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John Carney shot Levine & Knightley in Times Square without filming permits

Begin Again director John Carney risked arrest while shooting his new movie in New York's busy Times Square because he left it too late to request a filming permit.

The Once filmmaker hit the streets with his stars Adam Levine and Keira Knightley without the proper clearance.

He tells WENN, "I had written the story in Ireland and wrote, 'They go to Times Square and walk around'. I said this can happen as long as we don't tell anybody or try to close down Times Square."

As well as trying to avoid the police, Carney and his crew also had to work quickly to escape fans as they recognized Levine and Knightley.

The director says, "If I extended any shot by two frames there would be somebody going, 'There's Keira Knightley!'

"I'm still surprised we got away with shooting in New York. There were times when we were asking the paparazzi for a take without the shutters (sound of the camera)."

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