Stewart’s shoes to tread SA

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Copy of CW_Kristen Stewart1 AP Kristen Stewart is part of a line-up of famous stars in The Big Shoe. Photo: Victoria Will

 

Cape Town - Kristen Stewart is headed for Cape Town in October to shoot her new film The Big Shoe, another big-name Hollywood production that has chosen South Africa as its filming location.

Stewart’s co-stars in the romantic comedy include Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games) and British actor Jim Sturgess, who rose to fame following his role in the 2007 musical Across the Universe.

Director Steven Shainberg has been in South Africa recently to identify local actors to join the cast.

According to production company Bankside Films, The Big Shoe is a “daring and comedic romance about an unusual, creatively stifled shoe designer”.

Sturgess will play the 34-year-old heir to a family shoe-designing business, who has been blocked from making what his heart desires: high-end women’s shoes.

When his father dies, his mother hires a therapist who specialises in treating foot fetishists to woo him back to the business.

He returns home to revive and revamp the family company, together with his new muse, played by Stewart, a foot model and sex worker.

Stewart, best known for her role as Bella Swan in the phenomenally successful Twilight Saga (it has earned over $3.3 billion at the box office), has been shooting films at a rapid rate since her five Twilight films.

In 2012 she starred in Walter Salles’s adaptation of the Jack Kerouac beat-generation classic On The Road, to mixed reviews.

She followed this with the leading role as a Guantanamo Bay guard in Camp X-Ray, then starred opposite Juliette Binoche – who has been attached to The Big Shoe – in the well-received Clouds of Sils Maria.

It is set for release later this year.

Cape Town’s go-to casting director Christa Schamberger-Young posted on her website recently that she was handling local casting for The Big Shoe.

“Steven Shainberg paid us a flying visit to ‘chat’ to a selection of South African actors, then gave the go-ahead to cast about two dozen delightfully quirky character parts,” she wrote.

Local producer Anton Ernst, currently involved in the Cape Town-based Hollywood production Momentum, will co-produce.

Momentum, the directorial debut of Clint Eastwood’s long-time camera operator Stephen Campanelli, recently wrapped shooting in Atlantis.

It stars French actress Olga Kurylenko and British actor James Purefoy.

“Just over a week of shooting on Momentum left. Then all focus on The Big Shoe,” Ernst tweeted earlier this month.

Ernst also posted on his Twitter feed that Binoche had joined the cast of the movie, although she has not yet been added on Bankside’s press release.

The Big Shoe is just the latest of a slew of international productions using South Africa as a location this year.

Gavin Hood is set to film the post-apocalyptic action adventure One, starring Blood Diamond actor Djimon Hounsou.

Sean Penn, meanwhile, was spotted scouting locations in Cape Town for his forthcoming film The Last Face.

While the Mother City is still the place of choice for big international films, Schamberger-Young said Joburg was making its way out of its “soapie swamp”.

In a recent blog post, she said casting had begun there for Tremors 5, the latest film in the cult monster film series.

The film’s premise is that environmentally irresponsible gold mining in Gauteng awakes massive burrowing monsters, called graboids, that wreak havoc on local villagers and game farm owners.

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