Film news

A heath man’s shack is his castle in Hampstead, opening this week

14th June 2017

Locals will get a sneak peek at the new film Hampstead this week at The Everyman – ahead of the film’s official release on the 23rd.

Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson and James Norton star in the rom-com inspired by real-life local Harry Hallowes. Take a look at the trailer here.

The real Harry Hallowes lived in a shack on the heath for 18 years before having to seek ownership through squatter’s rights, to be allowed to stay there. This he did successfully, and lived quietly in his shack on Hampstead Heath until his death last year, aged 88. Harry was though, on record as having declared no interest at all in the upcoming movie.

For the film, in which Hampstead is the real star, we see Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson dining in Villa Bianca on Perrins Court. This scene, with 45 cast and crew, was filmed in June last year.

Many scenes were filmed along Flask Walk, where friends get together in The Flask pub, Keaton catches a reflection of herself in the window of Boulter & P, and she tapes Save the Shack flyers inside shop windows along the street.

We also see her walking along Hampstead High Street outside Gail’s, along Holly Bush Passage and Church Row, and leaving Lords hardware shop on Heath Street.

The courtroom scenes were shot in Kingston’s Old Court at the former Surrey County Council building over three days in May last year.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for both Camden and Kingston Councils. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “There’s talk that this could be Hampstead’s reply to Notting Hill. It’s certainly going to put the neighbourhood on the map. Locals might have differing views on whether Harry Hallowes’ story should have been manipulated in this plot. But certainly Hampstead’s locations are rendered beautifully on screen in this film.”