WALHALLA and Hollywood are not two words you would ordinarily find in the same sentence.

For a few days this month however, that was exactly the case.

The usually quiet historic township of Walhalla became the unlikely set for the film Ice Road 2: Road to the Sky, starring A Lister Liam Neeson.

Neeson fever swept the region as filming began, with crowds trying to catch a glimpse of the Oscar nominee.

It’s him: No cardboard cut out here. Hollywood actor Liam Neeson with staff from Walhalla Witchery cafe. Photograph supplied

Walhalla was transformed to look like a Nepalese village for the film.

Buildings were painted over, while the town’s rotunda was draped in an array of colours for the film’s set.

Such was the attention to detail, even street signs were changed to match those seen in Nepal, as was the main road itself, which was topped with gravel to suit the film’s aesthetics.

In the film, Neeson’s character travels to Nepal to sprinkle his brothers ashes on Mount Everest.

While there, he and his mountain guide run into some ‘bad guys’ on a tour bus and are forced to save themselves, the passengers and the country.

The bus was also there in Walhalla, and was used in a chase scene.

The Express understands there were three Neeson stunt doubles, and while the real Neeson would be shot steering the bus, the vehicle was actually driven by someone sitting underneath him.

Speaking to locals lucky enough to rub shoulders with the man himself, all reported he was genuine, and gave them all the time of day.

The Northern Ireland actor visited a number of places in town, including the Walhalla Witchery cafe.

Barely recognisable: Walhalla was transformed to look like a Nepalese village for the film Ice Road 2.

The cafe got into the Hollywood spirit, erecting a huge cardboard cut out of Neeson, before being lucky enough to see him in the flesh.

On set, it was reportedly business as usual, with fellow actors and crew being the ultimate professionals, not at all overawed by the Neeson factor.

The film is expected to have huge economical benefits for the region, with some estimating as much as a $2 million injection.

Some of the actors and crew stayed with local accommodation providers while filming took place, branching out as far as Glengarry.

Walhalla too is expected to be showcased strongly in the film, with up to an hours worth of footage possibly making the final cut.

The uninitiated however might not see Walhalla from Nepal, as the Gippsland town isn’t expected to be at all recognised.

Many of the scenes shot in Walhalla will cut to shots taken in a studio in Melbourne.

For instance, Neeson may walk through a door in Walhalla, and enter a room which is being shot in a studio.

The film was attracted to Victoria through the federal government’s Location Incentive and the government’s Victorian Screen Incentive and Regional Location Assistance Fund.

Ice Road 2 is a sequel to The Ice Road (2021), and expected to be released in a few months.

No detail sparred: Film crews took over Walhalla for on-location filming.

Neeson rose to prominence playing the lead role in Steven Speilberg’s 1993 epic Schindler’s List, for which he received an Oscar Nomination for best actor.

He has also had roles in blockbusters such as the Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace, as well as Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

Showing his versatility, he also had a role in the Christmas cult classic Love Actually.

Since the early 2010s, he has mainly been cast in action thrillers, with the Taken franchise among his most recognised work.

In looking at famous names to set foot in the region, Neeson would have to rank alongside Queen Elizabeth II, who came to Traralgon and Yallourn in 1954.

Wonder how many times Liam Neeson has been told his name is mail spelt backwards.