Where was Bodkin filmed and is it a real place? Filming locations of new Netflix thriller

Bodkin is Netflix's latest thriller and after seeing the stunning locations you might be wondering where it was filmed...

Will Forte as Gilbert Power, Siobhán Cullen as Dove, Robyn Cara as Emmy Sizergh in episode 102 of Bodkin
(Image credit: Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

Bodkin is Netflix’s latest crime thriller with a dark comedy twist and you might be intrigued about where it was filmed - and if Bodkin is even a real place.

Sometimes with our favourite shows it’s as much the location that grips our imagination as it is the brilliant performances and chilling storyline. From the country homes where The Gentleman was filmed to the atmospheric North East countryside and coastlines that we’ll miss now Vera is ending, filming locations are key. The same is true for Netflix’s dark comedy thriller Bodkin, which landed on the streaming giant on 9th May. 

Following a group of true crime podcasters as they attempt to unravel several mysterious disappearances from years earlier and satirising the true crime genre, Bodkin counts Barack and Michelle Obama as executive producers. It’s the perfect mix of humour and twists and turns and has an appropriately evocative setting. Here we reveal where Bodkin was filmed and, just as importantly, if Bodkin is a real place. 

Siobhán Cullen as Dove in episode 102 of Bodkin

(Image credit: Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

Where was Bodkin filmed?

Netflix’s Bodkin was filmed in various locations across Ireland which will come as no surprise to any fans who might’ve recognised some of the places featured in the show. Much of the seven-part series was shot in West Cork in Ireland which is where the village of Bodkin in the show is supposedly located. The quiet fishing village of Union Hall near Cork City was a major filming location for Bodkin

Union Hall made the perfect stand-in for Bodkin in the show, with its stunning beaches and surrounding countryside. For Bodkin creator Jez Scharf, filming Bodkin in West Cork was a must, precisely because of its staggering natural beauty. 

Will Forte as Gilbert Power, David Wilmot as Seamus in episode 103 of Bodkin

(Image credit: Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

"It [Bodkin] had to be West Cork," he said, as per Express.co.uk. "You drive around West Cork and around every corner you have to step out of the car and have a look as it’s so beautiful."

His thoughts were echoed by Siobhán Cullen who plays Dove in Bodkin when she said, "Union Hall makes the perfect Bodkin.It’s so stunning and it encapsulates all of what people imagine about the beauty of Ireland. It’s all here, it’s such a stunning place."

As well as filming Bodkin in Union Hall, the nearby village of Glandore apparently also featured, as did Poulgorm Bridge which connects them. Other locations used for shooting Bodkin include Travelhawk Beach in Wicklow, Howth Castle and Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin.

Siobhán Cullen as Dove in episode 106 of Bodkin

(Image credit: Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

Howth Castle stands in as the location where the nuns, including Mother Bernadette, live. According to Screen Rant, Sally Gap, Enniskerry Carnegie Library and Belmont Demesne in County Wicklow were used as Bodkin filming locations. Both Sally Gap and Belmont Demesne are incredibly scenic spots and the library is in the historic village square in Enniskerry. For the diner that appears in Netflix’s Bodkin, the show apparently headed to Dave’s Diner in Julianstown, County Meath.

Is Bodkin a real place?

Rather like Chaddar Vale in Passenger earlier this year, Bodkin is a fictional place that was created for Netflix’s Bodkin and sadly isn’t real at all. Speaking to Tudum before the show’s Netflix premiere, Jez Scharf revealed that having the setting, people and storyline of the show be completely fictional was a very intentional decision.

"It’s a fake town, it’s a fake place. It’s all fake people. The mystery itself, we worked very hard to find something that is in no way adjacent to a real true crime story. The fictionality of it was very deliberate," he shared.

Robyn Cara as Emmy Sizergh, Siobhán Cullen as Dove in episode 104 of Bodkin

(Image credit: Cr. Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

Fans would be forgiven for contemplating the idea that Bodkin might be in any way true - whether in setting or plot - given how popular the true crime genre remains. However, for Jez, his focus with Bodkin was always "absurdity".

"My personal interest as a writer is always in absurdity, really - in the idea that life is broadly absurd," he said. "Things that are sad are often funny, and vice versa. I think, having spent a lot of time in Ireland, there’s a certain acceptance of that kind of tone [there]."

The seeds of the idea for Bodkin came from Jez Scharf’s experience of watching true crime documentaries and listening to true crime podcasts, and him thinking about the "morality" of stories inspired by incredibly traumatic and tragic events.

Will Forte as Gilbert Power, Siobhán Cullen as Dove, Robyn Cara as Emmy Sizergh in episode 104 of Bodkin

(Image credit: Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024)

"At the time, I was thinking a lot about the morality of true crime," he said. "They’re often very tragic stories, but are parcelled up into neat episodes with a good hook at the end."

Jez added, "Actually, of all the true crime podcasts, the one that was most inspiring to us was S-Town [the S-Town podcast]. That’s one where you come in thinking it’s going to be about a murder, but then the story just spins out in ways that you don’t expect. That was the kind of journey that we were trying to map ourselves against - that the truth is always kind of unexpected."

So not only is Bodkin not a real place, but the storyline wasn’t directly reflecting a true story or a real true crime podcast. However, the creator did draw inspiration from the idea of true crime podcasts more generally.

Bodkin is available to watch now on Netflix.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!