17 Dec 2020
Filmed on location in County Mayo, Irish rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme is a must watch this festive period.
Promising gorgeous Irish scenery and great performances, the new film features Hollywood actors Jamie Dornan, Emily Blunt, Oscar-winner Christopher Walkin and Jon Hamm.
Described as a lyrical romance, Wild Mountain Thyme tells the story of a pair of obstinate star-crossed lovers (Blunt and Dornan) whose rural Irish families are caught up in a feud over a hotly contested patch of land that separates their two farms.
Most of the movie was shot on Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way in and around the County Mayo village of Crossmalina and the town of Ballina, also recently in the spotlight as the ancestral home of US President-elect, Joe Biden.
The big screen comes alive with the dramatic scenery of patchwork fields and the majestic greenery of a landscape nestled under Mayo’s Nephin Mountains. Showing the countryside at its best, the film is bound to make viewers fall in love with the west of Ireland.
Wild Mountain Thyme was filmed in 2019, with a supporting cast that includes Irish actors Dearbhla Molloy, Danielle Ryan and Barry McGovern. Local people appeared as extras and County Mayo native Martina Niland was involved in the film’s production.
The story is played out with the help of some real-life Mayo locations such as the Thatch Inn and Hiney’s traditional pub in Crossmolina, with the exclusive Mount Falcon Estate, where cast and crew stayed during filming, also starring on screen.
The estate’s hotel and family lodges are more accustomed to providing luxurious accommodation, award-winning food, a spa and exquisite salmon fishing, however parts of its interior were transformed into a New York bar for some of the scenes.
The Hollywood stars were on location in Ireland's third-largest county, renowned for being one of the most picturesque parts of the island.
WATCH: Go behind the scenes of Wild Mountain Thyme
In behind-the-scenes footage - below - the US stars involved in the film have waxed lyrical about shooting a movie in the west of Ireland. Writer-director John Patrick Shanley said he “wanted to make a movie about how much I love the Irish people. I love Ireland”, while John Haam said it was a “once in a lifetime” experience to get to shoot in Ireland.
New York-born Christopher Walken, who bagged an Oscar for his role in The Deer Hunter, quipped: “My difficulty was being Irish, especially in the middle of all these Irish people. They’re the real deal. I’m from Queens.”
Encompassing a large slice of the Wild Atlantic Way’s stunning coastline, various pockets of Mayo still speak the ancient Gaelic language and there is nowhere better to experience Irish traditions and culture.
With one wow moment after another, must-see sights include Achill Island, complete with pristine beaches and soaring cliffs, and the Great Western Greenway, ideal for walking and biking in serene countryside.
Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, which overlooks Clew Bay and its 365 islands, is also in Mayo, and it will be worth exploring the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world at the Céide Fields or the Georgian town of Westport, renowned for its traditional music, excellent food and great pubs.
English actor Emily Blunt, who learned to pull a pint of Guinness at the Thatch Inn in Crossmalina, was captivated by her time in Mayo. “You just feel completely transported,” she said, “you are in this other world. It’s a fairy-tale, it’s incredibly enchanting, the whole experience”.
And Jamie Dornan, who is from Northern Ireland, added: “It’s beautiful to get a chance to shoot in Ireland. People all over Ireland – I mean I’m biased – but they’re the best people in the world.”
Wild Mountain Thyme is availble now in theatres and digitally on demand in the US.
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