Meryl Streep & Hugh Grant take Liverpool to the Silver Screen this weekend
IT’S lights, camera, action once again for Liverpool as the city takes a starring role in yet another Hollywood blockbuster.
Florence Foster Jenkins, produced by Pathé, will hit cinemas this weekend starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. The stars headed to Liverpool in June 2015 where they filmed key scenes at Water Street, Back Castle Street and Rumford Street.
The comedy drama which has been directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen) tells the inspirational true story of the eponymous New York heiress who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer, even though some regard her as the world’s worst performer. The film celebrates the human spirit, the power of music and the passion of amateurs everywhere.
The city doubled as New York, with the production filming across Merseyside for five days with around 250 cast, crew and extras involved.
Tracey Seaward, Producer of Florence Foster Jenkins, said: “One of the biggest challenges we faced making Florence Foster Jenkins in the UK was always going to be how to find 1940s New York.
“The elegance and grandeur of Liverpool (with a little assistance from VFX) made it easy. Liverpool provided us with New York exteriors and made it possible for us to shoot the movie in the UK. Thank you Liverpool!”
Liverpool’s Film Office Manager, Lynn Saunders, said: “It’s always great news when we get it confirmed that a major film is coming to the city, but there was definitely an extra buzz around this city as news got out that Meryl Streep and Huge Grant were the star names!
“Liverpool is certainly no stranger to hosting big films and big stars and it’s not only a wonderful boost for the local economy, but it also engenders a sense of pride in the people who live here that there is a real desire for these blockbusters to be filmed in the city.
“The trailer has already whetted the appetite and even though we’ve been transformed in to New York, I think Liverpool will be easy to spot so I look forward to heading to the cinema to see the finished product.”
The film’s supporting cast members include Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) as Florence’s long suffering piano accompanist, Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) and Nina Arianda (Midnight in Paris).
The film is produced by Michael Kuhn (The Duchess) and by Tracey Seaward (Philomena, The Queen).
It is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan and Qwerty’s Malcolm Ritchie. Nicholas Martin wrote the screenplay and the creative team includes Director of Photography Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables), Production Designer Alan Macdonald (Philomena, The Queen), Costume Designer Consolata Boyle (Philomena, The Queen), Composer Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Philomena) and Editor Valerio Bonelli (Philomena).
Florence Foster Jenkins is a Pathé and BBC Films presentation with the participation of Canal + and Cine + of a Qwerty Films Production.
Filming in Liverpool in 2015 was up 20 percent compared to 2014, with 230 productions being filmed in the city which resulted in a massive 998 film days in the city. This brought in more than £11.5million to the local economy.
As well as Florence Foster Jenkins, projects included Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rocky film Creed. A Stephen Poliakoff drama Close to the Enemy and ITV’s supernatural crime drama Houdini and Doyle were also filmed in Liverpool last year, as was Sky 1’s The Five which is currently receiving critical acclaim.
To find out more about Liverpool’s Film Office visit www.liverpoolfilmoffice.tv.