The author of the original account, Lynn Barber stipulated in her contract that she would be allowed to see and comment (but not alter) every draft written by the screenwriter, Nick Hornby. She mentioned that she was happy with most of the changes, but her one regret was that Hornby changed the name of her lover, Simon, to David, which was her real husband's name. She stated that "I wish in retrospect I'd put up a fight".
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The creative team were initially worried about casting the 22-year-old Carey Mulligan in the role of a 16-year-old, but were convinced by her screen test. Rosamund Pike reportedly really wanted the small part of Helen, because "no one ever lets me be funny".
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Director Lone Scherfig says she experimented with giving the actors options during scenes. For instance, she told Peter Sarsgaard that if he felt like it he could start a conversation with an extra playing a doorman in one scene despite there not being any written dialogue.
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Orlando Bloom dropped out a week before filming began; Dominic Cooper, who had previously been in talks, replaced him.
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Carey Mulligan mentioned in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival that some of the most enjoyable moments of filming were when there were actors who only came in for a day or so, like Sally Hawkins and Emma Thompson, and she particularly enjoyed the four scenes she shot with the latter, whom she described as being "amazing", and called her acting "brilliant".
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The character of Helen is often made fun of for being dumb but Rosamund Pike, who played her, actually read English at Oxford University- the same subject and university choice of Jenny.
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This film marks the first time in his 15-year career that Peter Sarsgaard received top billing. He has been attached to this film for a number of years.
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Made Variety's 2007 list of best unproduced British screenplays.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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David's nickname for Jenny is pronounced and spelled in subtitles as "bubbalub". Since David is Jewish, possibly this was intended to be the Yiddish word "bubbalah", which means "honey" or "sweetie".
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The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Emma Thompson; and three Oscar nominees: Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike and Sally Hawkins.
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With Kathryn Bigelow directing Oscar Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker (2008), and Lone Scherfig directing this film, it marked the first time in Oscar history that two Best Picture nominees were directed by women.
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Whilst the screenplay was being written, the producers were looking for directors; Beeban Kidron was on board for a year and half, and helped develop the script. She was forced to pull out because of a commitment to Hippi Hippie Shake.
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In the beginning of the film, Jenny's fringe is neatly parted. As she becomes more and more involved with David, her fringe starts to descend until it is completely down. This shows she is now a part of his world. Then, as she starts to move away from him, her hair becomes parted again.
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