When a hot air balloon carrying Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones apparently “in distress” appeared in the sky of a “sleepy village” in Newent, Gloucestershire, locals immediately worried they were about to lose two of England’s greatest living actors, the BBC has reported.
Onlooker Pat Cowgill said: “I wondered if it had run out of fuel or it had come loose from its tether.”
“Several things were running through my mind and I was concerned they might not be in control or were trying to avoid the town if they had to make an emergency landing.”
Fellow Newent resident Heather Toye added “some of the villagers were alarmed”, and it looked like “something was wrong” with the balloon, which seemed to be “in distress”.
The balloon “looked wonky” and the helicopter seemed “very close” to it, Ms Toye said.
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Luckily, the balloon was simply doing some acting – for its starring role in Redmayne and Jones’ Amazon movie, The Aeronauts.
Set in 1862, The Aeronauts tells the story of a wealthy widow and an ambitious scientist who mount an hot-air balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history.
According to producer Todd Lieberman, “We’re fortunate that Felicity and Eddie have the nerve to do these stunts themselves as it authenticates our entire approach.”
The Theory Of Everything stars reunited for the period drama.
Lieberman says authenticity is a top priority for Aeronauts. “We intend to do as much balloon filming in the sky as the weather will allow. “
Still, at least the locals were happy when they were told what was really going on. Witness Toye said that it was “very exciting” that a film scene was being shot above the “sleepy village”.
The Aeronauts is being produced by Amazon Studios and Mandeville Films and will be released in 2019.