September 1 2014 Latest news:
Emma Youle, News editor
Thursday, July 10, 2014
He’s best known for his iconic performances in gangster movies such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction - but today Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel cast off his tough guy image and donned a tuxedo for a film shoot in Belsize Village.
The superstar - who rose to fame in early Martin Scorsese movies such as Mean Streets and Taxi Driver in the 1970s - was spotted by surprised locals in the rather more sedate setting of the square at the heart of the village.
He was reportedly filming a commercial for insurance company Direct Line and a large crew made their base in La Paletta cafe, to the interest of passing shoppers.
Belsize Park resident David Stark, 61, editor and publisher of the songwriters’ website Songlink, saw the camera crew as he popped to pick up his dry cleaning.
“There were a lot of people for a film shoot and there was Harvey Keitel standing outside the Village Vet,” he said. “From Mean Streets and Pulp Fiction to Belsize Village.
“It’s great to see a Hollywood legend on the not-so mean streets of NW3!
“He was all dressed up in a tuxedo and dinner jacket and looking very smart. He was just talking to the crew.
“He looked the part and there were a few people watching. I think word had got around to be honest.”
The crew of about 20 waited out the stormy weather to shoot footage during breaks in the rain before packing up for the day.
“They were filming outside La Paletta cafe and using that as their base,” said Mr Stark. “It was all very exciting really, they’re clearing up now.
“It was unexpected and I was surprised but these days you never know who pops up in these commercials.
“We’ll see it on screen probably fairly soon and find out what the scenario’s all about.”