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Life on Mars actor John Simm films drama at Stocken Prison

Rutland Stamford Mercury
30 July 2009

Life on Mars actor John Simm

Life on Mars actor John Simm

Filming at Stocken Prison

Filming at Stocken Prison

A TOUCH of movie glamour came to the area this week when cast and crew shooting a hard hitting prison drama started filming.

Actor John Simm, who starred in BBC’s Life on Mars, is appearing alongside acclaimed actress Shirley Henderson in the Michael Winterbottom-directed film called 7 Days for Channel 4.

On Monday and Tuesday the cameras were rolling at Stocken Prison, with actors and production crew joined by a large cast of extras, including prison staff, some of whom played inmates.

Thirty-nine-year old Simm, wearing movie star sunglasses, said the surroundings provided a perfect location.

“We’re staying at Barnsdale Lodge and it’s great – a real pleasure to be here,” he added.

The film is being shot over a five-year period so the characters age, and charts the relationship between Simm’s convicted drug smuggling character and his wife as he serves his sentence.

On Tuesday morning prison visiting scenes were shot as extras playing family members made their way into HMP Stocken.

The film makers said they had chosen Rutland after being impressed with the facilities, including the workshops.

Simm was filmed in a real prison cell to give a realistic feel.

Governor Steve Turner said: “It’s a good opportunity for the staff and a change from the normal routine.”

Aspiring actors Jamie Mangan, 17, of Highgrove Gardens, Stamford, and Jamie Mangan, from Southorpe, got a chance to appear as an extra. He said: “It’s a great opportunity for me and it’s nice to be a part of something like this.”

The film is not scheduled for release for another two years and the cast and crew will return to Stocken later this year for further filming.

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