The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Scarlett Johansson standing behind Natalie Portman, both looking out of the window in front of them

Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as Mary and Anne Boleyn Photo Credit Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Director: Justin Chadwick

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Scarlett Johansson,  Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Morrissey, Benedict Cumberbatch

Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Focus Features, BBC Films, Relativity Media, Ruby Films, Scott Rudin Productions
Kent Filming Locations: Knole House, Dover Castle, Penshurst Place
The screen adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best selling novel The Other Boleyn Girl is a dramatic 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 king’s (Eric Bana) attention and, though married, becomes his mistress. When it becomes politically adventageous, Mary is cast aside for her dazzling young sister Anne (Natalie Portman) and can only watch as Anne’s ruthless pursuit of the crown propels her towards her doom.

The Boleyn family had extensive connections with Kent; the family lived in Hever Castle while Henry VIII adored Knole. With this connection in mind, filming took place at three fantastic locations across Kent.

Filming in Kent began at Knole in Sevenoaks, a grand house set in a deer park that Henry VIII was so impressed with; he demanded that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer give it to him. In the film, Knole was the setting for many of the film’s London night scenes and the inner courtyard doubles for the entrance of Whitehall Palace where the grand arrivals and departures were staged.

 

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole- courtyard of Knole filed with cast members and filming equipment

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place walking away from a wooden door

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle- queues of cast members entering the entrance to the castle along a concrete driveway. Cars and lorries are scattered along the side.

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle © Dover Castle

 

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place- lighting equipment and stage set up against church wall

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place © Penshurst Place

Production then moved to Penshurst Place near Tonbridge, which was also once owned by Henry VIII  and where the unspoiled estate and gardens still bring the Tudor era to life. The Baron’s Hall was transformed into the interiors of Whitehall Palace to film the scenes of Henry’s extravagant feast. The Tudor Gardens were also used for the scene where Anne (Natalie Portman) and the King (Eric Bana) talk about their relationship.

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 final and climatic scenes in The Other Boleyn Girl. Dover Castle was transformed into the Tower of London for the execution scenes of George Boleyn (Jim Sturgess) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman).

Knole Park is nestled in a medieval deer-park .  The area has welcomed filming from productions such as Rush (2013) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Historic house Knole is set in a medieval deer-park in Sevenoaks. Now a National Trust property, it is over 500 years old and was once the palace of archbishops and royal property of the Tudor dynasty. Knole has previously featured in productions such as Great British Railway Journeys – Series 7 (2016), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Medieval and Tudor style manor house, Penshurst Place is set in gorgeous parkland and boasts period rooms and formal Elizabethan gardens. Penshurst Place is a popular film location, having previously welcomed productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012)

Situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the English Channel is the stunning medieval fortress – Dover Castle. A popular film location, Dover Castle has featured in Into the Woods (2015), Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) and Hamlet (1990).

To celebrate the cinematic release and the locations that were used in the film, the Kent Film Office and Kent Tourism Alliance in association with Universal, National Trust, English Heritage, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle and the Heart of Kent released a movie map in 2011 to highlight the Kent locations to the world! You can download your own The Other Boleyn Girl movie map and to find out more about the Kent Campaign at: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/austens-in-kent/

The Other Boleyn Girl features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail, released in May 2016, celebrating Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

The film was released on 7th March 2008 and is now available on DVD.

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


Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) and Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) running down some steps in a garden, plants and shrubbery either side of path

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) and Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) © 2005 – Focus Features

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Deborah Moggach

Starring: Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Matthew Macfadyen, Judy Dench, Talulah Riley, Kelly Reilly, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan

Production Company: Focus Features, Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Scion Films

Kent Filming Locations: Groombridge Place and Gardens

Jane Austen’s classic love story “Pride and Prejudice” is adapted for the big screen with an all-star cast which follows Elisabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) through the trials and tribulations of love in the 1800’s. A first encounter between head strong Elisabeth and the rich and cold Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) leaves Elisabeth hating him and declaring that he is the ‘last person’ she could ever marry. Are they able to overcome their ‘pride and prejudices’ to realise that they truly are meant to be together?

Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) and starring a wealth of acting talent including Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean series, Anna Karenina), Brenda Blethyn (Vera, Secrets and Lies), Matthew Macfadyen (The Three Musketeers, Frost/Nixon), Judy Dench (Philomena, Skyfall), Talulah Riley (Inception,  St. Trinian’s), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes, Flight), Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Die Another Day), Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games, The Italian Job), Jena Malone (Step Mom, Sucker Punch) and Carey Mulligan (Drive, Never Let Me Go).

Keira sitting under a tree at Groombridge holding a stick

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) sitting under a tree at Groombridge © Groombridge Place

Groombridge Place in Tunbridge Wells was chosen for the perfect location to where they made use of the 17th century house, gardens, extensive woodlands and lake which doubled as the Bennett’s house and grounds.

Jane Austen has many connections with the county as her family originated from Kent and her brother Edward Knight owned Godmersham Park which lies between Ashford and Canterbury. Both Jane and her sister Cassandra were frequent visitors; this is perhaps why Kent appears throughout her novel Pride and Prejudice and it is therefore no surprise that Kent was chosen as the prime location for the new adaptation.

Pride and Prejudice was released in cinemas in September 2005 and can now be bought on DVD.

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


Vanity Fair (2005)

 

Vanity Fair Film Poster- close up of reese witherspoon's face, with her hand covering her eyes. Vanity Fair written in white underneath

Vanity Fair Film Poster © Focus Features

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: William Makepeace Thackeray (screenplay) Matthew Faulk, Julian Fellowes, Mark Skeet (novel)

Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Rhys Ifans, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Gabriel Byrne

Production Company: Focus Features, Tempesta Films, Granada Film Productions, Inside Track Films, Mirabai Films, Cine Mosaic

Kent Filming Locations: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The film, an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray novel, follows the fortunes of Becky Sharp (Reese Witherspoon), an ambitious woman living in the 19th century. An orphan, she leaves her home to become a governess and has a keen interest in advancing herself.

Constantly casting her eye over eligible men with handsome fortunes, her endeavours are constantly met with society’s disdain. The film follows her life over 20 years through her trials, wars and adventures. Becky is determined to make her way in the world and her determination results in some disastrous consequences for herself and others.

Mira Nair (New York, I Love You Monsoon Wedding) directs the film which is adapted by Matthew Faulk (Morlang, Hannibal), Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park), Mark Skeet (Jason and the Argonauts, Hannibal).

Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Wild) stars alongside Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Match Point, Dracula), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, The Amazing Spider-Man), Bob Hoskins (Snow White and the Huntsman, Hook), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!, Cloud Atlas) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Ghost Ship).

The Historic Dockyard Chatham, offered up its Old Paint Store to the production, once again providing the perfect film location.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is set over 80 acres and contains over 100 Georgian and Victorian buildings. It is a popular filming location and has been  used for productions such as Muppets Most Wanted (2014), Call the Midwife (2012-2014) and  Sherlock Holmes  (2009).

Vanity Fair was released in January 2005 in the UK and is now available to buy on DVD.

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