Oscar-winning American actor Forest Whitaker stunned staff at an independent Cardiff Bay cafe on Friday as he took time to film in the area.

He is in Wales filming his latest project, a Netflix movie called Havoc, which also stars Tom Hardy.

And on Friday afternoon, the owner of independent coffeehouse EspressoLab spoke about her and her staff’s surprise when Mr. Whitaker passed for an Americano.

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“We didn’t know he was coming but his bodyguards were coming every day,” said the owner, who asked not to be named. “He was extremely friendly and happy to have pictures with the regulars and to chat. I haven’t spoken to him myself, but my staff have commented on how nice he is.

“We’ve had a couple of actors from BBC and Welsh Opera House productions before, but no one as famous as him.”

Forest Whitaker in Tenby last month

Mr Whitaker decided to visit the James Street cafe after it was recommended to him when he told friends he wanted to support independent black-owned businesses, the store owner said.

He wasted no time exploring the area during his time in Wales, posting last month about his trips to the Penarth seafront and to Tredegar House in Newport.

And he’s not the only one looking at home. Last month, Tom Hardy made headlines for his repeated trips to Barry Island.

Tom Hardy stopped by for a selfie at Tesco last month
Tom Hardy stopped by for a selfie at Tesco last month

Later on Friday Mr Whitaker tweeted that it was his last day in Wales. “I had to see the beautiful landscapes of Wales before I returned to New York,” he wrote. “My thanks to all of you for the wonderful welcome I had in your country. I will be back soon.”

His latest film, Havoc, tells the story of a drug case gone awry and a detective who must fight his way through the criminal underworld to save the son of a prominent politician.

The film is directed by Gareth Evans, the Aberdare filmmaker behind the acclaimed martial arts thrillers The Raid and The Raid 2, Apostle of Horror Michael Sheen and, most recently, Sky Atlantic London Gangs .

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