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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 06:53 GMT
Chaplin grandchild's naked ambition
By Ben Jeffrey
BBC News, West Midlands

Kiera Chaplin
Kiera Chaplin is a US citizen but was born in Northern Ireland

Coventry's most famous woman is to get the Chaplin treatment.

Kiera Chaplin, 22, granddaughter of iconic actor Charlie, is hoping to forge a film career of her own, with the help of the title role in the first movie about Lady Godiva since the 1960s.

Shooting for Lady Godiva: Back in the Saddle - described by co-producer Dennis Timothy as "a romp in the Full Monty tradition" - is due to start in the summer, with the picture scheduled for release in 2006.

Some of the planned filming locations include Coventry's Memorial Park, the city hall and Warwick Castle.

Mr Timothy is hoping the Chaplin name can help propel the independent movie to the kind of international success enjoyed by the Full Monty.

"Kiera's a beauty and what you might call Hollywood royalty," Mr Timothy said.

Our film won't be soft porn
Dennis Timothy

He told BBC News that the team behind the film, which is partly the work of Warwick-based Koralis Pictures, had initially been in talks with US actress Pamela Anderson to play the role of Lady Godiva.

"Lady Godiva, as legend has it, was young. Pammy could've been her mother," he said.

"Kiera is far nearer to Lady Godiva as legend has it."

Mr Timothy said Chaplin - who is the chairman of the company set up by her grandfather, Limelight Films - was also free from the type of "baggage" that accompanies Anderson.

Anthony Head (centre) with Little Britain co-stars David Walliams (left) and Matt Lucas (right)
Little Britain star Anthony Head is expanding his comedy repertoire
The former Baywatch beauty's turbulent private life has achieved her some notoriety.

And anybody hoping for a titillating re-enactment of Lady Godiva's semi-mythical naked ride through the streets of Coventry is likely to be disappointed.

"Our film won't be soft porn," Mr Timothy said.

"It'll be a family movie with a family rating. There'll be nothing in the film which will offend."

The movie, which is set in the present day, sees the fictional Mayor of Coventry blackmailed into converting the city's Memorial Park into a site for a casino.

A local villain then brings in a tribe of wealthy Native Americans to develop the casino.

Cannes Film Festival

The mayor has to look after the tribe, leading to a culture clash with "hilarious consequences", according to the website for the film.

As well as Chaplin, Back in the Saddle will feature American Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Tilly, BBC Two's Dead Ringers impressionist Jon Culshaw and TV actor Anthony Head.

Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly was Oscar-nominated for Bullets Over Broadway

The English star achieved worldwide fame in US series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but is now perhaps best-known in the UK for his appearances in the comedy hit-of-the-moment, Little Britain.

And although much of the 4.4m needed to make the film has already been secured, an unusual opportunity has arisen for film lovers with some spare cash.

Mr Timothy said that anyone who can find 5,000 would be guaranteed a role as an extra in the film and be given the chance to attend the premiere to "schmooze" with the stars.

He said he hoped the picture could be launched at next year's Cannes Film Festival, but added that his ambitions for the movie were really quite straightforward.

"What we'd like is three generations of the same family to leave the cinema laughing at different parts of the same film."

Chaplin's cane sells for 47,800
14 Dec 04 |  Entertainment
Godiva girls take to streets
12 Sep 03 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Chaplin's granddaughter acts up
28 Jul 03 |  Entertainment
Chaplin knighthood blocked
21 Jul 02 |  UK News
Lady Godiva: The naked truth
24 Aug 01 |  Newsmakers

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