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. 


Henry VIII (2003)

close up of Ray Winstone wearing a gold crown looking away from the camera

Henry VIII © ITV

Director: Pete Travis

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Ray Winstone, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, David Suchet, Danny Webb, Helena Bonham Carter, Emilia Fox, Sean Bean, Emily Blunt

Production Company: Granada Television, Power, Powercorp, WGBH

Kent locations: Leeds Castle

Henry VIII is an Emmy Award winning two-part TV movie, which follows the life of Henry VIII throughout his radical 38 year reign and unpicks the volatility of Henry’s nature, particularly when it comes to love, as he marries and discards a string of wives with quick succession.

Henry VIII was written by British film writer and playwright Peter Morgan and directed by Pete Travis (Dredd, Vantage Point).

The cast includes an array of renowned British actors, such as Ray Winstone (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Great Expectations), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien 3), Mark Strong (Kick Ass, Sherlock Holmes), David Suchet (Poirot, Great Expectations) Danny Webb (Alien 3, Valkyrie), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, The King’s Speech), Emilia Fox (The Pianist, Merlin), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) and Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria, The Devil Wears Prada).

Long shot of Leeds Castle and lake

Leeds Castle in Henry VIII © ITV

Historically, Leeds Castle was used as a palace by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon but the production chose Leeds Castle to represent exteriors of Henry’s castle in Richmond.

Leeds Castle is near Maidstone and is set within 500 acres of parkland and gardens and surrounded by a moat. Features include original marble bathrooms, a river and maze with shell grotto. The location has previously featured in productions such as Gadget Man (2014), Lady Jane (1987) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

Henry VIII also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Henry VIII was first shown on ITV in 2003 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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


Henry VIII (1979)

image of a man and women dressed in tudor costumes stood next to each other in front of a pillar

Henry VIII screenshot © BBC

Director: Kevin Billington

Writer: William Shakespeare (play),

Stars: John Stride, Timothy West, Ronald Pickup, Claire Bloom, Julian Glover, Jeremy Kemp, Peter Vaughan

Henry VIII dvd cover- images of two tutor men on a black background. Henry VIII written in white underneath

Henry VIII dvd cover © BBC

Production Company: BBC, Time-Life Television Productions

Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, Penshurst Place

Henry VIII is a BBC television film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s original play which provides a dramatized account of the events surrounding the divorce of Henry VIII from his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

Originally broadcast in February 1979; the film was produced as part of BBC Shakespeare (1978-85), a series of Shakespeare plays adapted for television.

The film was directed by Kevin Billington (Outside Edge, The Good Soldier) with John Stride (Macbeth, The Omen) playing Henry VIII alongside Timothy West (Crime and Punishment, Eastenders), Ronald Pickup (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Chronicles of Narnia), Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech, Clash of the Titans), Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), Jeremy Kemp (Z-Cars, Space: 1999) and Peter Vaughan (Porridge, Game of Thrones).

The entire film was shot on location at Hever Castle, Leeds Castle and Penshurst Place, which all have an association with the historical figures within the play.

Leeds Castle doubles as Henry VIII’s palace. Both interiors and exteriors are used to create a sense of real grandeur.

Penshurst Place was used for a number of scenes, including Katherine of Aragon’s residence, a council chamber at Westminster. Baron’s Hall was used as a hall in Blackfriars when it announced that Henry and Katherine shall split. One of the halls is used to double as a room in York Place where Cardinal Wolsey holds a ball; this is where Henry VIII and Anne Bullen first meet.

The timber-clad section of Hever Castle is used to double as streets in Westminster where two gentlemen meet to discuss the royal divorce.

Leeds Castle is set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens and has been used in various productions, including the ITV version of Henry VIII (2003), Lady Jane (1987) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) .

Hever Castle is a thirteenth century castle which was once home to Anne Boleyn; it boasts formal Italian gardens and an ornamental lake. This location has also been used in various historical dramas, including Walking through History (2013), Inkheart (2008) and Anne of The Thousand Days (1969).

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor Fortified Manor set in gorgeous parkland. It is a film friendly location, having been used in notable productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and Merlin (2008).

Henry VIII also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

This film was originally broadcasted on 25th February 1979, and is available to purchase on DVD.

 

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


Anne of The Thousand Days (1969)

Anne standing by the fountain at Penshurst Place, Penshurst place can be seen in the background

Anne by the fountain at Penshurst Place © Universal Pictures

Oscar winning epic film depicting the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII.

Director: Charles Jarrott

Writers:  Maxwell Anderson (Play), Bridget Boland (Screenplay writer), John Hale (Screenplay writer), Richard Sokolove (adaptation)

Starring: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Anthony Quayle, John Colicos, Irene Papas

Production Company: Hal Wallis Productions

Kent Filming Locations:  Hever CastlePenshurst Place

Geneviève Bujold as Anne walking down steps on a garden path, her hand is raised

Geneviève Bujold as Anne © Universal Pictures

Based on the Broadway play by Maxwell Anderson, Anne of the Thousand Days is an account of the rise and fall of the beautiful and ambitious Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold), second wife of the tyrannical Henry VIII (Richard Burton).

The film was nominated for 10 Oscars in 1970, including best picture and won best costume design.  It also won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress and Best Director.

Hever Castle was an obvious choice for Anne Boleyn’s home, as it was her real-life home. It was used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) visits the Boleyn household to pursue Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold).

The stunning Kentish scenery of both Hever Castle and Penshurst Place bought this Oscar winning tale to life with Hever Castle being an obvious choice to double as Anne Boleyn’s home, as it was her real-life home and was used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) visits the Boleyn household to pursue Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold). Hever Castle is now a visitor attraction and includes many 16th century Tudor portraits, furniture and tapestries. The castle also displays two prayer books, signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn.  The castle has been used for other film projects such as Inkheart, (2008) The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and Lady Jane (1987).

Exteriors of Penshurst Place were used to double as the King’s court and the stunning formal Tudor gardens were used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) is shooting targets when Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold) joins him as well as  where she announces her pregnancy. The Gardens, arranged into “garden rooms” each with a different style and character are also open to visitors between March and November. Penshurst Place has been seen on screen in projects such as The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012) and  Merlin (2008).

Anne of The Thousand Days also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Anne of the Thousand Days was released in 1969 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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