English actor James Faulkner, who apparently is fine after that minor incident with dragon fire in Season 7 of the HBO mega-hit “Game of Thrones,” walked among other Londoners on Monday in a smoky pub.
However, Faulkner, also a master of dinner insults as Lord Sinderby in the fifth season of “Downton Abbey,” was not in the city by the River Thames. The scene Monday was actors enjoying a fake pint in downtown Spokane’s Hogwash Whiskey Den in the basement of the Washington Cracker Co. building.
Crews finished filming day 21 of 22 in Spokane on Monday for a movie called “All Those Small Things” written by recent Spokane transplant Andrew Hyatt that includes collaboration with Spokane-based North by Northwest Productions.
The crew of about 60 people will head to London in January for three days of shooting for scenes that can’t be staged in the Lilac City.
“We hope to have it ready to enter into Cannes” film festival in May, said Rebecca Petriello. She and Nike Imoru, who make up Rebel Kat Productions, are the financiers and executive producers of the movie. “We’d love for it to be a feature film on the big screen.”
In the recent production, which Imoru said is somewhat autobiographical for Faulkner, the lead actor plays Jonathan Robbins. A successful game show host, Robbins has lost touch with friends who were once close to him. He receives a fan letter from someone he believes to be a 6-year-old girl in the United States and travels there as he tries to sort out how he wants to be remembered.
Wyatt pitched the script to Petriello and Imoru and they decided to go forward with “All Those Small Things.”
“It’s not the only script we looked at,” Petriello said. “But it’s the one that we felt was viable. It fit that mold for Rebel Kat Productions.”
Imoru, who was born in England and came to Spokane in 2003 to work as the artistic director for Interplayers, said she liked the story because it’s funny.
“Andrew is a brilliant writer. He has a very good sense of writing for the camera,” she said. “I was struck by the fact that it was set in London. (Robbins) is a celebrity who is looking for his legacy.”
Faulkner recently worked with Hyatt and actor Jim Caviezel in the 2018 release “Paul, Apostle of Christ.”
“He never has had a leading role,” Petriello said of Faulkner. “So (Hyatt) wrote the script for James.”
In addition to the 71-year-old Robbins – Faulkner is the same age – deciding to give up a life of fame to search for something deeper, the movie also includes “a meeting of different cultures and a powerfully strong woman. Those were compelling to us, as well,” Petriello said.
Despite having to stop filming for every train passing through downtown, the executive producers – who double as casting directors – praised the flexibility of shooting in the city.
“Visually, we have some beautiful aesthetics here,” said Petriello, who has lived in Seattle since 1984. “North by Northwest offers that one-stop shopping, if you will, that expertise, that experience.”
The scenes set in America do not name Spokane directly, but the film intends to reflect a smallish town in the Pacific Northwest, they said.
Asked if they considered filming in Seattle, Imoru immediately answered: “No.”
“I can shut down Main Street here. You can’t do that in Seattle. You might as well shoot in New York City,” she said. “Films are not all made in Hollywood.”
Petriello said the old and new parts of Spokane give filmmakers flexibility.
“It’s not so small. There is a lot of different architecture. Different parts of the city look different, from the hilly woods to the Palouse,” she said. “The choice is fantastic. This is an exciting project for Spokane.”