JULIA Zemiro and Manu Feildel didn't actually share any scenes when The BBQ started filming, but from day one the pair shared a special connection.
Despite having an extensive acting background, the longtime host of Rockwiz and Home Delivery had never appeared in a feature film.
The same went for Feildel - having endeared himself to Australians hosting My Kitchen Rules, the locally-produced film was his first foray into acting.
The one thing the two do share though, is a childhood in France.
So on the first day of shooting, Zemiro sought out her European contemporary.
“The first day I met Manu, we didn't actually do any scenes together but I found him and in French I said ‘Are you nervous, because I am’ and he said he was too,” she said.
“So we had this little conversation where no-one could understand us, except maybe Nicholas (Hammond) if he was around, he speaks French as well.”
Once the cameras started rolling though, the pair found themselves sinking into their roles.
For Feildel, playing a chef wasn't too far from his comfort zone.
But playing antagonistic, leather-clad cook Andre Montblanc, a character he described as “a proper wanker”, was definitely a departure from the friendly face audiences have come to expect.
“I didn't like the role at the beginning, but (director) Stephen Amis promised me it would a great role because it would be so different to who I usually am,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I enjoyed the character.
“Stephen told me to go home and write down who I thought Andre was, from the day he was a kid until now, who were his parents.
“In a way, I built the character myself and it was a great exercise because as soon as I'd walk on set, I was Andre.”
Despite a series of well-received test showings, director Stephen Amis was, by his own admission, ‘a little toey’ on Sunday evening.
It was a little over a year ago that he was last on the Border, meeting with council officials and other stakeholders before shooting was to commence in Albury-Wodonga for a little over three weeks.
“We've tested the film, it's tested wonderfully,” he said.
“It's hard to believe I was across the road from the hotel we're staying in now a year ago, chatting to the council trying to get this all set up.”
A long-standing Border friendship, coupled with significant local investment led to more than half of the film being shot in Albury, Wodonga, Jindera, Mitta and around the Hume Weir.
“I've been overwhelmed with the support the cities have given us,” Amis said.
“From extra work to businesses supporting getting behind it, it's been awe-inspiring.”
More than half of the film was shot on location in Albury-Wodonga, and the cast was out in force for the world premiere at the Regent Cinema.
More than 1000 attended the first screening of the film, which will release nationally on February 22.