Sunday 4 December 2016

Fire and ice for Roman epic stars

Published 09/03/2011 | 21:57

Jamie Bell arrives for the UK premiere of The Eagle
Jamie Bell arrives for the UK premiere of The Eagle

Jamie Bell has joked that he would think twice about shooting in Scotland again after a gruelling time making his latest film.

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The 24-year-old actor faced wild rain and freezing conditions in some of the remotest parts of the Highlands for The Eagle, a historical epic set in Roman-era Britain.

Jamie - who rose to fame in 2000 as the young lead in the ballet drama Billy Elliot - admitted the movie pushed the cast and crew to their limits.

"I'll think twice about making a film in Scotland again, especially in November," he said.

"But part of having (Scotsman) Kevin Macdonald at the front of this as the director, he's a documentarian at heart I think as much as he is a great feature filmmaker, so he really wanted to put us at the frontier.

"It's about people crossing boundaries and going into unknown worlds, and to achieve that we had to go up to the most remote parts of Scotland we could find. The physical landscape of the film is very much a character in the movie."

Jamie plays Esca, a British slave accompanying a Roman soldier - US actor Channing Tatum - who is travelling to Scotland to try and restore his late father's reputation by rescuing the emblem of his lost legion.

The young English star said his dance background proved useful for the film's stunts and battle scenes.

"If you have any kind of history in physical expression or dance then you can relate that to your work," he added.

For Alabama-born Tatum, the biting cold, driving rain and demanding "Roman bootcamp" were nothing compared to the pain of having scalding water accidentally poured on his crotch during a break from filming.

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