Michael Caine visits Hastings

HOLLYWOOD legend Sir Michael Caine was in Hastings this afternoon (Thursday), shooting scenes for his latest movie.

The Cockney actor was filmed on the seafront near Warrior Square and on the West Hill.

He is playing an elderly magician in a ghost film called Is Anybody There?, directed by acclaimed Irish director John Crowley.

Set in the 1980s, the film is a moving comedy drama about a boy of 10 who lives in an old people's home owned by his mother and father.

Sir Michael said: "The boy keeps making friends with the residents, but of course every time he makes a friend, they die soon after.

"So he gets a camera and a tape recorder and sets out looking for their ghosts. Then a very old magician comes in to die - me. He helps the boy find these ghosts.

"It's a wonderful script, very funny, very touching."

Co-producer Rosie Alison said filming was going well, despite miserable weather conditions.

She added: "The film is actually set in a seaside town in east Yorkshire, but we're filming it down here and in London.

"We're doing a scene with Michael and the boy walking down the beach, but unfortunately the fog is thick today so we're having to wait around to see if it will clear."

Some of the roads around Warrior Square were closed for most of yesterday, and cars parked in one section were towed away to a nearby car park by the council.

Scenes from the West Hill were due to be shot later in the afternoon, providing the fog didn't scupper things.

Jonah Coombes, location manager for Lark Hall Films, said: "The setting and magnificent sea views, together with the positive attitude of Hastings Borough Council's film office, were the clinching factors for our decision to film in the area.

"We are absolutely delighted to be spending some time here in Hastings."

Hastings has become a popular venue for filming, with programmes including Foyle's War, Blue Peter, Art Attack, the Heaven and Earth Show, The Hotel Inspector and several property programmes including Location, Location, Location being shot here.

Part of feature film My Boy Jack, featuring Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, was also filmed in Hastings.

Michael Caine recently played a magician's assistant in the Nolan brothers' acclaimed film The Prestige, which was based on a novel by Hastings author Christopher Priest.