Didcot may have lost three of its iconic cooling towers but it has kept its appeal for A-List celebrities.

Hollywood stars Jude Law and Nicole Kidman have been spotted filming their latest movie at the town’s heritage railway centre.

Along with Colin Firth and Dominic West, they are shooting new biopic Genius, about the man who published Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald.

Mr Law, who plays American novelist Thomas Clayton Wolfe, and Ms Kidman, who plays his mistress Aline Bernstein, were seen shooting scenes at the railway centre in the rain on Friday afternoon.

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A member of staff at the centre said: “Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman were all here to film scenes for Genius but we have been told not to talk about it.

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  • Colin Firth

“We think the film will come out some time next year.”

Centre manager Roger Orchard was unavailable for comment.

It is not the first time Jude Law has filmed scenes at the centre.

He and Robert Downey Jnr spent three days there in 2010 to film scenes for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the sequel to 2009’s box office hit, Sherlock Holmes.

Residents were warned then not to be alarmed by explosions coming from the site as they recreated a munitions factory in the main engine shed.

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  •  Nicole Kidman

The following year, Keira Knightley and other actors arrived at the centre to film a new blockbuster version of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina.

For the centre’s latest Hollywood cameo, the plot line is less action-packed and more cerebral. It tells the story of one-time New York Times reporter Max Perkins, who joined publishing house Scribner, where he fought colleagues’ resistance to publish F Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise.

Perkins is played by Colin Firth in the new film, directorial debut of former actor Michael Grandage, whose last role was in TV crime series Bugs.

Hemingway is played by Dominic West and Guy Pearce plays F Scott Fitzgerald, whose novel The Great Gatsby was turned into a multi-million-dollar epic last year.

Didcot town councillor Margaret Davies said: “It is wonderful we can host these things in the town, and it is always great to get publicity for the centre. We have had a lot of stars visit, and it helps the work of the centre. It really supports their efforts.”

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  • Jude Law

She said it was “very good for the town”, but joked: “I’m not sure it puts Didcot on the map, because they’re always pretending it’s somewhere else.”

Genius is set to be released next autumn.

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