Homeland star Damian Lewis will be coming to Wiltshire this week, when filming starts on the BBC adaptation of the award-winning Wolf Hall.
The British actor, who shot to worldwide fame in the American conspiracy series will play Henry VIII in the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning novel.
Much of the filming for the series is taking place at National Trust properties across the south west, including Great Chalfield Manor near Melksham, which will substitute for Thomas Cromwell’s home, and Lacock Abbey. Trust properties will in Oxfordshire and Somerset will also be used, along with Horton Court in south Gloucestershire.
National Trust spokesman Allan King said excitement was building at Great Chalfield ahead of the crew’s arrival tomorrow.
He said: “It’s this week they are on-site. They are going to do some building of sets, and they’re going to set up some giant lights for filming.
“Great Chalfield has some marvellous interiors that are just the right period for it. Hilary Mantel has said part of her inspiration for the books came from different national Trust properties, so we’re very proud to be chosen for filming.
“It is a real opportunity to show these places in the right context. They are often meticulous examples of the Tudor period, and that’s why they are so appealing to the film crews; rather than recreating a whole set they can just use our interiors.
“There is always excitement when film companies come, it’s a huge opportunity for us.
“There are some amazing things that happen when these films are done, it’s a lot of fun for the tenants there and a chance for the volunteers to see some of it as well.”
Olivier Award-winning stage actor Mark Rylance, who famously played Pewsey builder Mickey Lay in the West End production of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, will be playing the king’s advisor Thomas Cromwell.
The filming will take place all through the summer at the various locations, with the adaptation due to air on BBC 2 next year.