Hollywood star Nicole Kidman was held to ‘ransom’ by angry residents who demanded compensation after an Italian advert she was filming clogged up surrounding streets with camera vans.
Locals said Nicole’s arrival brought chaos to the neighbourhood of tiny streets. Producers told residents of one apartment block used as a location they were unable to leave or enter during filming.
It all proved too much for the residents of the famous Testaccio district of central Rome who refused to allow Nicole into the 1930′s tenement block.
The Oscar-winner was forced to wait in her sweltering trailer after they demanded compensation for the chaos from the producers of the Sky Italia advert.
After a series of tense meetings Sky chiefs who feared losing Nicole, 39, as she was only available for 12 hours handed over £17,000 to delighted residents in compensation.
Luigi Prosperi, spokesman for the residents said: “No-one had informed us that any of this was going to happen. The first we knew is when we woke up to find the streets clogged by dozens of vans and trucks.
“You couldn’t even walk on the pavements because they had been buried under electric cables and to cap it all we were told to limit leaving and entering the block where Nicole was filming.
“We called a meeting of residents and voted to take action until an agreement was reached. We blocked off the entrance to the apartment block and didn’t allow any of the crew in. We knew we had the upper hand as Nicole was only available for the day.
“We had nothing against Nicole she was fantastic and smiled and waved to us and even said ‘Ciao’ in Italian which was very nice of her.”
Eventually Nicole. who had flown in secretly from London to film the advert, was able to start shooting nearly six hours later than scheduled.
The advert is set in the 75-year old block which was the home of a famous Italian writer Elsa Morante. In the advert Nicole who wan an Oscar for The Hours in 2003 – plays the part of a local Italian woman and is seen shopping and chatting to neighbours who dreams of a better life.
It forms part of the advertising campaign for Sky Italia. The Testaccio area of Rome is a tough working class district to the south of the city made up of apartment blocks built by Benito Mussolini in the 1920′s and 1930′s.
A spokesman for Sky said: “We had some problems with residents in Testaccio where we were filming an advert but they were all sorted out.”