Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, is one of the most iconic movies of all time. During the filming of this movie, many famous Italian landmarks were used. Here are 10 more interesting facts about this movie which was directed by William Wyler.
- Audrey Hepburn was relatively unknown while Gregory Peck was well-established in the movie industry and already had 18 films under his belt. At first, Peck insisted that only his name appeared on the billing. However, after shooting a few scenes with Hepburn, he changed his mind and demanded that her name was also included at the top of the billing as he predicted she would win an Oscar.
- Hepburn caused a delay in production. The director knew that she was perfect for the role of Princess Ann but Hepburn was not available as she was appearing on Broadway in ‘Gigi’. He decided to wait until she was available to begin production rather than find another actress for the role.
- In the farewell scene, Hepburn had difficulty in crying. The director lost his temper and made her cry real tears and this is how the perfect scene was shot.
- As Wyler had insisted on shooting in Rome, cuts had to be made to some aspects of production. This is the reason the film is shot in black and white rather than color.
- Ian McLellan Hunter was credited with writing the screenplay but the actual writer was Dalton Trumbo who was blacklisted for political reasons. When Roman Holiday was nominated for Best Motion Picture Story, Hunter refused to attend the awards ceremony. The Academy Awards and the Writers Guild of America posthumously gave the credit and award to Trumbo.
- Roman Holiday was fantastic for international sales of Vespa scooters. Although they were first produced in 1946 and had good sales figures in Italy, they had not had international success prior to the release of this movie in which Vespas feature throughout the film.
- Gregory Peck met his second wife while filming. At the time, he was married to his first wife, Greta Kukkonen, and the couple had remained together for the sake of their three children. He met his second wife, Veronique Passani, when she interviewed him about the movie in Paris.
- Hepburn also indirectly met her first husband while filming Roman Holiday. When the film was released, she attended a party at Peck’s house and it was there that she met actor Mel Ferrer. Hepburn and Ferrer were married for 14 years and had one child together.
- Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her performance and then lost it straight away. She was so overwhelmed by receiving the award that she put down the Oscar in the ladies’ room. Fortunately, the two were soon reunited.
- In 1987, there was a TV version of the movie created which was aired on NBC. Unfortunately, it was not well received and was soon forgotten.
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