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Wicklow Shines Again – Avoca Mines, Powerscourt Waterfall and More Featured in ‘Cocaine Bear’

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The movie Cocaine Bear is now in theatres, and has understandably created curiosity and buzz among cinema lovers. This is because it is based on a real-life incident. Yes! It really happened. The movie is inspired by the true story of a black bear that consumed a large amount of cocaine that was dropped from a drug smuggler’s airplane. While this happened in the rural areas of Georgia in the 1980s, it is Wicklow and its stunning locations where the film was mostly shot.

Wicklow is known to be a filmmaker’s favourite and has earned the name of “Hollywood of Europe” due to its popularity as a filming location. Some of the most famous movies shot in Wicklow include films like Braveheart, Excalibur or P.S. I Love You. You may also know that Disney’s Disenchanted and the Netflix Series Vikings: Valhalla was also shot in Wicklow. 

In fact, we included Wicklow and its locations in our story on how screen tourism in Ireland has really taken off.

You would have also read our story on how best to spend 24 hours or more in Wicklow, and of course our previous stories on Wicklow’s many charms.

So where was Cocaine Bear filmed in Wicklow?

Powerscourt Waterfall and Avoca Mines were chosen as locations to represent the Georgian wilderness where the real-life incident took place. Powerscourt Waterfall is Ireland’s highest waterfall, and its stunning beauty makes it a popular location for film shoots. The Avoca Mines is an abandoned copper and lead mine located in the Wicklow Mountains that provided the perfect backdrop for the movie’s gritty and rugged scenes.

The Avoca mines in Wicklow and film characters during a filming scene
Photo:  Avoca Mines during the shoot of the “Vikings” series (Photograph courtesy: visitwicklow.ie )

Clermont House at Wicklow County Campus in Rathnew was also used as a location for key indoor scenes.

Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Emer O’Gorman, said: “This successful production is just the latest example of the value of the ongoing supports offered to the film industry in the County through the work of Screen Wicklow and the actions of the County Wicklow Screen Sector Development Strategy.”

Cllr Tommy Annesley, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council added: “The versatility of our beautiful County as a film location shines through in this film.  It is shaping up to be yet another addition to the list of iconic films shot in County Wicklow and will no doubt encourage visitors to come and see the sights for themselves.”

If you are watching the movie this weekend or later in the month, would you recognise these popular and much-loved locations from Wicklow? Of if you have your own Wicklow trail that combines different filming locations of movies and tele series, do let us know.

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Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah is a media and content professional with over a decade of experience in both print as well as digital. She pursues her love of a good story and storytelling by writing features, blogs, essays and interviews.

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