The Kingdom of Kerry’s latest movie tourism boost has been delivered by none other than acting royalty.
Olivia Coleman (47) — who earned plaudits for her portrayal of the Queen in the hit Netflix series The Crown — has sparked hopes of yet another money-spinning film tourism trail emerging in the Republic.
The Academy Award-winning British actress is currently loving life in north Kerry as she shoots scenes for her new film Joyride.
A film crew arrived in late May to prepare for the shooting sequences based on a story by critically regarded Tralee-born novelist Ailbhe Keoghan.
Tourism officials in Kerry are now hoping the movie — due for release in 2022/23 — proves a hit and delivers for the Kingdom what previous film productions offered including Ryan’s Daughter, Star Wars, Far and Away and The Field.
For the shooting of Joyride, Coleman will spend almost five weeks in Kerry with sequences being filmed in Tralee, Ardfert and Barrow beach. The actress — who is reported to be staying at Ballygarry House Hotel — has clearly been loving life in Kerry and even took some time to do some sightseeing in the sunshine last week.
North Kerry locals are particularly proud that the film involves a story by a local author.
Mike’s Beach Cafe in Fenit — located just down the road from one of the film locations — is operated by Mike O’Neill and his daughter Iona.
In a twist of fate, writer Ailbhe is a close friend of the O’Neill family.
“It’s great for Kerry, it is great for Tralee, Fenit and Ardfert, but best of all we are so proud and delighted for Ailbhe,” he said.
“She is a family friend and it is amazing for her. There has been a lot of excitement around the area about the film and I think everyone is really looking forward to seeing the finished product in the cinema.”
Mike added that the Fenit and Ardfert area was already emerging as an increasingly popular destination thanks to excellent local facilities and stunning scenery. “Hopefully the film will build on that. After the pandemic, we will take all the positivity and good publicity we can.”