Originally, Antonio Banderas turned down the part of Pierre when he looked at the script and realized the whole film was about ballroom dancing. The producers begged him for a few minutes for them to explain the story. After hearing this, viewing a documentary on and meeting the real Pierre Dulaine, Banderas signed on.
Antonio Banderas and Laura Benanti, who both star in this film together, were previously on Broadway together in the 2003 Revival of Nine the Musical. Banderas received a Tony Award nomination for his role in this production.