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Brad Pitt movie has my chickens in a flap, says Glenarm man

By Jonny Bell

Published 24/09/2015

Filming of the Lost City of Z on location in north Antrim
Filming of the Lost City of Z on location in north Antrim
Filming of the Lost City of Z on location in north Antrim

Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt ruffled a few feathers in Northern Ireland after the filming of his latest blockbuster frightened a Glenarm man's chickens.

Production of The Lost City of Z - made by Pitt's company Plan B and starring Tinseltown A-listers Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller - has been going on across Northern Ireland for months.

It tells the story of adventurer Percival Fawcett, who ventured into the Amazon in search of the lost kingdom of El Dorado only to vanish without trace.

Parts of the film are being shot on the Antrim coast.

However, the quiet and peace of the picturesque countryside was shattered by large fires billowing smoke across the countryside as well as gunfire and explosions going off during filming.

Glenarm man Jason McKillion told the Larne Times how explosions had shaken his house and frightened his animals and made him think a war was raging.

He said: "It started last Monday with bangs, gunfire and small explosions. Then on Tuesday the bigger explosions started."

Mr McKillion told how the blasts got louder as the days progressed, sending his neighbour's horses "spare", leaving his dog shivering under a chair and all his hens missing.

"I was sitting outside and the chickens had just come back when there was another explosion, even louder than the last," he said.

"Another neighbour's cow and calf jumped the hedge and the cows were bellowing in fear. My neighbour was feeding bulls in the field when it happened. They stampeded and knocked him and the feeding trough over. It sounded like a war was going on."

Jason called on the production company to notify residents of their plans in order to prepare for any disruption.

He said: "It's great they are filming here. It's just the disruption it has caused, and we know nothing about it.

"It's totally agricultural here, totally tranquil. There's never a sound, and that makes it more disruptive as the animals aren't used to the noise and they just went hysterical.

"This is supposed to be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and tranquillity. It was madness for a week and we don't know if filming is finished yet."

An NI Screen spokeswoman said that while the organisation was not involved in the day-to-day shooting, she would contact the film's production team and LA publicist over the concerns.

Plan B Entertainment was set up by Brad Pitt and his then wife Jennifer Aniston in 2001.

The company has been behind films including 12 Years a Slave, The Departed and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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