Les Misérables (2013)

 

Les on horses going through the streets through a tunnel

Les Misérables © Universal Pictures

Director: Tom Hooper

Screenplay: William Nicholson

Composer: Claude-Michel Schönberg

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried

Production company: Relativity Media, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.

Kent locations used:  The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Les Misérables is based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel and Cameron Mackintosh’s popular musical. It is directed by Oscar award winning director, Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, The Damned United) and features an ensemble cast of A-List actors, faces including: Anne Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises, One Day), Oscar-winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Beautiful Mind), Hugh Jackman (X-Men Series, The Prestige), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland) Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Hugo) and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, In Time).  The actors sung live during filming, instead of using pre-recorded tracks, making it more like a musical than any other film.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine working in a factory

Anne Hathaway as Fantine © Universal Pictures

Set in 19th century France, it tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) an ex-prisoner who has broken his parole. Hunted by ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe), he is forced to make decisions that will transform his life forever. It is a dramatic tale of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption.

Les Misérables is the world’s longest-running musical and has been performed on Broadway and the West End, visiting 42 countries in total. It received 70 major theatre awards including an Olivier, a Tony and a Grammy and features classic songs by ClaudeMichel Schönberg like “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “On My Own”. For the first time in movie history, the actors sang live during the filming, instead of using pre-recorded tracks.

The Historic Dockyard in Chatham was used to double as a factory, a court room and various streets. It is a popular and unique filming location, having previously welcomed Sherlock Holmes (2011), The Golden Compass (2007) and the BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist (2007).

Les Misérables was released in cinemas on 11th January 2013 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Wild Child (2008)

Emma Roberts (Poppy), Linzey Cocker (Josie), Sophie Wu (Kiki), Kimberley Nixon (Kate) and Juno Temple (Drippy) all dressed in fancy dress posing at the camera.

Emma Roberts (Poppy), Linzey Cocker (Josie), Sophie Wu (Kiki), Kimberley Nixon (Kate) and Juno Temple (Drippy) on the set of Wild Child. Giles Keyte: copyright: © 2008 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Directed by: Nick Moore

Written by: Lucy Dahl

Starring: Emma Roberts, Natasha Richardson, Aidan Quinn, Alex Pettier, Shirley Henderson

Production Company: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films

Kent Locations: Cobham Hall

Emma roberts soaking wet emptying water from a red shoe with her bed behind

Poppy (Emma Roberts) Giles Keyte Copyright: © 2008 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Emma Roberts and Kimberley Nixon in school uniform frowning at each other in a corridor full of students

Emma Roberts (Poppy) and Kimberley Nixon (Kate) in Wild Child Giles Keyte Copyright: © 2008 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Writen by Lucy Dahl, the daughter of literary giant Roald Dahl, “Wild Child” follows the antics of 16 year-old Poppy (Emma Roberts) on a search of self-discovery and maturity. Brought up in Los Angeles, Poppy has been living a selfish and spoiled existence. Fed up with Poppy’s attitude and behaviour, her father ships her off to an English boarding school where she’s faced with strict rules, curfews, school girl hierarchies and scary teachers. Will Poppy be able to remain the ultimate Wild Child?

Starring Emma Roberts (Hotel for Dogs, Nancy Drew), Natasha Richardson (The Parent Trap, Blow Dry), Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, Unknown) Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, I am Number Four) and Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Bridget Jones Diary Franchise).

Shot on location, “Wild Child” was mostly filmed at Cobham Hall, near Gravesend, in Kent. Already a boarding school for girls, the location was perfect for the film. The country house has become an increasingly popular filming location and has played host too many productions including The Great Fire (2014), the BBC’s adaptation of Bleak House (2005), and Agent Cody Banks (2003).

Laura Goldfinch as an extra on set - standing in school uniform on a field with cars parked behind

Laura Goldfinch as an extra on set © Laura Goldfinch

Local Kent girl Laura Goldfinch was lucky enough to be an extra on the film.

“On the fourth day of filming, two women approached me and revealed Kimberley Nixon, one of the young lead actresses, was absent and they needed a stand-in for three night shoots – me!!! I found myself whisked away into my very own trailer and travelled down to set in the same cars as Juno Temple, Alex Pettyfer and the amazing Shirley Henderson!”

“When the whirlwind rush of Wild Child was over, my life went back to normal, but my attitude towards my chosen career changed for the better. To this day I am grateful for having been given this opportunity and that Kent was chosen as the location for the Wild Child Production. Since Wild Child, I have gone on to have other successes working as a supporting artiste and actress in other Film and Television productions.”

Wild Child was released in cinemas in August 2008 and is available out 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)

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. 


Johnny English (2003)

Johnny English Movie Poster - Rowan Atkinson in a suit and bow tie holding his fingers in a gun shape. Johnny English written in white. He knows no fear he knows no danger he know nothing written above.

Johnny English © Universal Pictures

Directed By: Peter Howitt

Written By: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & William Davis

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Natalie Imbruglia and John Malkovich

Production Company: Universal Pictures,StudioCanal,Working Title Films

Kent Locations Used: A2 Carriageway (leading to Jubilee Way) and the Port of Dover

After an unexpected bomb attack on the MI5, incompetent spy Johnny English is the only agent left alive when the crown jewels are stolen. English and his sidekick Bough (Ben Miller) are assigned to the case. For English, the prime suspect is mysterious French Entrepreneur Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich). They soon learn the horrifying plan behind the theft, for Sauvage intends to wear them when he is crowned King of England.

The film is directed by Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors, Antitrust) and written by writing duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (SS-GB, Spectre), who met at University of Kent alongside William Davis (Puss in Boots, Ignition).

Rowan Atkinson (Bean, The Lion King) takes the feature role with a supporting cast of Ben Miller (Death in Paradise, The Armstrong and Miller Show), Natalie Imbruglia (Neighbours, Closed for Winter) and John Malkovich (RED,  Dangerous Liaisons).

Johnny English soon meets Interpol Agent, Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia). After his case is taken away from him, she tracks him down and together they vow to stop Sauvage’s plan. As English and Campbell race to France they drive down the familiar A2 carriageway leading to Jubilee Way. Kent’s brief cameo continues as we see the car drive down Marine Parade past the sign for the Port of Dover.

 

The cameras would not have been a strange sight to local Dover residents. The town and surrounding landmarks have played host to many productions over the years. The famous Dover Castle alone has starred in many feature films. The site can be seen replicating another iconic British landmark like the Tower of London in the films Lady Jane (1987) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Johnny English is not the only spy to have visited the Port of Dover. In the famous 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Sean Connery stars as the suave spy 007. The Port makes its appearance as 007 foils diamond smuggler Peter Franks and boards a hovercraft bound for Amsterdam.

Johnny English was released in cinemas in April 2003 and can now be purchased on DVD.

 

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