News Column

Great Time in Cornwall with director Curtis ; Cinema rolls out the red carpet for celebrationand film memories of summer 2012

September 5, 2013


IT WAS About Time Hollywood glamour came to Cornwall.

And that's just what happened when director Richard Curtis arrived for the UK cinema premiere of his latest film, which was largely shot in Cornwall.

The glitz of London or Los Angeles was transported to St Austell as the red carpet rolled out at White River Cinema.

The king of the rom-com showed his love actually when he mingled with the scores of extras, crew and guests before addressing audiences of the special screenings at the weekend.

Much of the movie was filmed last summer at the stunning Porthpean House; Vault Beach, near Gorran Haven; the picturesque fishing village of Portloe and at St Michael Penkevil Church, near Truro. The writer and director is known for screenplays, including Four Weddings And A Funeral, Love Actually, the Bridget Jones films, and, of course, Blackadder.

About Time centres on a time-travelling quest for love, starring Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Domnhall Gleeson and Tom Hollander.

But on Saturday Curtis reflected on how the cinema, the Cornish people and the stunning landscape had star quality - and thanked locals for giving them such a gorgeous time.

One waitress, Rebecca Chew, even found herself travelling to London after serving the Curtis children at Sam's on the Beach, Polkerris.

Mr Curtis said: She was so sweet when she was giving pizzas to our kids that we cast her in the film and she came up and acted a crucial part of a waitress in Pret A Manger and that was just typical of the reception we received - they were so nice that we wanted to take them with us.

When I was here I was making the film, so I was tense a lot of the time. I remember catching the train down and thinking to myself, 'Oh God, have I done the preparations? Is it going to go all right? Will I have to cut that scene?' So it was lovely coming back with the film finished, with Cornwall looking beautiful and to meet lots of the people who we worked with here. Curtis also revealed how he overcame the obstacle of filming an emotional scene on Vault Beach without getting nudists into shot and would always opt for a Cornish pasty over a cream tea.

He said: A meaty one if you trust it but sometimes up in London you get a pasty with dodgy meat and then you tend to go vegetable. But when you're down here, you can trust the steak.

And the filming highlight was also his lowlight.

We had a day on Vault Beach when we got the most important scene in the movie done in 20 minutes at the end of the day in a rush, which is a scene with Bill Nighy and, in fact, my son Charlie with dyed red hair. There were quite a lot of nudists on the beach and we had to try and avoid them with our cameras.

We had chosen it because there were not that many people on the beach but the ones that were there were naked and the beach was meant to be empty all the time and it was a very hot day and the cast were dressed in winter clothing, so that was a full, exciting and wonderful day.

Curtis has plans to return, saying that while on Vault Beach he and Mr Nighy had spoken about the pleasures of a walking holiday - but next time without the cameras.

In other words, we're just walking down the beach talking to each other rather than walking down a beach with 50 other people with cameras and costumes and everything like that, so I think it reminded me how lovely life can be.

Proceeds from the premiere event will be split between two local charities, Cornwall Hospice Care and the Merlin MS Centre at Hewas Water, the only multiple sclerosis centre in Cornwall.

About Time is out on general release.

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