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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Hollywood stars head to Norfolk
Keira Knightley
Filming will take place at 18th Century Holkham Hall
Hundreds of people are being offered the chance to play extras in a movie starring Keira Knightley as Hollywood comes to Norfolk.

The Duchess is a chronicle of the life of 18th Century aristocrat Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire.

Filming will take place at 18th Century Holkham Hall, near Wells, between 28 October and 7 November.

An open casting session for extras will be held at Fakenham Methodist Church on 6 October.

Knightley, who recently starred in Atonement, will take the title role, playing opposite Ipswich-born Ralph Fiennes as her husband. Veteran British actress Charlotte Rampling is also among the cast.

Georgiana, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, was a socialite at the centre of a circle of leading political and literary figures.

Extravagant lifestyle

But she was also notorious for her extravagant lifestyle and infamous for her marital arrangements - her best friend becoming the Duke's mistress.

The film, by Pathe, is being directed by former University of East Anglia student Saul Dibb, and Jeffrey Hatcher has written the screenplay. The film is based on the bestselling book Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, by Amanda Foreman.

The film's second assistant director, Nick Shuttleworth, responsible for the crowd scenes, said: "We are looking for enthusiastic people in the area to take part.

"We will be recreating some 18th Century parties and we are looking forward to coming to Norfolk and adding some local flavour to our film."

He explained that the casting session in Fakenham on 6 October will simply involve taking photographs and measurements.

Other dramas filmed on the Holkham Estate include All the King's Men, starring David Jason, The Lost Prince and the television series Kingdom, starring Stephen Fry.

For more information about the casting for extras, people should e-mail duchessnorfolk@gmail.com.

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