Anne Hathaway was clandestinely given the script, as director Lone Scherfig was not looking at any American actresses for the part of Emma. Hathaway flew to London for a meeting with Scherfig, which she described as "the worst meeting of my life. I was just inarticulate." However, on leaving the director, she handed her a list of songs that she felt represented how she would interpret the character. It was this list that landed her the part.
On location in Scotland, Anne Hathaway exposed her bottom to Jim Sturgess to set the mood for filming the skinny dipping scene. Though doing it in such a position as to avoid being filmed by the crew, she did not anticipate the presence of several cell-phone-wielding residents of the residential complex behind her. Surprisingly, as of August 2011, this footage has not been posted on the Internet, and Hathaway says she is grateful that the residents had the "class" to refrain from doing so.
There were some conversations about casting an American actress to play Dexter's English mother, but Lone Scherfig really liked the sense of experience, worldliness and flirtatiousness that Patricia Clarkson brought to the part.
In the scene where Emma and Dexter lie together on the bed in the French hotel after having skinny-dipped, Emma can be seen wearing the same T-shirt with a "Nuclear Disarmament Now" writing on it that she wore on the graduation night, when she slept together with Dexter four years before their French trip.
This is the second time actress Anne Hathaway played a character by the name of "Emma." The first time was in the movie Bride Wars (2009) alongside Kate Hudson. Ironically, "Emma" is a teacher in both movies.