Ed Holt
Phone: (01) 811 40-0
Wed, 05.02.2003
pte20030205017 Culture/Lifestyle, Media/Communications
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Nicole Kidman films in Romania
Romantic Adventures with American civil war epic "Cold Mountain"

Brasov, Romania (pte017/05.02.2003/10:19) - Rumours of anything more than a close friendship between Jude Law and Nicole Kidman may not be true, but the pair's time together filming the American civil war epic Cold Mountain in the romantic heights of Romania's Brasov mountains was turbulent.

Recreating the Virginia heartland that is the setting for the story brought not just director Anthony Minghella's film-making dreams to fruition but also brought the Australian actress and British heartthrob together on screen for the first time.

The entire cast and crew formed a close bond that overcame a number of mishaps and near tragedies including a lawsuit threat over the use of land for the film. During casting for extras for the film one teenager was crushed as three thousand people turned up for the promised 30 pounds a day - a fortune by local standards where the average monthly wage is less than 90 pounds.

Then just days later another teenager working on the set was impaled on a metal spike after falling from a height of ten feet. He was rushed to hospital where life-saving surgery was carried out. Luckily for the cast and crew both youngsters survived.

Meanwhile producers of the film were faced with demands from angry local farmers who were furious over the treatment of their land. Farmers had been paid for the use of their land during filming, but the fences erected to keep people out and the heavy machinery used to build the set and create the atmosphere for the film, "ruined the land for ever", the farmers said.

Local mayors claimed no one had been told and demanded adequate compensation for the allegedly destroyed land. The producers said little on the matter and it is still unclear if anyone received any extra money over the affair.

Normal village life was also disrupted during filming after locals in the small village of Potigrafu, where most of the filming took place, were banned from drinking in public for fear that Kidman would be frightened off filming. Neither star escaped controversy. In July last year Law was mistaken for a car-thief by a leading politician as he loaded his car after arriving at Otopeni airport.

Senator Dinu Patriciu said: "I was convinced he was a crook as he was dressed just like a real thief and I recognized the car - it was my brother's." When police arrived he learned his brother had recently sold the car to a rental company. Kidman was also attacked in local media after she refused to talk to press throughout filming. Much of the set was fenced off for miles as Kidman grew more exasperated by media attention.

She was also attacked in local press after the Romanian premiere of Hollywood blockbuster 'Road to Perdition' was re-arranged without warning -denying journalists who had travelled from all over the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview the star. The decision was described in the media as "arrogant" and "rude".

But throughout the trials they faced the cast and crew grew close, reports in local media said. Although Law, Kidman and the film's other big stars like veteran Donald Sutherland and 'Chicago' star Renee Zellwegger all stayed in separate villas, they were often seen together after filming, sharing jokes and even dinners together.

Kidman and co-star Zellwegger also cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for the cast and crew. Kidman said: "We are making sure we have everything we need over here - most importantly a frozen turkey. Renee is making the pies and I am stuffing the turkey."

Filming ended with a huge party thrown by Kidman herself for the 300 cast and crew at a cost of 16,000 pounds and at which pop group The White Stripes were flown in especially for the evening. But ever the perfectionist, Kidman thought she looked "tired" at the party and instructed her bodyguards to confiscate all cameras. Police armed with Kalashnikov rifles had also been drafted in to keep paparazzi at bay.

More about the movie "Cold Mountain":

Submitter: pressetext.europe
Contact: Ed Holt
Phone: (01) 811 40-0