In new movie The Love Punch, Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan play a divorced couple who come up with a plan to recover money stolen from them by robbing a diamond in France. The duo go on a comical adventure, which requires them to car chase around the French capital, climb a rock face on the Cote d'Azure and kidnap some Texans.
"Emma did all the driving," explained Joel Hopkins. In one scene, Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan's characters go on a high-octane chase in a little red Citroen. "The part where the car goes down the steps... [Emma Thompson] did the last 10 steps," explained Hopkins. "She also did the bit where the car goes up on to some steps at an angle," he revealed.
"She was only supposed to go up three steps, but she went up four by accident – the car was tilting much more than it should have been."
Thomson got a taste for the action, while the former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan was gritting his teeth and holding on to the dashboard.
"She loved it," said Hopkins of Thompson's car chasing, "she got a real taste for it. She said I want to do a full on action movie now. She was very game."
The Love Punch also sees the duo head down to the Cote D'Azur in their red car, where they meet up with their old friends and accomplices played by Celia Imrie (Love & Marriage) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter).
"The day before we started shooting, I sent them all out for a lunch," explained Hopkins, "we did a reading of the script and then I sent them out for a really nice boozy lunch, to break the ice and build up that rapport.
"I was very keen for the main four to feel like a genuine old gang of friends."
However, filming got off to a false start, when Spall couldn't get into a wetsuit during a scene.
"I didn’t know Tim before the scene, so I was quite nervous with him," explained Hopkins. "His wetsuit was too small and he was taking ages to come to set and I was like 'where’s Tim we’re running out of time'. I went to his trailer and the poor chap was desperately trying to get into his wetsuit. He put on a really brave face, but we ended up having to cut the arms, under the armpits to loosen it. We were throwing talcum powder in, and he was a really good sport about it. There had been a mix up in wardrobe and we couldn’t get a bigger size in time, so he suffered and it was a very hot day as well. I sent him a large bottle of wine the next day," said Hopkins.
The Love Punch is released on April 18th 2014, see the trailer here:
Go on a luxury trip to France with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details