle and it was freezing day in December, he saw I was cold in my thin dress, so he loaned me the use of gloves until we were called on set again. He even sent me a Christmas card a few weeks later.
At a private screening of the film, Digital Kent talk to Visit Kent Chairmen Amanda Cottrell and KCC’s Tanya Oliver about the impact the film will have on tourism in Kent.
The Kent Film Office and Visit Kent created the Other Boleyn Girl Trail in partnership with Universal, National Trust, English Heritage, Penshurst Place and Hever.
Download a PDF version of The Other Boleyn Girl Movie Trail
Or view The Other Boleyn Girl Trail live on the Kent Moviemap
Check out the original trail and enhance your movie experience here