Arts

Nicholas Lumley in Paddington 2 and Lady MacBeth

It was good to have the opportunity to catch up with Hungerford character actor Nicholas Lumley who has appeared in not one but two of The Week’s best films of 2017!

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 is by far the biggest film Nick has been in so far. His eight days of filming took place in January 2017.

“They realised they needed an old lag, an old timer that everyone could look after.  They had seen me in Doc Martin and picked me as a west country farmer. Maybe Cal McCrystal put in a good word for me. Cal was director of comedy on Paddington 2 (as well as playing the MP). He did his first job with me years ago at the Derby Playhouse and we reconnected on Don Quixote at RSC last year. Cal is a very talented chap and also directs the comedy of Gifford’s Circus

“I had also worked with Aaron Neil at the National Theatre in Great Britain so it was great to be on set with him again. He plays fellow convict ‘Spoon’ (sitting on my left in the scene above).

Arriving on set, the first person I would see was Lauren Barrand who was Paddington’s body double (his head was added in post-production). Lauren was in the caravan next to mine. Here is a selfie of me in my caravan after I had changed into my convict costume (the unusual colour of which Paddington of course is responsible for).

It was quite a sight to see 170 extras in the pink prisoner outfits. I didn’t have many lines but there are very nice shots of me eating marmalade sandwiches! I was in scenes with Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville and Julie Walters who are all lovely – as was the director Paul King who describes himself as ‘looking and thinking like Paddington’.

I was lucky to end up in one of the main publicity shots for the film (see bottom RH corner). It took 3 hours to set up this photo and get everyone’s position and expression right – well almost right.

The premier was very exciting too, especially as it was the first time Caroline and I have been invited to a full on West End premier in Leicester Square.

At the end we were all smuggled out the back of the cinema and put on route master busses to the Shard for the first night party which went on for hours with endless champagne. Being on 5th November we also had fabulous views of the fireworks across London.

The only disappointment of the whole experience was that no one in Hungerford saw the chauffeur driven Mercedes that picked me up at 6am every the morning! It was a luxury to be driven to the James Bond studio at Shepperton studios. I should have asked the chauffeur to take a photo.

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth is considered one of the best films of 2017.  The film was set and shot in my native County Durham, at the sumptuous home of Lord Lampton.

I actually did my one day filming in the spring of 2016. I was cast for my Geordie accent and period appearance of full whiskers. Unfortunately one of my scenes was cut so my appearance in the film is very brief and mainly from the rear.

I recommend you watch the film as although it is very low budget film it is beautifully filmed with 18th century Dutch style interiors, and tells a harrowing story about a fascinating female character played by Florence Pugh. The young director William Oldroyd was very nice to work with.

(The film will be screened at the Valley Film Society in East Garston on Tuesday 5 June and I have been asked to give a brief introduction. If you would like to book a ticket please contact Penny on pennylocke64@gmail.com)

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