Published: 12:42, 27 February 2008
FACING the executioner’s block was the least of Anne Boleyn’s worries when she prepared for her fate.
It was the freezing weather at Dover castle. At least, this was the main concern for the cast and crew of The Other Boleyn Girl while filming climatic scenes on chilly Kent coast.
On March 7, Tudor bodice-ripper The Other Boleyn Girl starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana will be released in the UK, and will once again thrust Kent into the limelight as the stunning backdrop of much of the movie.
Key scenes of the period blockbuster, which tells the tale of King Henry VIII’s tempestuous relationships with Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary, were filmed in and around Dover Castle, Penshurst Place near Tonbridge and Knole Park in Sevenoaks in 2006.
But star Scarlett Johansson, who plays Mary Boleyn, was less than impressed with the Kentish weather. She said: "We had to shoot Anne’s beheading there with a big crane and a big crew. It was awful.
"Come three o’clock, we had to pack up because our hooped skirts were blowing up in the gales. It was great going to the bathroom!"
Miss Portman, playing Anne, added: "The crew had hard hats because the weather was so awful. We had to go (on set) in just our dresses!"
Dover actress Karol Steele, 45, plays a maid in waiting to the Boleyns’ rivals the Seymours, and said of the filming conditions at Dover: “Natalie Portman had a hot water bottle to keep her warm while Scarlett Johansson went back to her trailer.
"There was a lot of hanging around. We were asked to cry and it was easy to shed the tears because it was freezing!”
She said of the rest of the shoot: “It was great fun but very cold. One scene was shot in a garden and I wore tracksuit bottoms under my costume and trainers because the Tudor shoes were so thin.
“I’m hoping you won’t be able to see them in the film!
She added: "Kent is going to look stunning. Even in winter the places look amazing with the beautiful light."
Read the full interview with the stars of The Other Boleyn Girl in this week’s What’s On, available in all KM Group paid-for newspapers.