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The Scene: The Eternal City challenges 'Angels'

  • Story Highlights
  • Much of "Angels & Demons" footage shot in Rome, Italy
  • Tom Hanks said being in Eternal City gave film feeling it couldn't get on back lot
  • But star and director note challenges, including shooting scenes amid a wedding
By JD Cargill
CNN
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(CNN) -- It's been three years to the month since Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code" hit theater screens, becoming a worldwide blockbuster.

Tom Hanks says working in Rome, Italy, added to the production values of "Angels & Demons."

Tom Hanks says working in Rome, Italy, added to the production values of "Angels & Demons."

Now superstar Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard are back with another of Brown's best-sellers, "Angels & Demons."

Unlike the previous effort in which the Oscar-winning duo went on a shooting spree across several European countries, the new film takes place in just one locale, Rome.

Much of the movie was shot on soundstages and sets built in Hollywood, but the cast and crew also spent months in the Italian capital, which they say provided the film with an undeniable authenticity, not easily duplicated anywhere else. Video Watch the excitement of shooting in Rome »

Hanks and Howard sat down with CNN to talk about the challenges -- and "blessings," in Hanks' word -- of making "Angels & Demons" happen in one of the world's most densely trafficked, architecturally powerful cities.

Tom Hanks: You're shooting in a place like Rome and quite frankly, every layer of history and every passer-by, every scooter, every truck adds to the ambience of the film, the production value that you couldn't get in a million years if we were trying to fake it during the daylight hours back home.

Ron Howard: We used every device known to cinema, from the latest cutting-edge technology to certain filmic illusions that go back a hundred years, literally to the birth of the medium, to sort of low-budget street photography where you['re] just pull[ing] up in a car, getting out a van, clearing a little space and shooting a shot. And I hope that it does the thing that these kind of adventures should do, which is really transport an audience.

Hanks: Every step of the way we seem to be enjoying the blessings of how complicated it is to shoot in a place of Rome.

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We had a lady show up who was getting married at the Pantheon, and she had to get to the altar, and we had to get our shots. She showed up right between shots when we were moving the cameras.

We got her into her wedding day. We went and got our shots; she came out when she was done -- huzzahs all the way around and before the sun went down we were still able to finish up our day.

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