Belfast Telegraph

Miss Julie: Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain share kiss at Castle Coole in Fermanagh

By Maureen Coleman

Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain share a passionate kiss in the latest stills to be released from forthcoming film Miss Julie.

The Hollywood actors play doomed lovers whose illicit affair ends in tragedy in the Liv Ullmann directed movie.

But while the original play by Johan August Strindberg was set in late 19th century Sweden, the big screen adaptation was brought to life in the stately surroundings of Castle Coole in Co Fermanagh.

Visitors to the grand 18th century home of the Earls of Belmore will recognise some of the well-known features of Castle Coole, including the dark, underground servants' tunnel, where the star-crossed lovers embrace and the large, spacious kitchen, where much of the filming took place.

Once occupied by dozens of servants, the basement at Castle Coole was restored and opened to the public in 2008 for guided tours and art exhibitions.

Location scouts on the look-out for a majestic house in which to shoot Miss Julie were impressed with Castle Coole's authenticity and grandeur and the vast basement bustled with activity again when cast and crew of Miss Julie began shooting the film there last April.

The screenplay of Miss Julie was also written by its director Liv Ullmann, adapted from the 1888 tale of love, lust, class divisions, power shifts and sexual gamesmanship.

Set against the backdrop of Midsummer's Eve, Chastain plays a Count's daughter, Miss Julie, who tries to seduce a senior servant, played by Farrell.

The upper-class Miss Julie has authority over servant Jean – but he has power too, because he is male and uninhibited by aristocratic values. However, what starts out as a power game turns into a lust-fuelled relationship with tragic circumstances.

The plot is mainly concerned with power. At the time of its publication Miss Julie was deemed too controversial and shocking and was banned from production in many countries.

In the new stills released from the film, Chastain, dressed in a teal-coloured gown, is embraced by Farrell's character. Another shows the pair facing each other, Farrell looking frustrated, while Chastain's eyes are cast down.

Speaking to Screen Daily about her new movie, Ullman said: "These actors are sensational. You will see Colin like I've never seen him, and I've seen him really good."

Chastain, meanwhile, was so taken with Fermanagh she posted on Facebook when she got home: "Making Miss Julie was an incredible experience. It was tough to say goodbye to the beautiful people of that gorgeous country."

Belfast Telegraph


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