Russell Crowe’s thriller, Poker Face, is continuing to film around Sydney, despite several parts of New South Wales being in lockdown due to Covid.
The Australian actor’s second film as director is currently being shot in Kiama, south of Sydney and Wollongong.
But with Greater Sydney, including Shellharbour, which is just a 15-minute drive away from Kiama, in lockdown, questions as to why filming has been allowed to go ahead have been raised.
Under lockdown restrictions, residents may only leave their homes for essential reasons including exercise, shopping, healthcare and work.
Poker Face is also set to be filmed at Fox Studios in Sydney.
Set in the world of high stakes poker and international finance, Crowe stars as a tech billionaire caught in a risky card game.
While the original script was set in Miami, it is believed Crowe pushed producer Arclight Films to switch the setting to Sydney where the film could showcase the city’s impressive landmarks.
Sydney is expected to remain locked down until the end of August. But Crowe joins other A-list stars, including Nicole Kidman and Natlie Portman in keeping the city a global hub of international production.
Kidman recently shot an episode of Apple TV Plus anthology series Roar, while Portman has been in Sydney since September 2020, first filming Thor: Love and Thunder and now filming HBO’s Days of Abandonment, which is being assisted by the Australian federal government to the tune of AUS$3.4m ($2.51m) from its AUS$540m ($399m) Location Incentive program.
Crowe is also set to establish a $400m film studio in northern New South Wales with four sound stages, a water tank, and post production facilities, as well as accomodation and amenities.