The surprising Essex links to Hollywood you never knew about

But did you know Essex has a number of ties to Hollywood?

Whether its through a celebrity’s blood relative living in one of county’s cities, or through a local specialist working on a project for a big budget Hollywood epic – Essex has plenty of connections to the shining stars of tinseltown.

The list below delves into some of these connections.

Sigourney Weaver 

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Actor - Sigourney Weaver's mother is from Colchester, EssexActor – Sigourney Weaver’s mother is from Colchester, Essex (Image: PA)

America’s Sigourney Weaver is an award-winning actor. Interestingly, her mother Desiree Mary Lucy (who went by the name Elizabeth Inglis) was born in Colchester in July 1913.

So, the talented actor best known for her role as Ripley in the sci-fi horror Alien franchise, does have a connection to the UK’s oldest Roman city through a blood relative.

You may also know Sigourney through her roles in the Hollywood blockbusters Avatar and Ghostbusters. As well as her theatre work.

Nick Frost

British actor, writer and comedian, Nick Frost has been active in the Hollywood sphere for years, since first starting out in the industry in 1998. Technically Nick Frost was born in Essex. 

In March 1972, Nick was born in Dagenham, East London, which at the time was classed as part of Essex County.

Nick is best known for appearing in Director Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) alongside fellow actor Simon Pegg. 

The Little Bromley store which made items for one of the biggest films of the year

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Harlequin - Accessory maker Neil Stock made belts and buttons for the Barbie movie. Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie starred in the filmHarlequin – Accessory maker Neil Stock made belts and buttons for the Barbie movie. Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie starred in the film (Image: Neil Stock/PA)

Harlequin, a bespoke accessories business in Little Bromley, Essex, was asked to produce items for undoubtedly the biggest box office hit of the year, Barbie.

The movie itself had an A-list cast including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The film follows ‘stereotypical’ Barbie as she comes to terms with these sudden new feelings that have come over her. This results in Barbie and Ken leaving Barbie land to travel to the real world.

Harlequin’s owner Neil Stock created 24 belts and a number of buttons for the film.

This isn’t the only time the company has made items for big productions. Harlequin has created items for Downton Abbey and The Crown as well.

Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise visited Basildon for work

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Star - Tom Cruise was spotted in Basildon earlier this yearStar – Tom Cruise was spotted in Basildon earlier this year (Image: Google/Newsquest)

Tom Cruise is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in Hollywood. He was the 80’s poster boy in action drama Top Gun, the leading man in the spy flick franchise Mission Impossible, and he’s been in so many big budget productions. 

Interestingly, on January 31 of this year, was spotted climbing out of a helicopter at Burnt Mills Industrial Estate in Basildon.

Many people believe he was in Basildon to film a project. This wouldn’t be the first time as the actor has filmed scenes for Mission Impossible in Essex back in 2017.

An underwater studio in Essex has been used by many famous film franchises

The Underwater Studios, in Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, Basildon, has been used in the production for many different hollywood franchises.

The building contains a 12 metres long and nine metres wide pool. Due to the pool’s useful nature, as it can hold about 150,000 gallons of water, it has been used by many filming crews.

Harry Potter and James Bond are only two of the hugely popular film franchises that have filmed at The Underwater Studios. 

Harry Styles

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Celebrity - Actor and musician Harry Styles visited a pub in Epping recentlyCelebrity – Actor and musician Harry Styles visited a pub in Epping recently (Image: PA)

Globally recognised singer-songwriter and now Hollywood actor, Harry Styles, was spotted in Essex only a few weeks ago.

The creative was seen visiting the Theydon Oak pub, in Coopersale Street, Epping, on Thursday September 21.

Harry is most well known as an ex-member of the successful boy band, One Direction. However, he is also now a critically acclaimed solo artist and actor.

When it comes to his acting work, he is best known for his role in Christoper Nolan’s 2017 war film, Dunkirk. He’s also joined the marvel cinematic universe as the character Eros, appearing alongside Florence Pugh in the 2022 thriller, Don’t Worry Darling.

Nathalie Emanuel

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Smiling - Nathalie Emmanuel is from Southend, EssexSmiling – Nathalie Emmanuel is from Southend, Essex (Image: Newsquest)

Nathalie Emanuel is a popular British actor who was born in Essex.

The actor was born in Southend, on March 2 1989. 

Since having started her acting career in 2006, the talented individual has gone on to appear in HBO’s successful fantasy series Game Of Thrones as the character Missandei. 

Nathalie has also appeared in many different Hollywood franchises including The Maze Runner and the Fast & Furious films.