Ham House stars in Anna Karenina ~ from Russia to Richmond upon Thames
PUBLISHED: 22:35 24 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:55 20 February 2013
The National Trust's Ham House in London hit the big screen this September in Anna Karenina, the latest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's great novel.
Photo: Focus Features
The National Trusts Ham House inRichmond upon Thameshit the big screen this September in Anna Karenina, the latest adaptation of Leo Tolstoys great novel.
Starring Keira Knightley in the title role with Jude Law playing her husband Aleksei Karenin and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky, the film is directed by Joe Wright who worked with Knightley on Pride and Prejudice and Atonement.
In this classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and St Petersburg, Ham House, a sumptuous red-brick mansion on the southern bank of the River Thames, is transformed into Vronksys grand apartments.
Ham is close to Shepperton Studios where almost all of the film was shot, so it was a privilege to be one of the few real locations in the film, says Camilla Churchill, assistant house steward at the property.
The Long Gallery on the first floor of the house with its opulent Baroque decor, all gold-gilded wooden panelling, fine oil paintings and parquet floor meant it was picture-perfect to play the role of Vronskys grand but empty apartments in 19th century St Petersburg.
The crew spent three days setting up, including frosting the outside of our second story windows and hiding all the modern light fittings, says Camilla. Eight scenes with Keira Knightley and Aaron Johnson were filmed over two days with several set changes.
Ham is one of the top National Trust places used by the filming industry, and featured in The Young Victoria, Never Let Me Go and Disneys John Carter earlier this year.
Thanks to production companies such as Universal Pictures choosing National Trust places as locations for their feature films people can follow in the footsteps of the stars and visit the set, continues Camilla.
Its not justmovie loversthat benefit, however, as any film location fees earned at National Trust places go in their entirety to maintain that specific site.