Bridget Jones actress Joanna Scanlan and Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle have been spotted in South Derbyshire as they got to work filming a new feature film in the town.
Pin Cushion is the first feature film by South Derbyshire’s own Deborah Hadfield and has led to some big-name stars heading to the town to take the starring roles.
It tells the tale of a mother and daughter whose relationship is put to the ultimate test when they move from the countryside to a town. The lead mother and daughter characters are played by Joanna Scanlan, of Bridget Jones’s Baby, Fungus the Bogyman and The Thick of it, and Lily Newmark, of TV series Emerald City, who will star in her first film role.
Other stars include Bruce Jones, John Henshaw, Nadine Coyle, Isy Suttie and Chanel Cresswell.
Producer Gavin Humphries told the Mail that the crew have been working in South Derbyshire for the last two months and only Bruce Jones, better known as Coronation Street’s Les Battersby, had drawn any attention.
He said: “It is the first feature for local writer Deborah Haywood but she has made a number of short films which were shot in and around Swadlincote. I met her around seven or eight years ago at Stars of Tomorrow for up and coming writers and directors and we have been working on ideas for this project since 2012.
“All of Deborah’s previous films have been shot in Swadlincote and she had the area in mind as an inspiration when writing the scripts. There is so much to making a feature film with lots of people, time and pressure so it is good to have something familiar to work with as a starting point.
“It is a slightly magical drama about a mother and daughter who move from the countryside to a town. They have a very close relationship but have never experienced the wider world so their relationship is put under a lot of strain.
“The daughter is a teenager so she is meeting others her own age and boys so their relationship is really tested. Joanna Scanlon is the mother and she is a really amazing actress and Lily Newmark was a model and is now an aspiring actress who has been working on a series for NBC.”
Mr Humphries said that they had found the Midlands was an ideal place to shoot a film as all of the actors and crew could get to the area easily from most places across the country.
He said: “Logistically it is incredibly convenient which is perfect. Actors appreciate great writing and a really exciting script and even the smaller characters are well written. They love to find something creative as it gives them more space to rehearse and create the characters.
“Filming has been absolutely fantastic. It is something that has involved a lot of different locations, people and elements and we have had an overwhelming response. We are having a great time and everyone has been very welcoming. We have been very lucky to have the Gresley Old Hall as a base.”
The film is supported by the British Film Institute and Dignity and it is hoped to be finished by spring next year.