Art

The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby and Joaquin Phoenix recreate the night Napoleon was nearly assassinated

Actress Vanessa Kirby could have expected fireworks when she agreed to play Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine. But probably not quite like that.

The former Crown star filmed a dramatic scene from the highly-anticipated biopic of the French Emperor last week, recreating the moment they were both almost killed in a monarchist bombing.

In our exclusive pictures – the first to show the actress as fashion-loving Madame Bonaparte – she scowls at Joaquin Phoenix, who plays her husband, after the failed assassination attempt.

Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby as scenes from Napoleon and Josephine for Ridley Scott’s Kitbag film at Greenwich Naval College in London

The scene is based on Napoleon's assassination on December 24, 1800

The scene is based on Napoleon’s assassination on December 24, 1800

Former Crown star Vanessa Kirby filmed a dramatic scene from the highly anticipated biopic of the French Emperor last week, recreating the moment they were both almost killed in a monarchist bombing

Former Crown star Vanessa Kirby filmed a dramatic scene from the highly anticipated biopic of the French Emperor last week, recreating the moment they were both almost killed in a monarchist bombing

The Apple TV production, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, chronicles Napoleon's rise to power through the hot and cold relationship he shared with his adulterous wife

The Apple TV production, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, chronicles Napoleon’s rise to power through the hot and cold relationship he shared with his adulterous wife

The Apple TV production, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, chronicles Napoleon’s rise to power through the hot and cold relationship he shared with his adulterous wife.

The dramatic scenes, filmed in Greenwich, south-east London on Thursday, depict a key moment in Napoleon’s rise to power when his enemies attempted to kill him in Paris on Christmas Eve 1800.

As the couple were traveling to the French premiere of Joseph Haydn’s The Creation, a horse-drawn carriage loaded with gunpowder and stones exploded. But both survived and four years later Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor of France

A source on set said, “The work that has gone into this is incredible, the scenes are sensational… so much attention to detail.”

The dramatic scenes, filmed in Greenwich, south-east London on Thursday, depict a key moment in Napoleon's rise to power when his enemies attempted to kill him in Paris on Christmas Eve 1800

The dramatic scenes, filmed in Greenwich, south-east London on Thursday, depict a key moment in Napoleon’s rise to power when his enemies attempted to kill him in Paris on Christmas Eve 1800

A source on set said,

A source on set said, “The work that has gone into this is incredible, the scenes are sensational… so much attention to detail.”

According to historical records, Napoleon survived the blast thanks to a swift-acting coachman and the fact that the conspirators expected him to have a cavalry escort

According to historical records, Napoleon survived the blast thanks to a swift-acting coachman and the fact that the conspirators expected him to have a cavalry escort

Mrs Bonaparte traveled in a carriage behind her husband with her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais and Napoleon's sister Caroline Murat

She is played by Vanessa Kirby

Mrs Bonaparte traveled in a carriage behind her husband with her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais and Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat

Mrs Bonaparte traveled in a carriage behind her husband with her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais and Napoleon's sister Caroline Murat

Mrs Bonaparte traveled in a carriage behind her husband with her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais and Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat

According to historical records, Napoleon survived the blast thanks to a swift-acting coachman and the fact that the conspirators expected him to have a cavalry escort.

Mrs Bonaparte traveled in a carriage behind her husband with her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais and Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat.

The party was running late after tending to Josephine’s shawl.

The attempt apparently did not upset Napoleon, who arrived at the theater and said,

The attempt apparently did not upset Napoleon, who arrived at the theater and said, “The villains wanted to blow me up.”

The new movie, simply called Napoleon, is set to feature a slew of salacious scenes early next year

The new movie, simply called Napoleon, is set to feature a slew of salacious scenes early next year

Sir Ridley said:

Sir Ridley said: “Napoleon is a man who has always fascinated me. He came from nowhere to rule everything, but in the meantime he waged a romantic war with his adulterous wife.

The attempt apparently did not upset Napoleon, who arrived at the theater and said: “The villains wanted to blow me up.

“Bring me a book of the Oratorio.”

The new movie, simply called Napoleon, is set to feature a slew of salacious scenes early next year.

Sir Ridley said: “Napoleon is a man who has always fascinated me. He came out of nowhere to rule everything, but in the meantime he waged a romantic war with his adulterous wife.

“He conquered the world to try to win her love and when he failed, he conquered it to destroy it. And he destroyed himself in the process.”

He added:

He added: “He took over the world to try to win her love and when he failed, he took over to destroy her. And he destroyed himself in the process.

It’s the first time US actor Phoenix, 47, has worked with Sir Ridley since starring in Gladiator in 2000.

The film was previously titled Kitbag, a reference to the saying, “In every soldier’s kit bag is hidden a general’s staff,” meaning that every soldier has the makings of a leader.

Miss Kirby, 34, who played Princess Margaret in the first two series of The Crown, has been cast after Killing Eve star Jodie Comer was forced to pull out when filming was delayed due to the coronavirus.

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