Hollywood comes to Bath as Les Miserables filmed at Pulteney Weir
A taste of Hollywood came to Bath at the weekend when filming for the movie version of the West End musical Les Miserables took place at Pulteney Weir.
Crews were there throughout Saturday and Sunday preparing the scene and worked through last night to capture the shots, which included a stunt man jumping into the River Avon from Grand Parade.
It is understood that the movie, which is being made by Working Title Productions and is due to be released in the UK on January 11, is already in post-production but errors with one scene meant it had to be re-filmed at short notice and Bath was chosen as a suitable location.
Jenni Wagstaffe, from Bath and North East Somerset Council’s film office, said: “We got a call from the location manager last Monday, so we had less than a week to turn this complex filming request around, but thanks to fantastic support from the council’s Highways, Parking, Property Services and Open Spaces teams it all went ahead.”
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The film has a star-studded cast, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, and is being directed by Tom Hooper, whose other work includes The King’s Speech.
The scene filmed in Bath last night is believed to be the one where Crowe’s character Inspector Javert commits suicide by jumping into the River Seine.
However it is not known whether Crowe was on location in Bath or whether it was just his stunt double.
Pat Karam, location manager for Les Miserables, thanked everyone involved for pulling together at the last minute to make sure the shoot went to plan.
He said: “Having discovered the fantastically cinematic weir at Pulteney Bridge we approached Bath Film Office at what would be considered extremely short notice to shoot this very logistically complicated scene.
“We are immensely grateful that they responded so positively and that so many other council departments put permissions together at very short notice.
“As a result everything went incredibly smoothly. Bath is a fantastic city to film in.”
Councillor Cherry Beath, the council’s cabinet member for sustainable development, added: “B&NES Council is pleased to have helped ensure that Bath was once again chosen as a key location for the film industry.
“This has been a remarkably productive year so far for drama filming in the region, and this latest film should help further boost the local tourism sector by enticing even more visitors to the site of its spectacular closing scene.”
The musical Les Miserables, based on the 1862 Victor Hugo novel, opened in the West End in 1985 and features well-known songs such as I Dreamed A Dream, On My Own, Do You Here The People Sing? and Bring Him Home.
It is the second longest running show in the West End and has won numerous awards, both for its runs in London and on Broadway.