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Jackman and shooting in Ewelme Oxfordshire

FILM star Hugh Jackman was watched by a crowd of villagers as he filmed scenes for his latest movie in Ewelme.

The village church was transformed to look like one in 19th-century France during the filming of a musical version of Les Misérables last week.

Jackman, who plays Jean Valjean, was among the 200-strong cast and crew at St Mary the Virgin in Parson’s Lane. Director Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, was also spotted by watching residents.

The inside of the church was also used to film scenes. The belfry was converted into a tavern, the porch by the entrance on the south side of the church became a bishop’s lodging and the muniment room was made into a mayor’s office.

Meanwhile, the village playing field became a car park for more than 100 cars and two large trailers. Churchwarden Chips Gell only discovered that the film crew wanted to use the church three weeks ago. Priest-in-charge Jonathan Meyer was originally contacted and the two men sought the sanction of the Diocese of Oxford.

Mr Gell said: “They considered several locations and decided this one suited them best. It seemed they wanted a church that was not surrounded by housing and was genuinely old and looked quite French. The degree of authenticity was mind-blowing. I went into the church and didn’t recognise it.”

He said his wife, Sue, was particularly pleased when Jackman said hello to the crowd.

The film, which is due for release in December, also features Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.

Ewelme has previously been filmed for Eighties TV series Paradise Postponed and ITV’s detective series Midsomer Murders.