Behind The Scenes (3)

27th November 2016

Revisit the filming of the poker sequence from Casino Royale with rarely seen video

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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As 'Casino Royale' celebrates its 10th anniversary, MI6 looks back to the making of the film with rarely seen behind the scenes video from the production. This third installment focusses on the start of the main poker sequence.

In order to recoup his massive stock market losses, Le Chiffre organizes a poker game in Montenegro for international high rollers with a $10 million buy-in. The actors took poker lessons and rehearsed the games before filming began in order to keep the performances fresh as the hands were played and replayed over several days. Producer Michael G. Wilson, a self-described poker "addict," supervised the rehearsals himself.

"This is the most difficult thing I've ever had to shoot – ten players round a table, playing Texas Hold ‘em, all looking at their cards and each other," said director Martin Campbell. "Maintaining the tension and the continuity was a nightmare. In fact, as an exercise it would be a very good test for film students to try. Luckily, Michael is a genius at poker and very good at numbers. I couldn't have done it without him."

Casino Royale Behind The Scenes : Poker Begins

"Most of us could already play poker and, as well as rehearsing the tournament, we played poker for fun," said Mads Mikkelsen. "In fact we often ended up playing in the corridors of [Prague's] Barrandov Studios between scenes."

Playing cards on camera for three weeks apparently only whet the actors' appetite for the game. One night Mikkelsen and some of his fellow actors ventured out to a casino in Prague – where they promptly ran into Wilson.

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