Hollywood beckons for Preston restaurant staff

Filming: Steven Lau, manager of Great Times restaurant in Preston, with actors Toby Kebbell and Lewis MacDougall after the filming of A Monster Calls

Filming: Steven Lau, manager of Great Times restaurant in Preston, with actors Toby Kebbell and Lewis MacDougall after the filming of A Monster Calls

0
Have your say

Staff at a Preston restaurant have told of their excitement at swapping waiting tables for rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars.

When crews from Liam Neeson’s latest blockbuster turned up at Great Times in the city centre, managers could be forgiven for thinking they were part of a prank.

But now, workers at the Lancastria House restaurant could feature in the background of the 2016 movie A Monster Calls, after their eaterie was transformed into part of a film set.

“It was amazing”, said manager Steven Lau.

“You don’t really know what goes into making a film unless you actually see and experience the whole thing.

“They were filming just a couple of scenes, but there was just so much stuff in the background that you don’t see.”

Steven and two other members of staff were extras, and he said: “I can’t wait for the film to come out – assuming they use the clip.

“They must have filmed about 20 scenes and they will go back and choose which is appropriate.”

He said they weren’t given much notice, and said: “They were looking for a restaurant and about a month ago I got a call out of the blue seeing if someone could come down and have a look at the restaurant and scout it out.

“Someone came down and checked it out, took some pictures, then they went away and I got a call a couple of days later from a location manager who said he liked the look of the restaurant in the pictures and asked if it was all right if he came down.”

After more visits from crews and directors, the team decided on the location.

Steven said: “They said it was right for what they wanted and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I don’t know why it was picked, the location manager liked the look of the restaurant.

“This place has been here 23 years now and it’s still as it was, we’ve kept the same decor, and maybe that’s what the director was looking for.

“It was an amazing experience and probably will never happen again for us, so it was like a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I think it puts Preston on the map.”