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Pattaya Daily News

11 September 2006 :: 14:09:51 pm 32431

Kidman photo shoot held to ‘ransom‘ by angry residents

Nicole Kidman stars as an ‘ordinary Italian‘ in the advert The actress Nicole Kidman was barred from filming inside an historic Roman apartment building at the weekend by angry residents who wanted a higher fee for their cooperation.
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               The 280 families living in 41 via Vespucci in the Testaccio area claimed they had not been forewarned that the actress would be filming an advertisement in their architecturally admired palazzo or condominium

               She was held to ‘ransom‘ by angry residents who demanded compensation after an Italian advert she was filming clogged up surrounding streets with camera vans.

               Locals said Nicole‘s arrival brought chaos to the neighborhood of tiny streets. Producers told residents of one apartment block used as a location they were unable to leave or enter during filming.

               Preparations for the film were halted as residents streamed out of their apartments, descending from the building‘s eight staircases, to gather in the central courtyard and to argue with the startled film crew, led by an American director.

               It all proved too much for the residents of the famous Testaccio district of central Rome who refused to allow Nicole into the 1930‘s tenement block.

               The Oscar-winner was forced to wait in her sweltering trailer after they demanded compensation for the chaos from the producers of the Sky Italia advert.

               Luigi Prosperi, spokesman for the residents said: “No-one had informed us that any of this was going to happen. The first we knew is when we woke up to find the streets clogged by dozens of vans and trucks.

               “We had nothing against Nicole she was fantastic and smiled and waved to us and even said ‘Ciao‘ in Italian which was very nice of her.”

               After a series of tense meetings Sky chiefs who feared losing Nicole, 39, as she was only available for 12 hours handed over £17,000 to delighted residents in compensation.

               Eventually Nicole. who had flown in secretly from London to film the advert, was able to start shooting nearly six hours later than scheduled.

               The advert is set in the 75-year old block which was the home of a famous Italian writer Elsa Morante. In the advert Nicole who wan an Oscar for The Hours in 2003 – plays the part of a local Italian woman and is seen shopping and chatting to neighbors who dreams of a better life.

               It forms part of the advertising campaign for Sky Italia. The Testaccio area of Rome is a tough working class district to the south of the city made up of apartment blocks built by Benito Mussolini in the 1920‘s and 1930‘s.

               A spokesman for Sky said: “We had some problems with residents in Testaccio where we were filming an advert but they were all sorted out.”

               While Kidman remained in her trailer in the street, negotiations to placate the crowd commenced and the dispute was hastily resolved. The residents would be paid €25,000 (£17,000) for five days‘ use of their terrace, communal laundry area and courtyard – more than four times the original fee.

               Kidman was filming a series of advertisements for pay-TV Sky Italia in which she is portrayed as a housewife and a resident of the building. She was also shown sitting on steps, talking to a young Italian boy, telling him to “never stop dreaming” – the slogan for the pay-TV station.

               The actress, who recently married Australian singer Keith Urban, did not appear to be concerned about the dispute. According to onlookers, she looked “luminous” and said hello to the watching crowd in Italian.

               The 39-year-old was in Rome for only 24 hours but is due to return to the capital next month when she inaugurates the Rome Film Festival. Her new film Fur, a portrayal of the photographer Diane Arbus who committed suicide and who was known for her disturbing portraits of people on the fringes of society, will open the festival.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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