When visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral for the first time, tourists’ memories often lead them back to July 29, 1981 and the image of a young Lady Diana Spencer ascending the steps of the London landmark in an Emanuel wedding dress, on her way to say “I do” to Prince Charles. On an October day in 2008, however, people in the vicinity of the Sir Christopher Wren-constructed house of worship were taken on a time trip back to the Victorian era as cameras rolled on director Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Bringing literature’s favorite detective to life will be actor Robert Downey Jr., who cut a dashing figure in his bowler hat and 19th century suit as he stood outside the 17th century structure– a star in its own right, having appeared over the years in such big and small screen hits as Mary Poppins and National Treasure: Book of Secrets and the British TV cult hit Doctor Who.
If either Madonna’s soon-to-be ex or the Oscar-nominated star find themselves in search of inspiration during filming, they need look no further than 221b Baker Street, the home of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which has had a number of celebrity sleuthing buffs walk through its door, from Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman to The Girls Next Door’s Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson with Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner. Open daily, visitors can visualize the curling smoke of the sleuth’s calabash pipe as they wander through the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, which is decorated with the detective’s distinctive deerstalker cap, violin, magnifying glass and more.
Mr. Paparazzi captured a few moments of Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie on set in the following clip: