The Notting Hill movie was released in May 1999 and is a romantic comedy written by Richard Curtis (who also made four weddings and a funeral) starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Hugh Grant plays a typical upper middle class englishman who falls in love with Julia Roberts who plays a successful American actress.
Notting Hill Film Spots
If you are planning to take a trip to the famous Portobello Road, we suggest you visit some of the locations used for shooting the movie.
- One of the most famous locations in the movie was the blue door, which was the entrance to Richard Curtis's actual home (he was the screen writer). The door was auctioned off after the movie, making £5200. It was replaced by an anonymous black door which can be found on Westbourne Park Road on the junction with Portobello Road (as pictured right).
- The bookshop is in reality an antique shop on portobello road, located next to a butcher.
- The bench filmed in the park was given away to the city of Perth, Australia where you can find it in Queens Gardens.
- The hotel made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts during the movie is called the Hempel based in nearby Bayswater, London W2.
Notting Hill Cast and Characters
Julia Roberts plays Anna Scott: A internationally renown Hollywood film star. She meets Will when she comes into his book shop whilst shopping in Notting Hill. Julia Roberts apparently was the "one and only" choice for the role of Anna, although Roger Michell and Duncan Kenworthy were not sure if she would accept the part. She did however take the role, with her agent citing it as "the best romantic comedy she had ever read". Julia Roberts was commented that after reading the script she decided she was "going to have to do this".
Hugh Grant as William Thacker: A recently divorced owner of a small travel book shop in Notting Hill. He meets Anna Scott when she comes in to look for a book. The decision to cast Hugh Grant as Will was unanimous, as together he and Richard Curtis had a "writer/actor marriage made in heaven". Michell stated that "Hugh does Richard better than anyone else, and Richard writes Hugh better than anyone else", and that Grant is "one of the only actors who can speak Richard's lines perfectly".
Rhys Ifans as Spike: Will's Welsh "out there" flatmate, who dreams of being an succesful artist. In the film he is described by Will as "the stupidest person in the world".
Emma Chambers as Honey Thacker: Will's ditzy younger sister, she is a huge fan of Anna Scott.
Tim McInnerny as Max: Will's best friend, who Will often stays with. He and Bella host Honey's birthday party.
Gina McKee as Bella: a paraplegic lawyer. She is married to Max.
Hugh Bonneville as Bernie: A failing stockbroker and a friend of Will. He fails to realise who Anna Scott is upon first meeting her.
James Dreyfus as Martin: William's inneffective assistant at his bookshop.
Richard McCabe as Tony: A failing restaurateur, whose restaurant the group often meets at.
Dylan Moran as Rufus: A common thief who attempts to steal from Will's bookshop. Despite being caught on the security camera, he insists upon his innocence, attempting to conceal the stolen book in his trousers, then rather cheekily asks Anna if she would like to have his phone number.
The casting of Hugh Bonneville, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee, Emma Chambers and Rhys Ifans as Will's group of friends was "rather like assembling a family". Michell explained that "When you are casting a cabal of friends, you have to cast a balance of qualities, of types and of sensibilities. They were all part of the jigsaw that had to be put together all in one go, and I think we've got a very good variety of people who can realistically still live in the same world."
Alec Baldwin makes an uncredited appearance as Anna's American boyfriend. Sanjeev Bhaskar has a cameo role as one of the loud and offensive men in the restaurant Anna and Will attend. A young Mischa Barton makes a brief appearance as the child actor whom Will pretends to interview for infamous Horse & Hound magazine.