Ireland is well represented in film although you wouldn’t always realise it. The country has often doubled or other places, both on earth and in outer space, in Hollywood films. The beautiful landscape makes Ireland the perfect location to double as a number of places and in this list we have picked five famous films that were filmed in Ireland that were also standing in for another place.
Ballymore Eustance, County Kildare
Ireland has been used to double for many countries including those right next to it. In the 2003 film King Arhur starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightly, the area around Ballymore Eustance, County Kildare doubled as the north of England and the location of Hadrian’s Wall. The film’s production designer Dan Weil told Cinema Review that as the wall feature in 50% of the movie “it had to be real.” His team built a replica that was 950 meters long and 35 feet high at the highest point.
Ballinesker Beach, County Wexford
The beach in Wexford was the location for one of cinema’s most famous and harrowing beach scenes: the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. According to Irish paper The Journal, most of the American soldiers in the scene were members of the FCA reserves many of whom had also played extras in the Mel Gibson film Braveheart. The extras were very fond of Tom Hanks who, unlike Mel Gibson, would introduce himself on set and thank them for their help.
The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
In the sixth film, Harry Potter and Dumbledore travel to a remote cave to destroy a Horcrux. While it is not specified where Harry and Dumbledore travel to in the film we know that the place they travel to is Cliffs of Moher in Country Kerry. The rock that they stand on to view the cliffs is Lemon Rock also in Country Kerry. Fans of the series can walk along the top of the cliffs.
Dublin has been featured on film and television many times although it often doubles up for London. One example is in the 2007 children’s drama Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars where it doubled as Victorian London.
The sacred islands seven miles southwest off the coast of Ireland were chosen to be the location of the final scene in Star Wars: The Forces Awakens. The islands were doubling for a mysterious planet where Luke Skywalker was in hiding. Speaking to the Huffington Post the film’s supervising location manager said that they were looking for a spot that was “completely from another time and place.” Ireland’s tourist minister hopes that the film will bring a lot of visitors to the beautiful island.