The lovely Caz at Let's Go To The Movies is hosting her first Blogathon right now, and she's come up with a brilliant idea. Everyone who takes part is going to put a film/TV/theatre orientated post about their hometown. It's going to be so interesting to read everyone's posts! I had very little knowledge about my own hometown on this subject before drafting this post, so it'll be insightful to read the others.
Jenna lives in Birmingham, and I live in a little town just outside it, although I've worked in the city centre for the last 5 years so I would say it counts! We may not have the likes of Brad Pitt roaming our streets on the weekend or the film crew for the next Transformers film closing our roads off for shooting, but we do have a few cool links.
Does the name Julie Walters ring any bells? She played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter series. Julie was born in Birmingham in 1950, and got kicked out of grammar school for bad behavior! She went on to train as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before leaving to study English and Drama at what is now known as Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2009, Julie received a star in Birmingham's walk of stars on its famous 'Golden Mile', Broad Street.
I'm not sure how many of our BBC programmes are popular across the pond (apart from Sherlock and Dr Who!) so you may not have even heard of this before, but BBC's Peaky Blinders is set and filmed in Birmingham. It's a historical drama based on a criminal gang in the late 19th century. Apparently, they got their name, Peaky Blinders, from the disturbing fact that they sewed razor blades into their flat caps to use as a weapon.
If you haven't heard of the TV Show itself, you've probably heard of its main actor, Cillian Murphy. Tom Hardy has also recently joined the cast for Season 2. Since writing this I learnt that Season 1 aired on the US version of Netflix on 30th September 2014, and Season 2 will launch later in November.
I'd just like to give a mention to the Cineworld Broad Street cinema too. It's not my local but Jenna & I have seen a few films there together. It's also been home to a few premieres, namely Tom Hardy's fairly recent film, Locke, Peaky Blinders Season 2 and if I remember correctly, Dr Seuss' The Lorax.
This looked really interesting so I thought I would do a little research myself.
The man who played R2D2, Kenny Baker was actually born in Birmingham in 1934. Kenny is one of only 2 actors who have starred in ALL six Star Wars movies (so far!).
I personally live about 10 minutes walk from Sarehole Mill which after moving to Birmingham in 1896 was a haunt for JRR Tolkien and his brother. Many of these areas including Moseley Bog were inspiration for The Shire and Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit - New Zealand pfft, they should have filmed in Hall Green, Birmingham!!
Lastly (but might be pushing it a little bit) Birmingham is in the Midlands and I found out that Superman IV, that was supposed to be set in New York was actually filmed in Milton Keynes which is also in the Midlands. Apparently, due to budget constraints after the first 3 films they didn't have the spend to film in New York. Supposedly, if you watch the film you never see the top of the buildings because Milton Keynes doesn't have skyscrapers. The UN building that is used in the film is actually Milton Keynes train station.
I hope this is somewhat interesting to read, but it's certainly been interesting to research my own local area in terms of the film and TV business! Thanks again for hosting this blogathon Caz, we've loved taking part.