Beatrix Potter’s life filmed in Brentford

Tuesday 29th August 2006.Hollywood came to Brentford earlier this year to film scenes for upcoming cinema release Miss Potter.The film recounts the life of Beatrix Potter, the author of children’s classics such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Miss Tiggywinkle.Oscar winner Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor spent three days shooting scenes at Sarah Poland’s home in the historic area of The Butts, off Half Acre Road.The wide streets and spacious square in The Butts provided an attractive setting for the period drama, and the perfect location to recreate London life at the turn of the century.Sarah Poland’s family home, built in 1680, overlooks the historic square, famous for the hustings held by John Wilkes and candidates in the Middlesex elections throughout the 18th century.In the film the house is recreated as the home of Beatrix Potter’s publisher, Norman Warne (played by Ewan Mcgregor), whom she later falls in love with. The house was chosen by the film company, Isle of Man Films, on account of its family feel, outward views and extensive garden.Sarah explains: “The house has a very lived in atmosphere, which is very difficult to recreate on a film set. It was first and foremost a home, something the director, Chris Noonan, really liked.”Throughout filming Sarah and her family lived within a film set which combined their own furnishings with props such as drapes, potted plants and brass lamps. The front hall had to be completely repainted in dark colours of the time.However, Sarah had only praise for the manner in which the actors, director and crew all invaded her home. She found them all to be extremely interested in the history of the house and very down to earth.”Rene Zellweger would sit at my kitchen table between takes reading the newspaper and chatting to my daughter” she said.”They were amazed you could find a collection of houses so close to London that had escaped the lacklustre development of the 50s and 60s.”Source: