Production of Russell Crowe's film shuts down after crew member tests positive for COVID-19

FORCED TO ISOLATE: Production on Russell Crowe's new film which stars Liam Hemsworth has been forced to shut down after a crew member has tested positive to COVID-19. File image.
FORCED TO ISOLATE: Production on Russell Crowe's new film which stars Liam Hemsworth has been forced to shut down after a crew member has tested positive to COVID-19. File image.

Production on Russell Crowe's new psychological thriller has been shut down after a crew member has tested positive to COVID-19, with all cast and crew now in isolation in Sydney.

Crowe announced the suspension of the new movie Poker Face six days before the end of filming after a barista who tested positive for COVID-19 was working while unknowingly infectious.

Crowe made the announcement via a series of tweets, where he said there was a second possible positive case among the crew under investigation by NSW Health.

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He added cast and crew followed "strict" COVID measures for the entire shoot.

"We have followed strict protocols with cast and crew being tested 3 times a week for the past 11+ weeks," he said in a tweet.

"For the safety of cast and crew and the wider community, the production has been immediately paused and everyone instructed to isolate whilst the situation is looked into.

"The crew have been masked on set the whole time except for 3 individuals with medical exemptions."

Production of the film, which stars Liam Hemsworth, has been taking place in the penthouse at Crown in Sydney's Barangaroo.

FILMING IN KIAMA: A-Listers were spotted filming in Kiama during early August. Picture: Sylvia Liber

FILMING IN KIAMA: A-Listers were spotted filming in Kiama during early August. Picture: Sylvia Liber

However, earlier in the month production was taking place on the South Coast.

On August 10, film cast and crew were spotted at a carpark south of the Kiama bends, with signs and security on site alerting the general public the carpark will be closed until August 18.

Crowe exposed his latest location via Twitter on Monday, with a simple coastal image of a grassy headland - similar to the view from Pebble Cove Farm - and wrote "Shooting in Kiama. What a beautiful place".

'I told you so'

While cast and crew were believed to be following strict health measures on set, some questioned why filming was allowed during the state's battle against the Delta-variant.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward vented his frustrations about the A-list stars being able to travel freely around the South Coast region, calling it a "total mockery of the Public Health Orders".

"People can't see family and friends, funerals limited to 10, no cases in Shellharbour but still locked down but apparently 'A-listers' producing movies is essential?" he said three weeks ago on Twitter.

Standing by his comments, Ward said "I hate to say I told you so".

"I am a huge supporter of tourism and I think we need to encourage people to come to our area," he said.

"But my concerns at that time were Sydney people coming to interact with each other for the film sends the wrong message to everybody else.

"It made it look like a certain class of people could get special treatment.

"I also don't want COVID in our community and the fact that this production has had a positive case with others reinforces I was just genuinely concerned."

Crowe responded to criticism by posting that the film cast and crew were in a "bubble" that stopped them being in the community.

This story COVID-19 shuts down Russell Crowe's film first appeared on South Coast Register.