Film extras in demand for Asterix invasion

DO you think you could pass for a Norman or a Roman from around 50BC and want to be part of a new €50 million movie starring Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve?

Well, if so, all roads lead to Ennistymon and Lisdoonvarna in north Clare over the coming days where the producers of Asterix & Obelix: God Save Britannia will be casting for 200 males to form the ranks of the disputing Roman and Norman armies.

Extras co-ordinator with the mainly French production, Ciara Lyons, said yesterday that the extras will be required for a major stand-off in the movie which will be shot amidst the Burren near the cliffs at Doolin on the north Clare coast in September.

The Burren landscape is understood to be a major factor in the movie producers choosing Co Clare as the location and filming is due to take place in Ireland in the first two weeks in September.

“We will be casting men for the parts of Norman, Roman and British soldiers, so we need all shapes and sizes. Experience with the FCA or experience in martial arts combat is definitely an advantage,” said Ms Lyons.

The movie has been filming since April 1 in Malta where the water scenes have been shot, while the studio scenes are being filmed in Hungary.

The 3D production is the fourth installment of the cult comic book series and the movie is due to be released in France in 2012.

Burren expert Dr Brendan Dunford said the choice of the Burren “is a reflection of the unique and quality local environment that we have here”.

“The Burren is a place apart on our landscape. The shooting of the film is a further acknowledgment of what a special place it is and puts the Burren on the world stage. It is a reminder too of what a special place the Burren is and the need to look after it.”

Senator Martin Conway (FG) from Ennistymon said the shooting of the movie in north Clare “will provide a major economic boost to north Clare and will showcase the Burren to foreign audiences”.

On the casting in his hometown tomorrow, Mr Conway said: “I wouldn’t be averse to going to the casting. I have film credentials after appearing as an extra in Father Ted, also shot in north Clare.”

Welcoming the decision of Asterix and Obelix to shoot in Clare and Ireland, a spokeswoman for the Irish Film Board said: “International and indigenous productions increase international investment in the Irish economy, together with increased employment and positive spin-off effects for promoting Ireland as a tourist destination.

“Film and television production enables us to showcase locations all over Ireland. The Irish film and television industry was worth €200m in the Irish economy in 2010 in terms of spend on local jobs, good and services.”

lThe open castings are to take place tomorrow in the Ennistymon Community Centre, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, from 10am to 7am with a second open casting session taking place on Monday next at the Pavilion Town Hall in Lisdoonvarna from 6pm to 10pm.

Would-be extras who are unable to attend the casting sessions can send a photograph and their details to asterixextras@gmail.com.

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