Penrith Press - Tuesday, 8 February 2011
IF you think you’re seeing stars next time you’re out and about in Penrith, you could be right. Actors Xavier Samuel (Twilight: Eclipse) and Olivia Newton-John are in the area filming Aussie comedy A Few Best Men.
The movie is being directed by Stephan Elliott, who was also at the helm of The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and is contributing nearly $1 million to the Penrith and Blue Mountains economy. It is currently shooting at Wentworth Falls.
One of the film’s producers, Antonia Barnard, said shooting around the Blue Mountains had been great. “The director really wanted to shoot in NSW because he’s from (there). It was originally going to be filmed in Queensland,” Ms Barnard told the Press. “He adores the mountains so he wanted to try and get a location around the Blue Mountains and we found one. All locals are being used as extras and a whole lot come from Penrith.
“With marquee rental, accommodation, drinks, location agreements, security and extras, we’re spending about $1 million locally.”
Penrith-based Nepean Regional Security has been granted the contract for all the film’s security. Managing director Gina Field said it was a coup for the company. “We’ve done security for TV shows, TV commercials and video clips before, but this is our first time doing a (whole) movie,” Ms Field said. “It’s been fantastic.
“They’re really, really lovely people; they look after us and treat us well,” Ms Field said. “The actors are really nice people - we’ve said quick hellos when they’re running past going to make-up and wardrobe, but I haven’t had a chance to have any (long talks) because they’re always running around.” Ms Field said there was almost 100 crew members staying in the area including Penrith. She said some of the cast and crew were eating and shopping in Penrith. “There is a lot of business coming into the area,” she said.
Ms Barnard said filming would continue in the area until Saturday, before production moved to Fox Studios for three weeks. Although she didn’t encourage people to try and find the set, she did say locals could still be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the stars. “They’re shooting 12-14 hours a day so they don’t get out much... but Olivia has been out and about a bit. She’s been spied at the local shops,” she said.
THE MOVIE ESSENTIALS
* TITLE: A Few Best Men
* STARS: Xavier Samuels, Olivia Newton-John, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop, Laura Brent, Tim Draxl, Steve Le Marquand, Rebel Wilson
* DIRECTOR: Stephan Elliott
* THE PLOT: Xavier Samuels stars as David, an English lad getting married to an Australian. He travels Down Under with his three best men who turn what should be the happiest day of his life into the worst. It’s described as “a hilarious culture clash between his friends and her family”. Olivia Newton-John stars as the mother-in-law.
* RELEASE: Scheduled for the end of the year