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Village life just perfect for movie brothers, This is Gwent, April 24, 2006

 Village life just perfect for movie brothers

by Hannah Mlatem, This is Gwent, April 24, 2006

Film star Damian Lewis took a break from shooting his latest movie to speak to reporter Hannah Mlatem about brotherly love and his Welsh roots

THE tiny Monmouthshire village of Grosmont is hardly used to the glare of publicity.

But it was thrust under the spotlight when a touch of Hollywood glamour turned up in the hamlet, which consists of little more than a pub, church, a castle, and a handful of houses.

Actor Damian Lewis – star of Band of Brothers and Dreamcatcher – is currently there filming his latest movie, The Baker, which is directed by his brother, Gareth.

He, Michael Gambon, Brian Hibbard and Kate Ashfield are among the stars, while Grosmont itself has been in costume, too.

The Angel Hotel has been painted yellow and renamed The Daffodil for the film, while Gentle Jane, a house owned by Royal Gwent Hospital consultant Witek Mintowt-Czyz and his wife, Linda, is now cream, blue and red, and features as a tearoom and a bakery. Some of the villagers are also taking the parts of extras.

And Damian admitted he was enjoying life in the sleepy village.

“I am loving it,” he said. “The people have been fantastic and that’s part of the reason why we wanted to come here, because of how beautiful and perfect it is.

“We needed a castle, shops, a small pub, and when we came to view the site two years ago, we knew this was the one.”

The actor said he was not missing the bustle of London.

“It is great to get out of the big city and I will miss it here when we leave. But I have a home near the Brecon Beacons to come and visit when I want.

“My father is Welsh, and although my brother and I were brought up in London, we love it here.”

Brother Gareth wrote The Baker, and this is the first feature-length film he has directed.

He said: “It has been fantastic, I love coming to Wales and have done regularly since I was born.

“I am really enjoying filming in Grosmont, everyone in the village has bent over backwards to help us.”

The director said he was pleased with the progress of the film and was enjoying working with his brother.

“It is just like being kids again, doing what we have loved all our lives,” he said, before adding: “But it has been hard work, filming and concentrating day in, day out. It keeps us busy.”

Gareth said Grosmont was the perfect site for where he wanted the film to be based.

“We could have cheated and done it somewhere else, but Wales is beautiful and the valley is perfect.”

The Baker is a comedy about Milo, a hitman played by Damian, who is mistaken for a baker while hiding out in a Welsh village.