The opening theme of "Portrait of a Lady" came to Wojciech Kilar when he was flying back to Poland from a meeting with director Jane Campion. Lacking manuscript paper he scribbled it on his boarding pass.
First collaboration between Jane Campion and Nicole Kidman. However, it was actually Campion who discovered Kidman, where she at the age of 14 was performing at Australian Theater for Young People and subsequently caught the eye of the director.
Susan Sarandon was originally cast to play Madame Merle, but had to pull out when the shooting schedule was delayed and interfered with the beginning of her daughter's school year. Barbara Hershey played the role instead, and received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance.