Sunday 15 December 2019

Westminister opens for filming for first time for 'Suffragette'

Extras take part in filming of the movie Suffragette at Parliament today in London, England. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Extras take part in filming of the movie Suffragette at Parliament today in London, England. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Actor Carey Mulligan takes part in filming of the movie Suffragette in London. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Extras stream out of Parliament. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
England's Houses of Parliament. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Actors (left to right) Anne-Marie Duff, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Romola Garai in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Suffragette is due for release in 2015. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
This is the first time filming for a movie has been allowed in The Houses of Parliament. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Actors (left to right) Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter and Romola Garai keep warm during a break in filming. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Anne-Marie Duff smile during filming. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Meryl Streep will arrive later today. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Actors (left to right) Anne-Marie Duff, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Romola Garai. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A band of rioters has descended on Parliament in scenes not witnessed in Westminster for a century.

But MPs had no need take cover; the 250-strong mob are extras in a major film being shot on the estate.

They are appearing in Suffragette, which tracks the struggle for women to get the vote and stars Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Oscar-winning actress is expected to arrive later to shoot scenes at the historic venue which is being used as a movie set for the first time.

In the past no commercial filming has been allowed in the parliamentary buildings - with producers forced to assemble replicas of the historic chambers.

However, the Commons authorities have decided to carry out a pilot in a bid to raise revenue and cut running costs.

As MPs began their Easter holiday, New Palace Yard - under the shadow of Big Ben, was filled with cameras, crew and a selection of veteran cars and horses.

Some of the six-week shoot has already taken place.

Suffragette, which is scheduled for release in 2015, tells the story about women's quest for equal voting rights in the early 20th century, led by Pankhurst.

Carey Mulligan stars alongside Streep in the film as Maud, one of the early Women's Social and Political Union members, while fellow Brits Helena Bonham Carter, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw also have roles.

When Streep portrayed former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Manchester Town Hall was used to show parts of the Palace of Westminster.

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