News Column

JAMES DOING HIS BITT ; CLASS ACT STAR'S LUCRATIVE BUSINESS ROLE Actor working behind the scenes to keep NI film industry rolling

May 19, 2013



SCREEN star James Nesbitt is investing in Northern Ireland''s booming film industry - and his Holywood-based firm is involved in most of our major TV drama and film productions here.

The millionaire actor's latest business venture involves supplying key services off-camera that keep the wheels turning on our vibrant local film business - including the latest BBC thriller The Fall.

The Hobbit star's firm supplies film and TV productions with essential services, including double-decker dining buses, glamorous 'honey wagon' toilet blocks and stateof-the art on-set wardrobe and make-up facilities.

The Co Downbased company G&H Film and Television Services has previoulsy been used by a host of A-listers including Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman (pictured below), Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt and X-Files star Gillian Anderson.

Nesbitt, 48, and his partner Maurice Brown took over the thriving G&H Film and Television services last June after former director Alan Crozier wanted to retire.

Bangor man Maurice has been involved with the company for the last 15 years as its transport captain.

"You name it we've worked on it," Maurice told Sunday Life.

"Last week we were in Portrush with Colin Farrell (filming the movie Miss Julie) and now we are Belfast with Line of Duty.

"We supply everything from toilets to the trailers stars eat and sleep in. I suppose we're a one-stop shop for everything."

When Alan Crozier decided to take a back seat in the firm, Jimmy was happy to step in.

"I mentioned it to Jimmy and there was no question about it. He is very passionate about the industry and he wants to to do as much as he can to help people - and that's what G&H does.

"With his schedule Jimmy obviously can't be here all the time but he is on the phone everyday, finding out what's going on, asking if there are any issues," added Maurice.

G&H employs more than 200 people and its credits include the Sky fantasy series Game of Thrones, the movie Your Highness and 2009 film Five Minutes of Heaven - which starred Nesbitt and superstar pal Liam Neeson.

The company recently worked on the set of BBC NI's latest acclaimed drama The Fall starring Jamie Dornan, which pulled in 3.5 million viewers when its first episode aired on Monday night.

It was only last week the G&H fleet was on location throughout Belfast city centre as cameras rolled for the second series of cop drama Line of Duty, featuring Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey.

Enniskillen-born actor Adrian Dunbar also features in the six- part BBC 2 series, set to be filmed entirely in the city.

Ballymena born Nesbitt's film company Brown Cow Films owns 80 per cent of G&H Film and Television Services, while partner Maurice Brown owns 20 per cent.

Nesbitt set up Brown Cow Films at the age of 36 - three years after he shot to stardom in ITV drama Cold Feet.

His wife Sonia is a co-director and shareholder.

Originally published by TONY ALLEN.

(c) 2013 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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