A blockbuster film about punk stars and teenage lovers starring Nicole Kidman premiered at Cannes film festival at the weekend – and it was shot and set in Croydon.
The actress, best known for her lead role in musical Moulin Rouge, plays a punk idol from the 1970s in sci-fi rom-com How To Talk To Girls At Parties. She stars alongside Elle Fanning (Super 8) Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) and Matt Lucas (Little Britain, Doctor Who), among other famous faces.
The film is based on the short story by former Whitgift School student and author Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of a teenage boy who gets more than he bargains for when he crashes a party hosted by punk queen Boadicea (Kidman). Party-crasher Enn, played by Alex Sharp, gets chatting to gorgeous foreign exchange student Zan (Elle Fanning) – but doesn’t realise she is an alien before falling for her. The story is set in Croydon, and several of the movie’s key scenes were shot in town. For one of the final scenes, some 80 members of the film’s cast dressed as aliens and took to College Green, next to Fairfield Halls.
FilmFixer, which manages the film office service for Croydon Council, is not giving away any more information because it wants the scene to be a surprise. Andrew Pavord, director of Filmfixer, said: “The shoot was a very welcome homecoming for the story. We were delighted to be able to support the production with some of its most challenging filming. There were quite a lot of cast and crew to manage for these important scenes. The Croydon locations proved perfect and the area was more than able to handle the logistics. We’re all thrilled that Croydon increasingly attracts A-list talent to its brilliant locations.”
This is not the first time a hollywood star has worked in Croydon – Brad Pitt shot scenes for War Machine at Addington Palace and parts of Matt Damon’s latest Jason Bourne flick was filmed in Fairfield Gardens and Fairfield Hall. The borough has also provided settings for comedy series The IT Crowd, Michael Keaton thriller The Long Walk, Ewan McGregor film Velvet Underground and BBC series Uncle. “Croydon should be proud,” added Lise Coyler, who works for FilmFixer.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties premiered yesterday (Sunday, May 21) at Cannes film festival and will be released in cinemas later this year.