In the DVD extras, Hugh Grant says that because he and James Wilby already knew each other from appearing in Privileged (1982) together, they were able to practice their scenes together at Grant's house the night before Wilby's audition. Grant says that he remembers it "being a surprise to my banker brother when he came home and found me kissing James Wilby in the front room."
King's College, in England, permitted the production to film there after much consideration. This was not over the film's subject matter, but due to the fact that many scholars consider the novel on which the screenplay is based an inferior work.
Julian Sands was chosen for the title role but was delayed on another movie, Siesta. . Wilby had previously been passed over for a smaller role because it was felt his height and blond hair were too close to Sand's appearance.
John Malkovich was due to take the role of Lasker-Jones. He had become a friend of Julian Sands after making together The Killing Fields. After Sands left the project Malkovich lost interest in the film.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In the DVD extras, James Wilby remembers that the film's final scene, a love scene between his character (Maurice) and Rupert Graves' character (Scudder) was shot on the fourth day of filming, and because of the complete lack of rehearsal time, he and Graves had barely even met beforehand.