In the DVD's Director's commentary, Sidney Lumet says the nude scene between Gina and Hank was shot, Ethan Hawke wanted to make Marisa Tomei, feel more comfortable, and insisted on being nude as well. He further insisted that every male crew member strip naked while filming the scene to accommodate Tomei.
In the DVD's Director's commentary, Sidney Lumet stated that in the original script, the character of Bobby Lasorda was supposed to be only 19 years old. The character was made older to make the character seem more realistic and sad.
Sidney Lumet was introduced to digital film techniques through this production and reportedly loved working with digital film, primarily due to it's convenience. This was his first and ultimately only film to be shot in the digital format.
Sidney Lumet said that the scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marissa Tomei in the car when Philip Seymour Hoffman has his breakdown was one of the most extraordinary scenes of acting that he had ever been involved with.
A Scrabble board appears on a table in one of the first scenes with the father. The word "Doubt" is prominently displayed on the board. The film Doubt (2008) also starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, was released a year after this film.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The scene of Andy and Hank robbing the drug dealer was filmed with two simultaneous setups, one on Philip Seymour Hoffman and one on Ethan Hawke to better capture their tension and reactions to each other. Sidney Lumet is experienced with the use of multiple camera setups in a single take from his career in live television.
Andy's (Philip Seymour Hoffman) character is depicted as an upper class drug user, who is seen consuming both cocaine and heroin throughout the film. In real life, the actor died from an acute mixed drug overdose from a speedball of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepine and amphetamine, on February 2, 2014. Before his relapse in 2013, Hoffman had been completely sober for 23 years.