Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding were shooting a scene for the romantic comedy Last Christmas as director Paul Feig consulted with the cinematographer, and writer and actress Emma Thompson watched from the sidelines with fellow producer David Livingstone.
Missing was the man who inspired the picture that’s filming on locations from Bond Street to Brick Lane.
George Michael, who died on Christmas Day 2016, met with Thompson after Livingstone had the idea of creating a story inspired by Last Christmas, the track Michael wrote in 1984 and originally performed with fellow Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley.
‘I’d met with George Michael,’ Thompson explained on a fake snow-covered set in Bond Street. ‘He was concerned about the homeless, which is a large part of this story. We spoke a lot about life and death, and there’s a lot of that in this film as well.’
Thompson stressed that ‘this is not a George Michael-Mamma Mia movie. It’s inspired by the
She came up with the storyline, but got writer Bryony Kimmings to flesh out the drafts. Thompson then spent two years finessing it before emailing it to director Feig under the heading ‘Here’s A Script What I Wrote’.
Feig, who’d been wanting to work with Thompson, jumped at the opportunity. He also realised there was a main role in it for Emilia Clarke, whom he’d met two years previously.
And he knew the male lead would be perfect for Henry Golding, after working with him on the black comedy A Simple Favor. Golding’s red hot thanks to the phenomenal success of the film Crazy Rich Asians.