Film superstars Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis brought some Hollywood glamour to Peterborough yesterday (Tuesday) when they arrived for secret film shooting at the Nene Valley Railway.
Film superstars Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis brought some Hollywood glamour to Peterborough yesterday (Tuesday) when they arrived for secret film shooting at the Nene Valley Railway.The A-listers spent the day filming at Wansford station, which had one of its platforms turned into a scene from '60s Italy during a huge operation for the forthcoming movie musical Nine.
The film, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Dame Judi Dench, is being made by Oscar-nominated Chicago director Rob Marshall and is scheduled for release next Christmas.
Film-makers had hoped to keep the shoot relatively low-key, but the presence of a car park full of trucks and trailers and dozens of actors, cameramen and technicians milling about on platform three during a particularly busy half term day meant it was impossible to ignore.
Location manager Michael Harm took some time out from the hectic shoot to talk to The Evening Telegraph about the movie.
He said: "Most of the film is being shot at Shepperton Studios in London, but we are doing a number of scenes elsewhere to fit between the musical numbers.
"The scene being filmed here at Wansford features one of the characters arriving at a railway station in Italy and it involves Daniel Day-Lewis and Penelope Cruz.
"We started at about 6am and will be here until the light goes."
With most of the film being shot at Shepperton Studios in London, Wansford was chosen for the scene because of its proximity to the capital and the fact it is one of the only railway stations in Britain which has European rolling stock for extra authenticity.
But Mr Harm revealed the otherwise ideal location had not been without its problems – and not just because the station was bustling with school holiday visitors throughout the shoot.
He said: "The biggest problem has been the A1. It cuts right across the top of where we are filming and the traffic can be clearly seen. To get round that we have had to build a fake water tower across the track to act as a shield."
For the last 30 years, Wansford has been the setting for dozens of adverts, television programmes and films, including two James Bond movies in 1983 and 1995.
But rarely has it entertained stars of the calibre of double Oscar winner Day-Lewis and Cruz, who has appeared opposite the likes of Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise.
Nene Valley Railway's general manager Cris Rees, said it was a privilege to host the shoot.
He said: "We love having film crews here and the Nene Valley Railway is probably the most popular railway in the UK for filming.
"One of Wansford's big advantages and the reason why filmmakers like it is the surrounding scenery is not particularly distinctive.
"If we were in the Welsh Valleys or the Scottish Highlands, it would be difficult to hide that fact but here we have been in Russia, Belgium, Italy. We could be anywhere in the world."
More on PeterboroughToday.co.uk:
Nene Valley Railway.
Video: Movie previews.
Daniel Day-Lewis profile from the The Internet Movie Database.
Penlope Cruz profile from the The Internet Movie Database.