The History of Hollywood at Hatfield House
PUBLISHED: 13:04 16 August 2009 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009
HATFIELD House has a long association with the film industry dating back to the Sixties. The stately home has been the perfect backdrop to feature films, pop videos, children s TV and even BBC1 soap EastEnders. Current resident Lord Salisbury
HATFIELD House has a long association with the film industry dating back to the Sixties.
The stately home has been the perfect backdrop to feature films, pop videos, children's TV and even BBC1 soap EastEnders.
Current resident Lord Salisbury told the Welwyn & Hatfield Times: "In recent years, Hatfield House has seen many film shoots, from major motion pictures to specialist film and TV productions.
"In that time, my family has played host to Lara Croft, Batman, Elizabeth I and the officers from Hot Fuzz.
"Each project is as different as it is challenging and we now have a wealth of experience to offer."
HATFIELD House and Elizabeth I are synonymous with each other, so any filmography of the great stately home should quite rightly begin with the movie highlighting the monarch's life.
Although Oscar-nominated Elizabeth was not filmed on the site, the sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) featuring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush was.
The Marble Hall, Grand Staircase and the Long Gallery were among the areas transformed into Sir Francis Walsingham's London house.
In Batman (1989), Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger acted out scenes on the staircase as the interior shots of Wayne Manor were filmed in the house.
The length of The Armoury was also changed into a gaming room for a party hosted by Bruce Wayne.
Batman Begins, with Christian Bale now playing the Caped Crusader, was also shot at the Old Hatfield site, with the grounds not the house being featured this time.
Hollywood A-listers are commonplace on shoots with the likes of Johnny Depp filming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2004), and Sleepy Hollow (1999), Rupert Everett and Colin Firth in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta (2005) and Dame Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love (1998).
Guy Ritchie has also been spotted in the area during filming of Sherlock Holmes, due for release at the end of this year.
Madonna's ex is directing Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock and Jude Law as Dr Watson.
Vanity Fair (2003) uses the Old Mill as a setting for the goodbye scene between characters Amelia and William Dobbin, played by Rhys Ifans.
The main battle was filmed on the Peacock Ground and the escape scene was shot on the Red Bridge.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and its sequel The Cradle of Life two years later filmed large excerpts at Hatfield House.
Brad Pitt's lady, Angelina Jolie, plays the action-heroine Lara.
The stunning exterior of the house features as the buxom star's family home throughout.
Other film credits include: The New World (2005), Orlando (1992), To Kill a King (2001), The Avengers (1998), The Libertine (2004), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984), Stage Beauty (2004), The Moonraker (1958), Willow (1988) and Hot Fuzz (2007).
TV credits include: Building Venice, Chuckle Vision, Foyle's War, EastEnders and The One Show.
Director Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks also filmed scenes from World War Two mini-series Band of Brothers within the pine forest at Hatfield House.