Vita & Virginia Movie Poster

Trivia for Vita & Virginia

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  • Eva Green was originally cast as Virginia Woolf. Had she not dropped out, this would have marked a Bond reunion, as both Gemma Arterton (Vita Sackville-West) and Green played Bond girls to Daniel Craig's Bond, although in different movies. Arterton was in Quantum of Solace (2008) and Green was in Casino Royale (2006).
  • Eva Green was originally cast as Virginia Woolf but dropped out to star in Dumbo (2019) instead. In May 2017, it was announced that Andrea Riseborough had replaced her. Three months later Riseborough dropped out as well and Elizabeth Debicki was cast.
  • The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2018.
  • The film was written by director Chanya Button and actress Eileen Atkins, who had written and appeared in the play 'Vita & Virginia' on which this movie is based. According to some reports, however, Atkins asked to have her name removed from the credits.
  • In 2015, it was announced that Sacha Polak was attached to direct the film, with Romola Garai cast as Vita Sackville-West. Both subsequently left the project and Chanya Button signed on to direct instead, while Gemma Arterton took on the role of Vita.
  • Both this film and the play on which this film is based were derived from letters by and between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.
  • Musician and composer Isobel Waller-Bridge used Elizabeth Debicki's actual heartbeat in the score. In an interview with IndieWire, she said: "Elizabeth was wearing a mic that was really close to her heart. And it picked up - you could hear her heartbeat. I asked for the recordings of that because I really feel the heartbeat through this. I took the tempo from her heartbeat. Of course it changed, because you gotta make it fit. But we definitely, for the opening, I think that's the tempo of her heartbeat."
  • Filming began on 4 September 2017 in Dublin, Ireland and wrapped on 24 October 2017. Locations across Dublin double for the United Kingdom in the film, although a day was spent on location in England at Knole House, Kent.
  • Virginia Nicholson, the great-niece of Virginia Woolf, took issue with the movie for many reasons. They ranged from the heights of the two actors (Elizabeth Debicki towers over Gemma Arterton, whereas in real life, Vita was taller), to their dining habits (they would never eat in the kitchen), to the depiction of Virginia Woolf as a "mad prodigy, trembling with hypersensitivity" when she was actually pretty fun.
  • Elizabeth Debicki was approached for the role of Virginia Woolf midway through shooting Steve McQueen's female heist film Widows (2018). She had about a month to prepare for the role after finishing up that film, and admits having been daunted by the prospect of playing the literary icon. "I'd read 'Mrs. Dalloway' and 'To the Lighthouse' but would not have called myself a Woolf aficionado," she said. To prepare herself for the role, Debicki read Woolf's many diary entries and pored meticulously over her body of work.
  • Elizabeth Debicki first read Virginia Woolf when she was seventeen and in acting school. The first thing she read was 'A Room of One's Own', which she read quite a few times as she was taking the train for almost an hour each way to school. At some point she read 'To the Lighthouse', and then when director Chanya Button asked her to take on the role she "locked [herself] up in an attic room and read everything like a mad woman".
  • This is director Chanya Button's second feature film, after Burn Burn Burn (2015).
  • In real life, writer Vita Sackville-West was ten years younger than Virginia Woolf, whereas in the movie Gemma Arterton, who plays Vita, is four years older than Elizabeth Debicki. Similarly, Woolf was 43 years old when she and Vita began their relationship in 1925, and three years passed before her novel 'Orlando' was published. Debicki, however, had only just turned 27 years old when she shot this film.
  • Gemma Arterton initially brought the project to director Chanya Button, not the other way around. The two have been friends since Button attended drama school with Arterton's younger sister, Hannah. Writer Eileen Atkins had given her the script she wrote, and then while she and Button were on holiday together, she asked what she thought of making a movie about the relationship between the early 20th century writers, knowing that Woolf was Button's favorite author.
  • The film is dedicated to co-writer Eileen Atkins's husband, Bill Shepherd, who passed away before the movie was made. The dedication can be seen at the end of the credits.
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