Working in groups, divide the cast between you. Using information from the film’s production notes, below, and an Internet search engine (for example, the Internet Movie Database, IMDB) find out what these actors have previously appeared in. What do you find interesting or surprising about your findings?
Each person in the group should now choose one of the actors and focus on their most notable previous performances. What kind of roles has this actor played before, in what sorts of films? What age are they now, and what stage of their career are they at? Why do you think the director has chosen each one for this film? What do you expect they will bring to the role? Present your findings as a group, aiming for a lively and informative tone.
For an audience, one of the pleasures of a new adaptation of a 'classic' is seeing which actors have been chosen to play the well-known roles. For the filmmaker, choosing the right cast for an adaptation is one of the first considerations in putting the production together: getting the casting right is crucial to the film’s success. A well-known actor can be a real ‘box-office draw’ for an audience, attracting interest because of their reputation and their previous acting roles.
The cast of this film version features many well-known British actors, along with some actors at the beginning of their careers: