The production originally wanted to cast a name actress in the lead role of Lexie Winston and use a real-life ice-skater as a double for the complex skating scenes. However, it soon became apparent to them, in their opinion, that despite the best editing and camera-work, the differences between the actor and the double would be noticeable, particularly as the choreography would require a number of close-ups and medium shots.
Lynn-Holly Johnson was cast after she was brought to the attention of the filmmakers by "Ice Capades" executive Michael Kirbay and ice-skating coach John Nicks. Johnson, who was on tour with the Ice Capades show, flew to Minnesota for a script reading and to perform some ice-skating. Johnson then flew back to the show then a week later flew to Toronto, Canada for a screen-test. Johnson landed the role and signed on not long after this.
Lynn-Holly Johnson says she was repeatedly pressured to do a nude scene in this film, which she refused to do. She says this incident makes her laugh and say "if you only knew!" whenever someone tells her what a great family film this movie was.
Publicity for this picture stated that actress-ice-skater Lynn-Holly Johnson was under contract with the Columbia Pictures studio for three films but this movie was the only Columbia film that she did. Neither does Johnson even appear in a cameo in the studio's remake Ice Castles (2010).
Appearing in this film as Olympics ice-skating coach Deborah Macland was actress Jennifer Warren who had at the time just recently played the wife of Paul Newman in the ice-hockey movie Slap Shot (1977).
After this film, skater-actress Lynn-Holly Johnson appeared in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981) where she had a supporting role as ice-skater Bibi Dahl. Prior to Ice Castles (1978), Johnson had both skating and acting experience which contributed to her getting the lead role in the film. Johnson had previously appeared in TV commercials and in stage productions such as "The Miracle Worker".