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Stars in county for Hardy movie
CELEBRITIES have been spotted in west Dorset ahead of the new star-studded adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd.
Residents have spotted celebrities Tom Sturridge and fiancé Sienna Miller going in and out of shops in Beaminster.
It comes after Hollywood star Brad Pitt was in Dorset, visiting The Tank Museum at Bovington in preparation for his new £80 million movie Fury.
Yesterday there was a hive of activity at Mapperton House near Beaminster where staff are preparing for filming of the new Hardy adaptation – thought to start on Tuesday.
Staff were seen painting the main gate as well as preparing the historic mud huts and setting up their production tents.
Extras from the area have been asked to prepare for filming and Beaminster has been buzzing with people preparing for the actors to arrive.
Hollywood A-lister Carey Mulligan is to star in the film as Bathsheba alongside Tom Sturridge as Troy and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak.
Richard Barker, from Beaminster Chamber of Trade, and owner of shop Cilla & Camilla, said: “It has been very exciting – we had Tom Sturridge come in and everyone was swooning after him. He seemed a very lovely man.
“The town were all very excited when it was rumoured that filming might take place here.”
The buzz comes after a month where hundreds of Dorset residents attended casting sessions in the hope of being picked for the film.
West Dorset is famous for having been used as one of the backdrops to the classic Thomas Hardy tale in the original 1967 film starring Julie Christie and Terence Stamp.
The new film, a collaboration between British production company DNA films, Fox Searchlight and the BBC.
The script has been written by David Nicholls, who wrote the 2008 BBC version of Tess of the D’urbervilles.
Mapperton House is a beautiful manor house complete with its own church, stable block, coach house, courtyard and terraced gardens.
The house, Elizabethan in origin is now the home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.
SOME of the Dorset film locations for the 1967 version of Far From the Madding Crowd, directed by John Schlesinger:
• The novel’s fictitious setting of ‘Weatherbury’ is based on Puddletown
•The caravan of shepherd Gabriel Oak where the rogue sheepdog drives his flock over a cliff, stood on the cliffs at Scratchy Bottom
• Weatherbury Farm is represented by Bloxworth House near Bere Regis
•The house of Squire Boldwood is Friar Waddon House, a couple of miles east of Portesham
• The cobbled streets of Shaftsbury and Gold Hill – also used for the Hovis bread advert – feature
• The Esplanade by the Royal Hotel on Weymouth seafront features in the classic movie
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