DA Vinci Code star Paul Bettany mingled with west Wiltshire locals while shooting scenes for his latest film in Bradford on Avon on Sunday and Monday.

The Wimbeldon and Knight’s Tale actor joked about his costume, hairstyle and brown contact lenses, and shook the hand of local man, Harold Willis, of Trowbridge, who welcomed Bettany to the town as the actor was passing.

From Saturday to Monday, Church Street and Newtown were transformed for the filming of Creation, a movie about the life of Charles Darwin (played by Bettany), also starring Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly as Mrs Darwin.

Director Jon Amiel, who has worked on numerous hit films such as Entrapment and The Core, said: “The good people of Bradford have had the great foresight to really preserve the beauty of this town.

“The weather is playing the worst trick at the moment. We can deal with the sun, the rain and it being overcast but we have had all three in the last hour.”

Eager observers waited out of view of the cameras to watch the busy film crews shoot scene after scene throughout their stay.

Jeremy Thomas, the film producer, said: “Bradford has retained a very good sense of the past.

“Architecturally it is beautiful and with a little bit of dressing on the streets and by taking away the modern aspects you can quickly go back centuries.

“The film will be released towards the end of next year to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth.”

Among those watching from the sidelines was Vivien Norfolk, who lives in Church Street.

She said: “We have been watching from our windows.

“We really like it and much prefer how it looks now. It is so nice without the modern signs and no traffic.”

Local resident Moira Forsyth said: “It’s very interesting. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back to how it was then. It’s really nice to see all of the signage taken down.”

Laurie Rider, 67, of St Margaret’s Street, said: “I think the filming is very time-consuming and I am amazed at the size of the entourage.”

Barbara Perrier said: “I think it is good for the town. I live in Abbey Mill so it is all on my doorstep.”

To see more pictures of the filming in Bradford on Avon CLICK HERE