List Film

Perfect Sense was filmed in my flat

A List writer recounts her experience of having a film crew use her flat as a set

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Perfect Sense,Perfect Sense

List writer Anna Burnside gave over her flat to the Perfect Sense crew to stand in as Ewan McGregor’s bachelor pad. She found it an unnerving experience to have movie stars romping in her bed

Director David MacKenzie almost didn’t use our flat as Ewan McGregor’s bachelor pad in Perfect Sense. The Timorous Beasties wallpaper in the bedroom was too distinctive. They considered painting it over, then repapering it. Then they discovered the pattern had been discontinued, so they couldn’t. For a while it was off.

Then it was on again. Very full on. Days of people with digital cameras and clip boards tramping around. The morning we left them to it, at 8am, a man appeared in the garden, standing on the plants, attaching picket-style fencing to the metal railings. The crew were waiting in a furniture van to dismantle our furniture, store it, and replace it with props. Yikes.

In the end they used the living room, hall, main bedroom, kitchen and exteriors of our flat. It is quite unnerving, watching film stars having sex in your bedroom, dancing in your living room, cooking in your kitchen. The other rooms have been changed so much as to be virtually unrecognisable but the kitchen looks just the same. That splendid orange Kitchenaid mixer is mine. The stuff they brought in was, mostly, cheap and nasty.

They left lots of it behind. We were discovering it for weeks. A Primark dressing gown, size XL. Twelve cartons of red grape juice, hiding in the dishwasher. (They use it as red wine.) A dozen different types of shaving cream, gel and foam. Bottles of beer, Chinese sauces and oils (McGregor plays a chef), raw prawns, strawberries and steak. Joe, then aged four, found a half-eaten sandwich and cold cup of mint tea on the shelf beside his Lego. His bedroom was used as McGregor’s changing room before his nudey scenes.

They also left rips in the wallpaper, dunts in the wall and a very flat garden. But that’s showbusiness.

Perfect Sense Trailer

Perfect Sense

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • Germany/UK/Sweden/Denmark
  • 92 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: David Mackenzie
  • Written by: Kim Fupz Aakeson
  • Cast: Eva Green, Ewan McGregor

While a terrifying plague robs humankind of its senses one by one, a chef (McGregor) and a scientist (Green) meet and fall in love, each for the first time. Scottish filmmaker Mackenzie's most accomplished film to date is either utterly depressing or gloriously exhilarating, depending on how you read it.

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