A historic Irish castle has become the latest setting for a Hollywood movie that stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. The stars have decamped to Cahir Castle in Tipperary, which dates back to 1142 and is one of Ireland's largest castles.
The location is appropriate as the movie is historical drama-thriller, The Last Duel, in which Damon plays protagonist Jean de Carrouges and Comer plays his wife, Marguerite. The Ridley Scott-directed shoot moved from France to Ireland earlier in the year, where filming took place in the medieval castle of Berzé-le-Châtel.
Disney postponed shooting for several months in March in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Matt Damon spent the lockdown period in the village of Dalkey with his family. Images from the now-resumed film shoot show the stars and crew wearing face masks and shields as protection from the virus.
In the movie, King Charles VI (played by Affleck) decrees that de Carrouges should challenge his squire (Driver) to a duel to settle his dispute. The setting of Cahir Castle is ideal as a backdrop with it massive walls, turrets, towers, moat and keep - it also has mullioned windows, original fireplaces and a dungeon. Originally built to protect a salmon fishery and important river crossing, the castle is largely intact and still formidable, even though the Earl of Essex shattered its walls with cannon fire in 1599.
The castle is now under state ownership and is normally open to the public, offering guided tours and audiovisual shows in multiple languages. However, it is temporarily closed to facilitate the movie shoot, the release date for which has been pushed back to October 2021, because of the pause in filming.
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