PRAGUE — Landing the title role in Roman Polanski‘s “Oliver Twist” was “pretty cool,” admitted 12-year-old Barney Clark at the pic’s Sept. 24 world preem; learning how to pick pockets from a pro: “brilliant.”
The London native — who also confessed he much preferred his ragged costume to his finery during the five months of shooting in summer 2004 at the Czech Republic’s Barrandov Studios — disclosed that the real knack to lifting wallets “is using two fingers.”
“There are guys in Prague who can, like, get your wallet in 30 seconds,” Clark said, not bothering to hide his admiration.
Drinking colas at Prague’s art nouveau Hotel Pariz, Artful Dodger, known outside the Dickens tale as Harry Eden, jumped in to demonstrate. As for the contents of a coat pocket, Eden said: “Sometimes you can push it up with a briefcase.”
Some 800 extras helped to re-create Dickens’ 19th-century London on six blocks of a specially constructed backlot.
Amazingly, apart from Prague’s notorious taxi drivers, known the world over for multiplying their fares, no major thefts were reported.