Watch: Aisling Bea and Greatest Days director Cory Giedroyc share memories from Take That's day on set.
The music of Take That serves as the inspiration for Greatest Days so it seems only fitting that the '90s pop icons make a cameo in the film. But apparently their day on set proved more stressful than it was meant to be, star Aisling Bea tells Yahoo UK.
Greatest Days follows Rachel (played by Bea, and Lara McDonnell), an NHS nurse who wins tickets to see the reunion tour of her favourite group The Boys, stand-ins for Take That, and she decides to use it as an opportunity to reunite with her childhood friends.
Rachel, Claire (Jayde Adams), Zoe (Amaka Okafor), and Heather (Alice Lowe) became estranged after a traumatic event in their lives, and the film jumps between two timelines to explain why that is as the group of women learn to open up to each other again.
When they travel to Greece, the women have a brief encounter with the real Take That on a train where Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are busking, and actually sing one of their own songs, much to the amusement of the group (who say they're "doing their best").
Bea reflected on that scene with Yahoo UK, and shares: "It was a very long, stressful day in all honesty, I think that was 4:00 AM. We were in Greece on an old moving train, we had to getTake That in and off the train in, I think, 20 minutes, we were going back and forward.
"So if they thought that's a normal day on set, it's probably not! It was kind of one of those obstacle courses, acting and filmmaking, because it was a live moving train and we only had the train station for a certain amount of time so it was quite nuts."
"We didn't get to talk to them much, but they were very sweet and they just came in with big smiles and stuff like that," Bea adds. 'They hadn't seen each other apparently since pre-pandemic so I'm sure that was a mad old day for them, without a doubt."
Read more: Take That wish they had 'talked more' to Robbie Williams before he quit band (Cover Media, 1-min read)
Lowe added that it was "one of the most surreal moments" of her life, saying: "It's quite brief and it's quite noisy in this train, but they were amazing and so lovely.
"They were so excited about the film and really supportive of it but it was pretty strange because I'm the right age group to have grown up with Take That so just to meet to meet them... they're legends."
Okafor praised the trio for having a "really good work ethic" and being such "good, friendly people" despite the rushed circumstances, and she admits their presence on set helped change the mood.
"It definitely felt like the quality of the air on set changed, and you can really see why they've lasted so long," she says.
Adams joked about how her late sister Jenna would have reacted to her getting to meet the band, saying: "My sister, who was older than me, she loved Mark Owen, and I think if my sister were here, if she was looking down at me and she saw me, she'd be so jealous."
For the film's director Coky Giedroyc, having the band be so involved in the project was a dream come true because they made it a "joyful, ambitious" project and would constantly share their support with her.
"Literally, I used to get emails from Gary, Mark and Howard just going 'go for it' everyday. I just got one yesterday from Mark saying 'you're awesome.'
"And then towards the back end of production, when we were kind of crafting the music, they got very involved. It was really important to them that the songs move forward and become relevant to now, but retain the incredible feel of 90s."
And even Giedroyc was starstruck by meeting the trio, saying of their day on set: "I got nervous. I got really fangirly... it was hilarious, everyone went a bit giddy, and a little bit tongue-tied.
"It's really funny, Gary said, 'so what you want to do in the scene?' and I didn't know what to say so I said 'be yourself', I didn't know how to direct them. After all these years of doing my job, they floored me."
Greatest Days is out in cinemas now.
Watch the trailer for Greatest Days.