Author Ken Follett takes you behind the scenes on the set of the movie adaptation of The Pillars of the Earth. Filming on location in Hungary, the movie will air as a limited series on television in 2010. Follett gives you a peek into what it takes to turn his beloved book into a miniseries, as well as what it's like for him to see his characters come alive!
It's a tense moment when the author arrives on the set. The cast and crew are afraid he will be picky and say: "That character has brown eyes, not green—you've ruined my masterpiece!" The author worries that the producers may have changed the story too much, perhaps transposing it from medieval England to the Wild West.

I'm happy to report that director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and screenwriter John Pielmeier are working miracles in recreating The Pillars of the Earth faithfully for television.

For 20 years, Kingsbridge has existed only in the imagination—mine, and that of millions of readers. But today it has been built, on two huge lots on the outskirts of Budapest, Hungary. Here are the dirty medieval streets, the hovels the people live in, the bakeries and smithies and wool stores—and, of course, the half-finished cathedral.

Everything is lovingly made and painstakingly detailed. I was astonished to come across a medieval loom that seemed to me to be completely authentic. People kept asking me: "Do you like it?" Of course I like it. I dreamed it, and now it's real.

Most thrilling of all is the cast of first-class actors, many of whom I have seen and admired before. Prior Philip is played by Matthew Macfadyen, whom I last saw as Prince Hal in Shakespeare's Henry IV at the Royal National Theatre in London. Philip's nemesis, the manipulative Bishop Waleran Bigod, is Ian McShane, unforgettable in Deadwood. Jack is played by a young actor everyone is talking about, Eddie Redmayne, and his great love, Aliena, is Hayley Atwell, who was so wonderful in The Duchess.

Find out what role Ken Follett is playing in The Pillars of the Earth!


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