It’s almost a shock to see the normal calm that’s descended again on Gaskill Street after hundreds of residents and visitors made daily pilgrimages there last week with one thing on their minds – catching a glimpse of Nicole Kidman.
Despite a block on local media access to Nicole and her co-stars, Hugo Weaving and British actor Joseph Fiennes, and efforts to keep spectators at a distance, her own friendliness, spontaneity and charm gave locals many moments they’ll probably remember forever.
I was pleasantly surprised for instance, when, after the last take of a scene in which Nicole drove a car along Gaskill Street, she stepped out of the vehicle and strolled calmly back down the street stopping to shake hands and chat with women and kids along the footpath. These warm encounters happened again and again throughout the week-long filming as the willowy wrath-like actress stopped to pose with mothers and children and other spectators.
In one memorable incident, Pip Thompson got totally fed up when security personnel tried to move her from a spot close to the film set near her antique store.
“I told them I’m staying here, I’m not budging,” she says.
“I ended up sitting within a few feet of Nicole herself, chatting with her”.
And it wasn’t just Nicole who’ll be remembered for reaching out to Canowindra — Hugo Weaving also made an impromptu visit to the pubs and clubs in Canowindra.
By Derek Maitland