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The Queen's House, Greenwich, in Jaguar advert

Date posted: 01.04.2014

The striking exterior of The Queen's House looms large in the dramatic conclusion to Tom Hooper's star-studded Jaguar Commercial Rendezvous, providing the perfect location for Ben Kingsley's villain's lair.

Following Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong as they journey across London to meet Kingsley, the commercial stars some of Britain's favourite baddies, while showcasing some of the breathtaking locations on offer in the capital.

"It's actually one of the great pleasures as a director who grew up in London to be able to shoot in your own city" Oscar-winning Hooper commented after filming. "And it was quite fun to shoot in all these iconic locations". 

What makes a villain?

Brits have long been the go to actors for portraying cold and calculating villains. Hooper's Rendevous asks why, with Hiddleston, Kingsley and Strong musing over what makes a Brit baddie so believable.

While Hiddleston offers his take while flying across London in a helicopter, Strong's vehicle of choice is the new Jaguar and he zooms through the city by night, passing by some of the capital's most iconic landmarks - from the O2 and Big Ben to the Shard and Trafalgar Square, with even a London Bus getting some good screen time.

But key to the piece was the destination, and The Queens House at Greenwich provided the perfect location and was an easy decision for the exterior of Kingsley's villain's mansion.

Selecting The Queen's House

As location manager Humphrey Milles at Salt Films explains: "Tom Hooper loved the look of the building which could easily be one of the grand former royal residences along the Mall".

Of course there was the slight logistical issue of needing space to land a helicopter, but as Milles explains, selecting The Queen's House meant "we had the area to land our two helicopters in front of the building which most of the other mansions in London didn't".

The complexities of the shoot also meant the team needed space for a large unit and The Queen's House provided ample room for this.

Despite the challenges of the long shoot on location David Taylor, Events and Filming Officer at Royal Museums Greenwich explains it was worth the effort, "the result was stunning with the Queen's House looking spectacular, particularly with the cars at the closing piece". As a bonus, Milles says "we had great views from Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory overlooking the building with the whole of London in the background"

Taylor sums up the experience of the shoot saying, "We were very pleased to be involved in what was a very sophisticated and exciting piece of work, beautifully shot, capturing the zeitgeist of the city".

About The Queen's House

Commissioned by James I's wife, Anne of Denmark, The Queens House was designed by Inigo Jones in the early 17th Century. As the first completely classical building in England, it hosts;

  • A Great Hall
  • An orangery
  • Ante rooms (now used as gallery space)
  • The Tulip Stairs (the first centrally unsupported spiral stair in Britain)

The Great Hall has its original painted woodwork and a finely laid 1635 marble floor. A quiet loggia overlooks the royal park.

For filming at the Royal Museums Greenwich, please contact David Taylor, Events & Filming Officer on 020 8312 6601/6515 or events@rmg.co.uk