'great for Kerry' | 

Olivia Colman loving life in Kerry as she goes from Queen to the Kingdom for new role

'Joyride' film crew arrived in Kerry in May to shoot sequences based on a story by critically regarded Tralee-born novelist Ailbhe Keogan

The Crown star Olivia Colman on location in Tralee last week

Ralph Riegel

It is fitting that the Kingdom's latest movie tourism boost has been delivered by none other than acting royalty.

Olivia Colman (47) - who earned plaudits for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the hit Netflix series The Crown - has sparked hopes of yet another money-spinning film tourism trail emerging in Kerry.

The Oscar-winning British actress is loving life in north Kerry as she shoots scenes for her new film, Joyride.

A film crew arrived in Kerry in late May to prepare for the shooting sequences based on a story by critically regarded Tralee-born novelist Ailbhe Keogan.

Tourism officials in Kerry are now hoping the movie - due for release in 2022/23 - proves a hit and delivers for the Kingdom what previous film productions, including Ryan's Daughter, Star Wars, Far and Away and The Field, offered.

For the shooting of Joyride, Colman will spend almost five weeks in Kerry, with sequences filmed in Tralee, Ardfert and Barrow beach.

Olivia Coleman played Queen Elizabeth in The Crown

The actress - who is reported to be staying at Ballygarry House Hotel - even took some time to do some sightseeing in the sunshine last week.

The bulk of the film crew have been staying at The Rose Hotel.

North Kerry locals are particularly proud that the film is based on a story by a local author.

Mike's Beach Cafe in Fenit - located just down the road from one of the film locations - is operated by Mike O'Neill and his daughter Iona.

Writer Ailbhe is a close friend of the O'Neill family.

"It's great for Kerry, it is great for Tralee, Fenit and Ardfert, but best of all we are so proud and delighted for Ailbhe," he said.

"She is a family friend and it is amazing for her.

"There has been a lot of excitement around the area about the film and I think everyone is really looking forward to seeing the finished product in the cinema."

Mr O'Neill added that the area was already emerging as an increasingly popular destination thanks to excellent local facilities and stunning scenery.

"Hopefully the film will build on that. After the pandemic, we will take all the positivity and good publicity we can."

Colman is filming Joyride alongside Irish stars Charlie Reid and Lochlann Ó Mearáin.

While known for her impressive performance in The Crown, it was for her portrayal of another British royal - Queen Anne in The Favourite - that Colman won her Academy Award two years ago.

She has also won multiple other awards, including Baftas and Golden Globes.

Locals joked that it was "quite right" that acting royalty was involved in the Kingdom's latest film project.

Joyride, directed by Emer Reynolds, tells the tale of a woman's discovery of her mothering instincts when confronted with adversity.

Colman's character, Joy, finds herself accidentally travelling in a stolen car with a 13-year-old boy racer and a newborn baby.

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