Spotlight on The Pillars of the Earth
So when it came time to rebuild Kingsbridge Cathedral onscreen, a feature-length film simply wouldn't do. A sweeping tale of good, evil, violence and beauty set against the backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles, the story has been blown out into a must-see miniseries event, premiering July 23 on STARZ. At its helm are powerhouse producers Ridley and Tony Scott (CBS' The Good Wife, Robin Hood, American Gangster) and a stellar cast headed by Donald Sutherland (M*A*S*H*, Ordinary People), Rufus Sewell (CBS' Eleventh Hour, Ian McShane (HBO's Deadwood and Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood).
Meet the entire cast of characters
Under the direction of Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, hundreds of crew members set up shop in Austria and Budapest, Hungary, for a 113-day shoot of epic proportions. Between cavalries of horses, an army's worth of armor and action sequences that could give 300 a run for its money, German actress Natalia Wörner, who plays woman of the forest Ellen, can only describe filming as "intense." "Viewing the call sheet was like reading a Bible almost," she says. "So many people and animals and technicians—you name it."
The town of Kingsbridge itself also became larger than life. The set's appropriately filthy medieval streets led cast and crew alike to Shiring Castle, the bishop's palace, peasants' living quarters and, of course, a half-finished cathedral. "The size of the sets that were built really made you not have to act so much. You could look up in awe," says actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Jack. "You weren't having to imagine a huge moment."
Divine intervention and the cast of The Pillars of the Earth