A COUNTRY house estate was turned into a witch’s kingdom as it had a starring role in a cinematic blockbuster.
Hollywood A-listers and film crews flocked to Petworth Park in West Sussex as the estate provided the setting for Disney’s latest live action fantasy epic Maleficent.
The 800-acre park, managed by The National Trust, doubled for the rolling hills and misty moors of the kingdom and provided the setting for one of the film’s battle scenes.
The film, starring Angelina Jolie, follows the villainous witch Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and tells her side of the story as she feuds with the royal family.
Ian Pearce, events manager at Petworth Park, said: “The film crew were looking for a location and at certain times of the year Petworth has that prairie look with the long grass and wide open spaces.
“Everyone expects it to be rather glamorous but normally it just happens and you do not notice.
“This is not our first time on film; we have had quite a few movies done here.”
The filming took place over last summer.
Mr Pearce said: “I did not meet her but I know Angelina came down and she was flown in by helicopter.
“The filming took place quite a way away from the house and sometimes you did not even know they were there. They were well behaved. When we have done some films before we have had cables and leads draped about the place but this time they were very good.
“Petworth features in a long scene involving a group of people on horseback who are travelling when they are attacked – it is all very medieval with lots of clanging swords.”
He said they plan on having a private screening of the film for staff.
Currently still in cinemas, Maleficent has now grossed nearly half a billion dollars despite mixed reviews from critics.