Hastings is setting for new film starring Gemma Arterton

Gemma Arterton Soairse Ronan star in the film
Gemma Arterton Soairse Ronan star in the film

HEART-THROB actresses Gemma Arterton and Soairse Ronan have been helping boost Hastings’ reputation as a top filming location.

Already synonymous with Foyle’s War, the town will now be part of the latest movie by Oscar winning film-maker Neil Jordan.

A huge entourage of trailers and vans decamped in the car parks opposite St Mary-in-the-Castle.

Arteton and Ronan have been spotted across the town recently and have been filming along the seafront, East Hill and Bottle Alley in Old Town.

The £8million film called Byzantium is believed to also star Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes though there have been no sightings so far.

Earlier last week the film crew took over an old seafront building and erected a huge neon lightstrip outside reading Byzantium.

Arterton, 25, and Ronan, 17, play two young female vampires who move to a small British town.

The pair form a lethal partnership sometimes posing as sisters in a film billed as dark and mysterious.

Jordan knows a thing or two about vampires having directed Interview with a Vampire and also directed The Crying Game.

Local resident Judy Atkinson, of Barley Lane, was walking her dog when she spotted the film crew in East Hill last Thursday.

A self-confessed vampire film fanatic, Judy grabbed her camera and took a few snaps.

She said: “I knew they were in the area because they had knocked on our door and told us they were putting cones out so they could bring the film trucks up Rocklands Lane.

“I was walking the dog up there and spotted this flock of sheep they had.

“I recognised Gemma and Soairse and couldn’t believe my luck as I watched them filming a scene.

“They were walking down the hill scattering the sheep together.

“I even managed to get up real close to them afterwards and take a few snaps.

“It was great to see them here and just goes to show what a fantastic place our town is for film scenes. I can’t wait to see it.”

If you have any pictures of the film stars around town please contact our newsdesk on 01424 856760.