Films made in the Highlands of Scotland
Because of its beautiful scenery the Highlands of Scotland has proved a popular destination for many Hollywood films. Here are some of them.
This blockbuster starring Mel Gibson was filmed not far from the Hotel in the mountains of Glencoe with the Hollywood superstar passing daily and actually staying along the road from the Hotel in a rented private house in Duror complete with flown in entourage. They constructed a special wooden and plastic "fort" in Glencoe for filming and this took months to put together.
Rumour has it that one day Mel Gibson had a bit of a hangover and turned up a bit grouchy. They had a fairly lengthy horse scene to do and Mr Gibson said he was not having any of it. So they filmed him from the middle up whilst he was actually straddled on some big guy's shoulders bobbing up and down like he was on a horse for the whole scene.
Harry Potter films
A large part of the films were filmed in a number of locations close to Glencoe. The Hogwarts express train is actually the Mallaig to Fort William steam train whic operates during the summer and is a fantastic day out. Enjoy the scenery on the way to Mallaig- a quick bite of Fish and Chips there and a wander around and then back in time for dinner at the Hotel. A fab day out. Sit on the left hand side of the Hogwarts express as you leave Fort WIlliam .
Another location for the film is in Glencoe where they erected a specially constructed Hagrids house for filming. Robbie Coltrane was in the Hotel during one of his filming trips and really is almost as scary as Hagrid. He's certainly our kids favourite character.
Many of the other kids in the films were extras from the local schools. There was a bit of a local debate over the money the kids got paid for filming. The filming took place during the day for light purposes and some of the kids payments were taken by the local authority much to their and their parents distaste.
Hollywood hero Liam Neeson starred in this film alongside Jessica Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth, Brian Cox, Eric Stoltz and Andrew Keir in this epic tale. Scenes were shot in Glen Coe, Glen Nevis and Rannoch Moor all not far from the Hotel. Rumour has it that many of the inside shots were actaully filmed in a large agricultural building in Perthshire. From one of the opening scenes where Liam Neeson scares off a rough looking crowd of cattle rusters the film makes the most of the wonderful scenery with some of the helicopter filmed scenes quite breathtaking. Well worth a rewatch. Some of the music was written and performed by a band called Capercallie from Taynuilt and Oban in Argyll. Donald Shaw and Karen Mathieson were the founder members both from Taynuilt, near Oban and their bewitching celtic music fits wonderfully well into the film.
A little anecdote about Gerard Butler the heart throb Scottish actor from Paisley...
I was at college with Gerard's big brother in Edinburgh in the late 1980's long before he was famous and a couple of years ago Gerry was across from Los Angeles with a famous girlfriend and was touring the Highlands and we were recommended as somewhere to eat by Gerry's brother. Gerry and his glamerous girlfriend duly called into the hotel in the very early evening only to be told that the restaurant was not open yet and they went on their way and ate in Oban!
Thankfully they came back the next night and ate in our restaurant....