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London plays itself in Man Up

Date posted: 27.05.2015

Shot almost entirely on location in London, Man Up starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell is a homegrown treat. Don't miss the new romcom, in cinemas from Friday.

When Nancy (Lake) is mistaken for the blind date for Jack (Pegg) under the clock at Waterloo Station, she decides to take fate into her own hands and just go with it. 

Inspired by London, shot in London and starring London, the film follows the two leads over the course of a single night in the city; from a meeting on the South Bank to a Mexican cantina in Soho and bowling in Bloomsbury.

Inspired by London

It was a chance encounter with a stranger that gave debut screenwriter Tess Morris the inspiration for the film.

"I was standing under a clock at Waterloo Station and this guy came up to me and said, 'are you Claire?' He thought I was his blind date. I said 'no', but then he walked away and I thought, 'what if I'd said yes?' There's an idea!"

"When I wrote it I never thought we'd actually be able to shoot it here in London and at Waterloo Station and the South Bank! I didn't think it'd even get made," she adds. "So it's quite nice really!"

The real London 

Man Up isn't just set in London – it's set in a geographically accurate London, following the couple through familiar landscapes at a pace anyone could follow. Not a common occurrence in the film industry, where cities are often chopped and edited to suit the narrative.

"I'm born and bred in London and we wanted it to feel like a very real London," says Morris.

Director Ben Palmer explains how the production felt a loyalty to the city's geography while looking through locations, as they would have to map the couple's route: "[We would say,] 'But they wouldn't go there. That bar wouldn't be there. That would be in Soho and that's where it would happen.'"

"If you were going for a night out in London, you would go to Soho," Palmer adds. "We wanted to make it feel as real as possible. It should have bustle, it should have life - I'm a Londoner, and this is where I would go."

"With Shaun of the Dead, we wanted to set it on the outskirts of London, the London nobody sees," says Pegg. "This is a lovely combination of the London everyone sees, the South Bank, and a London that few people see."

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