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City has stars in its eyes

Monday, 14th April, 2014

The Palace Hotel’s bar restaurant manager Jon Hanrahan is ready to shout Hugo Weaving a drink if the former Priscilla star drops in for a nostalgic visit. The Palace Hotel’s bar restaurant manager Jon Hanrahan is ready to shout Hugo Weaving a drink if the former Priscilla star drops in for a nostalgic visit.

By Erica Visser

If Hollywood actor Hugo Weaving visits his old stomping ground, the Palace Hotel, over the coming weeks, bar restaurant manager Jon Hanrahan said he’d buy him a beer.

And if he comes wearing his drag costume from the famous hit, Priscilla Queen of the Desert?

“I’ll make him a cocktail instead,” Mr Hanrahan said.

But it appears Mr Hanrahan has already missed the boat, after reports that Weaving snuck into the Palace for a low key beverage on Saturday.

It was 20 years since Weaving was in Broken Hill filming the classic, but he arrived on the weekend ahead of co-stars Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes.

The famous trio is starring in Australian mystery thriller Strangerland, parts of which will be filmed in the bush surrounding the city.

Shooting is expected to begin today but Mr Hanrahan had hoped Weaving might be overcome with nostalgia and spend a couple of nights at the Palace, which still boasts the “Priscilla Suite”, between takes.

The hotel has had its brushes with fame in the past 20 years.

Rock band Killing Heidi shot footage for 2004 hit “Calm Down” on the Palace’s staircase. 

Famous identities who have recently dropped in for a drink include Magda Szubanksi, Martin Sacks, Mike Whitney, Steve “The Commando” Willis and Lucy Lawless (who played Xena the Warrior Princess).

So it is quite likely that more members of the cast of Strangerland will drop by, especially considering Weaving and Fiennes (known for his roles in Shakespeare In Love and Hercules) were photographed enjoying a pub lunch in the small town of Conowindra last week. 

“The whole cast would be more than welcome to drop in for a meal and a beer,” Mr Hanrahan said. “Having a major film being shot in the city is going to be great for the town and tourism.”

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