FILM 1666: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
TRIVIA: Whilst working on the script, Emma Thompson's computer developed a problem and she was unable to locate the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry, an expert in Apple computers, who, after seven hours, finally managed to retrieve the script. This is why Stephen is thanked in the credits by the producers.
During filming, the Jane Austen Society telephoned co-producer James Schamus to complain about the casting of Hugh Grant claiming that he was too good-looking to play Edward Ferrars.
Emma Thompson has recounted how during the scene where Colonel Brandon, on horseback, approaches Elinor and Marianne in the out-of-doors, many takes were ruined by the horse surrendering to a bout of flatulence. Eventually, they were forced to shoot the scene with the farting horse as the flatulence would not abate, and the rather loud reports later were edited out of the soundtrack.
Emma Thompson's first draft of the screenplay consisted of 350 hand-written pages. The final draft was a culmination of that and 13 other drafts which were written over four and a half years.
Ang Lee originally was considering Kate Winslet only for the smaller part of Lucy Steele even though she really wanted to play Marianne. When Winslet arrived at her audition she pretended that her agent had sent her to read for Marianne, and her reading won her the role.
There is an ironic twist surrounding the casting of Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise. Although they portray love interests on screen, Kate Winslet and Greg Wise only dated briefly in reality before Greg took to Winslet's on-screen sister Emma Thompson. Thompson and Wise were together for 8 years before getting married. Together they have one adopted son and one biological daughter. Interestingly, Richard Lumsden who portrays Thompson's on-screen brother-in-law Robert Ferrars, is her brother-in-law in real life. Lumsden is married to Emma's younger sister, Sophie Thompson, who was also featured in two movie adaptations of Jane Austen's books, Screen Two: Persuasion (1995).and Emma (1996). Sophie Thompson portrayed in Screen Two: Persuasion (1995). the younger sister of the story's main character Anne Elliot, who was portrayed by Amanda Root, who ironically enough was sought for the role of Marianne in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Root, however, could not appear due to her obligations to film Persuasion. In a nutshell, Amanda Root landed a role in a Jane Austen adaptation and was coincidentally asked to star in another one. When she could not appear, another actress who dated the future husband of her on-screen sister's sister was given the role, and her on-screen sister's real life husband portrayed the on-screen brother-in-law of his real life sister-in-law in the same film that she could not star in.
Emma Thompson, Gemma Jones, Robert Hardy, Elizabeth Spriggs, Alan Rickman, and Imelda Staunton all appear in the Harry Potter series.
In her book "The Sense and Sensibility (1995) Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film", Emma Thompson writes that after a particularly difficult day filming a sequence that involved a flock of sheep, Ang Lee swore that he would never again use the animals on a movie set. Ten years later, however, Ang Lee went on to direct (and win a directing Oscar for) Brokeback Mountain (2005), which is about two men who meet while sheep herding.
Director Ang Lee had not read Jane Austen's novel when Columbia first sent him Emma Thompson's script.
With her Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award win, Emma Thompson became the first person to receive Oscars for acting and writing.
The sheer dotted muslin gown Kate Winslet, (Marianne Dashwood), wears during the lawn bowling scene at Barton Park is the same costume Charity Wakefield (Marianne Dashwood) wears at Norland Park in Sense & Sensibility (2008). The costume is also worn by Amelia Warner (Fanny Price, age 17) in Mansfield Park (1999) and by Jennifer Higham (Louisa Musgrove) at Uppercross in Persuasion (2007).
The film's release and popularity saw the original novel returning to the New York Times' Bestseller List.
The scene where Willoughby rescues Marianne in driving rain took about 50 takes. This resulted in Kate Winslet contracting hypothermia.