The Great (2020)

Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) and Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) dancing in a ballroom in historical costumes, with candlelight in the background.

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult in The Great (2020) © Lionsgate Entertainment

Writer: Tony McNamara, Tess Morris, Gretel Vella, James Wood
Director:
Colin Bucksey, Bert & Bertie, Ben Chessell, Geeta Patel, Matt Shakman
Starring:
Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Gwilym Lee, Sacha Dhawan
Production Company:
Media Rights Capital, Thruline Entertainment, Echo Lake Entertainment
Kent Locations Used:
Hever Castle, St Clere Estate

This upcoming satirical comedy from American streaming company Hulu follows the infamous rise of Prussian-born Catherine the Great as she ascends to become the longest serving female ruler in Russian history. Forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of an empire, she abandons a life of love and romance and vows to change a country plagued by deceit and ruin.

This ten-part historical drama was written by Tony McNamara (The Favourite, Ashby) Tess Morris (Casual, Man Up), Gretel Vella (Doctor Doctor) and James Wood (The Gamechangers, Quacks). The TV series was produced by Media Rights Capital, Thruline Entertainment and Echo Lake Entertainment  and features episodes directed by Colin Bucksey (The Affair, Breaking Bad, Ray Donovan), Bert & Bertie (Troop Zero, Kidding), Ben Chessell (The Only Person in the World, Giri/Haji), Geeta Patel (Meet the Patels, Dead to Me) and Matt Shakman (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Good Wife).

The Great’s lead cast are  Elle Fanning (Super 8,  Maleficent, Mary Shelley) as Catherine the Great, Nicholas Hoult (Tolkien, Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies) as Peter III of Russia and Phoebe Fox (Close to the Enemy, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death), Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody, Midsomer Murders) and Sacha Dhawan (Iron Fist, The History Boys) in supporting roles.

Two locations in Kent were utilised as rich historical backdrops in this international production.

The Italian Loggia on Hever Castle lake doubles as a ballroom of an Eastern European house where Peter III of Russia (Nicholas Hoult) visits. During filming production also visited the fields and stables of St Clere Estate to film various battle scenes.

Hever Castle is an outstanding 13th century and Tudor castle with a moat, stunning Italianate gardens, a beautiful lake, as well as a mock Tudor Village. It was the original home of the Boleyn family. Productions that filmed here include Inkheart (2008) and upcoming TV series The Third Day.

St Clere Estate is set in 2800 acres of the rolling Kent countryside and offers stunning views of the North Downs. Some of the ground’s features include formal gardens, paddocks, a meadow, fields, an orangery, green houses and a temple by the lake. St Clere Estate has previously been used to film Road Games (2016) and Sky’s original series Gangs of London (2020).

The Great will be available to watch on StarzPlay from Thursday 18th June 2020.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.


Ginger and Rosa (2012)

 

Ginger (right, Elle Fanning) and Rosa (left, Alice Englert) walking with their arms around each other in front of some pylons

Ginger (right, Elle Fanning) and Rosa (left, Alice Englert) © Artificial Eye Publicity

Director: Sally Potter

Starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening

Production Company: BBC Films, British Film Institute, Det Danske Filminstitut

Kent locations used: Dengemarsh Sound Mirrors, Lydd on Sea, Lade Beach, Greatstone, Lydd Ranges, Lydd, Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey

Ginger and Rosa is directed by Sally Potter and tells the story of two teenage girls living in 1960’s London under the threat of nuclear war due to the Cuban Missile Crisis. This coming of age story is a tale of friendship, desire, determination and the struggles of growing up.

The inseparable friends take different paths in life. Ginger, played by Elle Fanning (Super 8, We Bought A Zoo) becomes involved in anti-nuclear demonstrations while Rosa, played by emerging talent Alice Englert, is more interested in boys.

L-R Elle Fanning, Timothy Spall, Annette Bening and Oliver Platt all staring at the camera in front of some trees

L-R Elle Fanning, Timothy Spall, Annette Bening and Oliver Platt © Artificial Eye Publicity

Supporting Fanning and Englert is an A-list cast, including Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter), Oliver Platt (X Men: First Class)  and Annette Bening (American Beauty).

The Ginger and Rosa crew filmed at many locations in Kent, including the unique and striking sound mirrors on Dengemarsh, which look out over the shingle desert and were built in the late 1930’s for the early detection of enemy aircraft before the discovery of radar.

The production also used Lade Beach and boardwalk which is near the Romney Sands and changes from shingle at low tide to sand and mudflats as the water recedes. Also featured in the film are nearby Lydd Ranges, a military training facility.

Locations on and around the Isle of Sheppey were also used for various boating scenes, including a floating jetty at Queenborough jetty and the Swale estuary for the open water shots.

Ginger and Rosa was released in cinemas on 19th October 2012 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.