Film news

Digging for Britain’s filmmakers – Lambeth cemetery appears in Sean Penn’s new action thriller

16th March 2015
GunmanatStreathamCemetary

Gravediggers at Streatham Cemetery in south London put their shovels to work for Sean Penn’s new action thriller The Gunman, opening on Friday this week (March 20th).

Lambeth Council’s cemetery management team is used to accommodating filming but this was the biggest shoot they have helped with, so far. They dug the grave for the production, dressed it with green matting and laid out planes of wood for the pall bearers. The production team brought its own headstone along.

Streatham Cemetery appears in the film’s trailer, which can be viewed at this link.

Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “A lot of planning goes in to organising a film shoot around the cemetery’s everyday business.

“Being respectful is the key requirement for us, at all times. The team managed the shoot around a real funeral happening that day, making sure the crew wouldn’t disrupt anything.”

The cemetery management team was pleased to welcome Hollywood A-listers, reporting that Sean Penn was very handsome in real life and that the crew was polite and friendly.

The funeral scene involved four actors including Sean Penn, the priest and pallbearers as well as 30 extras, all shot with a large techno crane.

The Gunman stars Sean Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who tries to reconnect with his long-time love. But first he must go on the run across Europe from London to Barcelona and Gibraltar to clear his name. It co-stars Javier Bardem and Idris Elba, and features Brit-faves Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance.

The film also features stylish shots along the River Thames in Southwark, including interiors at Butlers Wharf. A generous donation to local residents was made in gratitude for this. And keen-eyed viewers will also recognise Camden’s University and Huntley Streets.

FilmFixer manages the film service for Lambeth Council along with 12 other London boroughs. The impressive portfolio of funeral scenes across our London client-base includes Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell in Southwark’s Camberwell New Cemetery for London Boulevard.

Also, at Camberwell New Cemetery, Gangsta Granny starring Julia MacKenzie, Rob Brydon, Joanna Lumley and Miranda Hart.

And Legend, with Tom Hardy playing the Kray Twins, filmed the funeral of Reggie Kray’s wife at Kingston Cemetery.