HOLLYWOOD superstar George Clooney has spoken to The Gazette today about his visit to a north Hampshire village.
The Oscar winner was in London to promote his new film The Monuments Men, an adventure based on the story of the World War II platoon tasked with rescuing artwork stolen by the Nazis, for Hitler’s planned Fuhrer Museum.
For The Monuments Men, three core locations were selected for filming: southern and south-east England; Berlin and Babelsberg; and the Harz Mountains, the highest range in northern Germany.
As previously reported by The Gazette in May 2013, George Clooney and co filmed part of the action at Bramley camp, a military training base in the village. It was one of 146 sets and locations but can be seen early on in the film as the platoon undergoes basic training.
Clooney was joined by his co-stars including Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman for the press conference in the National Gallery.
When The Gazette queried whether the men had undergone any training whilst in Bramley, Clooney laughed and replied: “Why don’t I let John Goodman answer that!”, before miming shovelling food into his mouth.
Goodman retorted: “It involved a knife and a fork – it was that kind of basic training.”
Co-star Bill Murray then ran with the theme, indicating that the group had enjoyed themselves socially whilst in the area.
Implying that he gained weight because of their meals out, he said: “I learned a lot… How to lie down on a bed so that you can pull your pants up.”
But a notable absentee at the event was British actor Hugh Bonneville, the star of Downton Abbey, who plays one of the crack team assembled by Clooney to set out in search of some of the world’s most valuable art.
The actor plays the key role of Lord Grantham in the ITV1 costume drama, which is filmed in part on location at Highclere Castle.
Clooney’s producing partner, Grant Heslov, joked: “The reason he is not here is because we don’t get along with him.
“Seriously, he is actually working on Downton Abbey right now. We are all fans of the show and it was great to have the lord of the manor [in The Monuments Men].”
The Monuments Men goes on general release on February 14.