Michael Gleason is in LA is talking on the phone with his RS location scout at Ashford Castle.
Gleason: So we've got Ashford for our January shoot?
Scout: Yeah, they're thrilled to have us...said they'd be honored to add Pierce's picture to their Celebrity Photo Wall.
Gleason: What about Stephanie's picture?
Scout: I'll talk to them about that. But get this - their PR folks have already worked up a "Remington Steele Slept Here" ad for an upcoming issue of "Ireland of the Welcomes".
Gleason: A little world-wide exposure certainly won't hurt our chances of renewal. Did I tell you about the great storyline Lynne has for the Roselli guy after the Steeles return to LA?
Scout: I still think you're making a mistake with this Roselli character, Mr. Gleason...the fans don't want to see some rat come between Laura and Remington.
Gleason: Nonsense; my wife says they'll welcome the change. Last season's shows had too much of a "Mr. and Mrs. Steele" feel about them. It'll be exciting to shake up their romance a bit!
Scout: Whatever you say, Mr. Gleason. The castle is pretty booked up for January, but the Brosnan clan is booked into the Presidential Suite and Stephanie will be staying in Room 302.
Gleason: You remembered that Steph's niece is accompanying her again, didn't you?
Scout: Yeah, yeah - she has the room on one side of Steph and Efrem has the room on the other side. And Doris will be on the 3rd floor, near the elevator.
Gleason: You're kidding! That old castle has an elevator?!
Scout: They've made quite a few modifications through the years - you'll find it has all the modern conveniences. There is a bit of a hiccup, though. It looks like you'll have to stay in Cong at Danagher's Hotel with the rest of the crew as there's only one more available room at the Castle and the only way you got Scalia to take the job in the first place was by promising him that he could stay at the Castle.
Gleason: Wait a bloody minute! This is *my* show, and it was *my* genius that bought us this second chance, so if there's just one more room available, that Italian rat can just...he can just...bunk down in some out-of-the way tower. It wouldn't even have to be in the main castle, as long as it's on the grounds somewhere. Any chance you've seen something like that at Ashford?
Scout: Yeah, there's a deserted tower of some sort down by the lake. I'll check it out.
Gleason: We'll just tell Scalia to pack a sleeping bag.
Scout: Okay, that takes care of the exterior locations and the lodging for the cast and crew. Now, I've been checking around the area for some place appropriate to shoot the interior castle scenes, and I think I've found the perfect place.
Gleason: What are you talking about? Except for the scenes in Dublin, the entire show is being shot at and around Ashford Castle. And you just said we're all set with the Ashford people.
Scout: Didn't you get the message I left on your machine yesterday?
Gleason: No, I did not.
Scout: Perhaps your daughter has been playing with the phones again...
Gleason: Get on with it, man!
Scout: Well, the Castle is heavily booked during the time we'll be here and they don't want to inconvenience their guests. So our stars will be staying here and we'll be filming exteriors here, but we won't be able to shoot inside Ashford.
Gleason: But you *did* say you'd located the perfect place, right?
Scout: Absolutely! Remember when we filmed at Carton House in Co. Kildare during the Irish amnesia episode? Well, there's this grand, old manor house nearby in Celbridge called Castletown House. I remember noticing it when we were here before, so I checked it out. It's closed to the public in Jan. because it's during their off season, so we'll have the run of the place. And it's close enough to Dublin that we'll be able to use the Celbridge area as our home base for the remainder of the shoot. It's got a spectacular marble staircase with brass banisters and a magnificent entry hall with a mile-high ceiling, white columns and a black-and-white checkered marble floor. Michael, you're absolutely going to love the Great Room - it's the perfect place for Laura and Remington to experience their 'magical moment in a worthy setting.' Believe me, this room was *created* for just such a 'magical moment.'
Gleason: Yes...yes...I can already picture Remington sweeping Laura off her feet and whisking her up that marble staircase...(pause) Any chance it has a dungeon?
Scout: I'll check it out. The Great Room is currently empty, so we'll have to provide the appropriate furniture to turn it into an appropriate honeymoon suite, but that should be simple enough.
Gleason: Yeah, yeah, no problem. But you're sure the interior shots from Castletown will match up with the exterior shots from Ashford, right?
Gleason: Okay, then - go ahead and finalize the deal. Give me another call when everything is set - and don't forget to check on the tower by the lake for what's-his-name.
Scout: Will do.
Gleason: Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to work on that romantic staircase scene...
-Ashford Castle does indeed have a Celebrity Photo Wall and Pierce Brosnan's picture is there. It's on the very top row (in a row by itself!) and it shows him posing with the kitchen staff in Ashford's kitchen. Most of the other photos show celebrities with the hotel manager or someone else official, but PB is shown being friendly with the staff. I think that speaks highly of PB's character. (It's true- there is no picture of Stephanie.)
-There really is a magazine called "Ireland of the Welcomes" and it actually did run an ad in several issues saying that RS slept there.
-I have no idea what rooms the stars stayed in at Ashford Castle while filming SWAK. I just thought it'd be fun to have Stephanie Zimbalist stay in the same room Sandra and I stayed in - Room 302. It had a great view and she would have loved it.
-Steph's niece really did accompany the RS cast and crew to Europe when they filmed there during the Olympics, but I have no idea if she went with Steph during the filming of SWAK.
-There really is a Danagher's Hotel in the nearby village of Cong. It's light green with a white balcony and a red door and window frames. (No, it's not the same red door that blew up.)
-Ashford does have an elevator.
-Michael Gleason's daughter played little Courtney in the RS episode "Have I Got a Steele for You." The child's habit of not hanging up the phone properly helped Laura and Remington prove that her grandfather was the villain.
-Michael Gleason's wife Lynne Randall played Randi in "Steele Trap" and Rocky Sullivan in "Elementary Steele" and "Springtime for Steele". I just thought it'd be fun to blame the introduction of Tonytherat on her.
-I have no idea where Jack Scalia stayed during the filming, but Sandra and I really did 'assign' Tonytherat to the dark, little tower room on the shores of Lake Corrib. It gave us great satisfaction to imagine he had been banished to those quarters for his reprehensible behavior toward Mrs. Steele.
-Carton House in Maynooth, Co. Kildare really was used for Mrs. Armdale's manor house in "Steele Your Heart Away." The stable in the back of the house was used in filming, also -Xanadu was stashed there.
-Castletown House is located in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, and is 20 km from the center of Dublin. It was built c.1722 for William Conolly, the speaker of the Irish House of Commons. It is the largest and most significant Palladian style house in Ireland. It is closed to the public from December through late April. No type of photography is allowed inside the house. A picture of several rooms with a detailed description can be found at Irish Architecture Online, while a virtual tour can be found at the Castletown House link above.
-The Great Room of Castletown House is sometimes referred to as the Long Gallery.