Wales the magic behind the movies

Wales is famous for its rich culture and its abundance of sheep, but did you know that some parts of Wales play a key part in the film industry? Wales has been a popular area of filming for many Hollywood directors because of its unique landscape, its many castles and other unique buildings. Many actors, directors, cinematographers and others in the film industry have been greatly influenced by Wales, its culture and its people such as Keira Knightley, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Miles Sanders - just to name a few.

"Half of my mum's family is Welsh. I remember when I was a kid she used to read to me, and witches and wizards in books always had a Welsh accent, so I guess I took it from that really." - Keira Knightley
Wales has been the backdrop for many famous films including 'Snow White and the Huntsman' (2012), pictured left and centre, and 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' (2010), pictured right.

Many directors choose Wales and its mountains as the location for many of their films, even though sometimes, Wales is used to portray other far-flung, exotic parts of the world such as China (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life' - 2003 - and 'The Inn of Sixth Happiness' - 1958) and Kazakhstan for the 1999 Bond movie, 'The World is Not Enough.'

Margam Park is an 850-acre country park with a unique manor house in South Wales. It is a gorgeous place top visit whether you're visiting Wales or you're a local. This non-gothic, historical place has been the filming location for US TV drama 'Da Vinci's Demons' and an advert for comparethemarket.com (more commonly known as compare the meerkat) back in the early 2010s.

Would you ever associate the Dark Knight himself - Batman - with the Brecon Beacons? it might not be an instant connection made, but in fact, the Batman movies are closely associated with the area. In the 2012 movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises', the Batcave is hidden behind the 88-foot long cascading waterfall of Hendrhyd Falls - the highest of dozens of cascades in the Western Brecon Beacons.

With British influence increasing in the world and consequently the film industry, Wales became used increasingly in movies and in television shows. People began to appreciate the beauty of nature and the scenery that the great Welsh countryside had to offer. In fact, the infamous Charlie Chaplin was believed to have performed in Swansea's Old Palace Theatre on High Street in 1897. It is believed that his family brought him to Wales. His daughter, Geraldine Chaplin told BBC News in 2004 that she believes that there is a graveyard near Swansea where many of the Chaplin's are rumoured to have been buried.

"I love it down here [...] it's beautiful." - Geraldine Chaplin

Caerphilly Castle is the second largest castle in Britain, and is a key location in many films, such as the Hollywood big cheese 'Restoration' with Robert Downey Jr. in 1995. Another key location is Tretower Court near Crickhowell which welcomed Johnny Depp in 2004, during the filming at The Libertine.

Credits:

Created with images by webstep - "hollywood sign los angeles america" • janeb13 - "charlie chaplin 1921 the kid" • christopher.johnston - "Caerphilly Castle, Wales"

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