New film brings TV’s Anna Friel to Southsea seafront

ACTION! The crew shooting on Southsea seafront yesterday
ACTION! The crew shooting on Southsea seafront yesterday
Consultant David Deacon, Tommy Ware Jr, NPS chairman Tim Wardley, pier owner Tommy Ware Snr, pier owner Bob Pettett Snr, deputy mayor David Fuller, surveyor Malcolm Belcher, NPS membership secretary Joy Surtees, John Surtees

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EAGLE-eyed celeb-spotters might have caught a glimpse of telly star Anna Friel shooting a movie on Southsea seafront.

The former Brookside actress joined Atonement’s Romola Garai and Garrow’s Law leading man Andrew Buchan in filming a new independent British film.

They were in town working at some of the city’s most recognisable locations, such as Clarence Pier and Eastney beach.

Portsmouth was chosen after the production team decided it was exactly the kind of seaside location they needed.

And to everybody’s surprise the sun shone and gave them the perfect day for capturing shots of the closed funfair’s rides in action.

Producer Oliver Roskill said they had received help from the city council and the directors of the pier.

He said: ‘We were looking for a pier and an amusement arcade.

‘I have actually never shot in Portsmouth before, but it has been great.

‘One of our managers knew some people here and we thought it would be just what we wanted.

‘Although the film’s location isn’t made too specific in the film we do make references to Southsea.

‘And the sun has shone and everyone here has been so supportive and helpful. So all I can say is – thank you Portsmouth!’

The film will be a modern family drama called Having You and is the first full-length feature for writer-director Sam Hoare and Mr Roskill’s production company, Holland Park Pictures.

‘Working with stars like this has been incredible,’ he said.

‘The part was written for Anna, so we got the script to her and she said yes. All the people working on the film really believe in it.

‘We have a wonderful crew who are all working for much less than they should normally get – and that goes for the actors as well.’

And for Clarence Pier director Jimmy Norman it was a pleasure having the crew there.

‘Especially Anna Friel,’ he said. ‘She’s rather nice.

‘We are closed anyway so it hasn’t disrupted anything. It’s good for the business and good for the town.’