Casting call for Leeds extras to appear with Keira Knightley in major new feature film

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The cameras are ready to roll on a major new film starring two of the biggest names in showbusiness – but not before its talent-spotters pay an all-important visit to Leeds.

An open casting session for paid extras to appear alongside Keira Knightley and Matt Smith in Official Secrets is taking place in the city next week.

The session will be held at Prime Studios on Kirkstall Road from midday to 7.30pm on Thursday, March 8.

And today casting director Kate Dowd urged Leeds folk not to pass up the chance to land a part in the film.

She told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We really hope people brave the weather next week and come down to the open casting call.

“We’re looking for a range of supporting artists for a number of roles and are looking forward to seeing as many people as possible that are keen to be involved in such an important story and exciting film.”

Principal photography on Official Secrets is due to get under way later this month at a number of as-yet-undisclosed locations in Yorkshire.

The film will tell the true story of British intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun (Knightley), who leaked a classified memo detailing a US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Official Secrets is being part-financed by Leeds-based agency Screen Yorkshire, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Gavin Hood handling script and direction duties.

The production is being overseen by eOne, with chief content officer Mark Gordon saying: “Official Secrets documents an incredibly intense and suspenseful true story, pulling the curtain back on one of the most controversial international incidents in recent history.

“Combining Keira and Matt’s exceptional talent with Gavin’s unrivalled storytelling abilities, we are confident this film will leave a lasting impression with audiences around the world.”

Next week’s casting session is open to people aged over 16.

Attendees are asked to bring their passport or another form of identity such as a birth certificate.

The casting team also recommends that people visit to create a profile in advance of the event.

Official Secrets is the latest in a string of major TV and film productions to be made in Yorkshire.

Movies such as The Damned United and Dad’s Army have all been shot in the county in recent times.

TV shows made locally over the last few years include Victoria and Death Comes To Pemberley.

Going further back, classic 1960s films This Sporting Life and Billy Liar both had Yorkshire as their backdrops.