Director Mike Newell wished he could have filmed new movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Guernsey itself but the budget didn't allow for it.
The Four Weddings and a Funeral filmmaker's historical drama, an adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows' best-selling book of the same name, is set on the English Channel island and follows London-based writer Juliet, played by Lily James, as she visits members of the society who are still reeling from the aftermath of World War II, when the island was occupied by Nazis.
Newell would have liked to have filmed the movie on Guernsey itself, but it no longer has the post-war look the film needed and they didn't have the budget to recreate it there, so they opted for Cornwall and Devon in England instead.
"We filmed it in Cornwall and Devon, which was as close as we could get," he told WENN/ Cover Media at the film's London premiere on Monday (09Apr18). "The reason we couldn't was because Guernsey is now extraordinarily prosperous and therefore every house that you look at, every street that you look at has been painted and polished and so forth, and of course, we didn't have the money to set that right. We're just a little film so sadly, I wish we could have, but we had to go elsewhere."
The BAFTA Award-winning director was drawn to the film because he felt it was a story that had never been told, and would shine a light on what the Guernsey people experienced during the war.
"I thought it was a story about homes and families and how the war wrecks them and nobody had ever understood that perhaps the Channel Islands were actually involved," he explained. "Do people actually know where the Channel Islands even are? Now they will, with a bit of luck. The big motivator was the untold story."
The film, also starring Glen Powell, Matthew Goode, Michiel Huisman and Jessica Brown Findlay, hits cinemas from 19 April.