Posts tagged with ‘Roman Holiday’
c-cardinale asked: Is it true that Audrey was almost unknown when she did Roman Holiday? If so, how (or why) was she chosen to play Princess Ann - and not an already famous actress?
It’s true. At the time of Audrey’s audition for Roman Holiday she had only acted in a handful of British films. Most of her roles consisted of one or two lines with the exception of the Secret People and Monte Carlo Baby. She was also performing on Broadway for the first time as the title role in Gigi. The role of Princess Ann was intended for Jean Simmons who at the time was unavailable and couldn’t get out of her contract (I’ve read that Elizabeth Taylor was also considered). William Wyler decided to change directions with casting and wanted an unknown without an American accent for Princess Ann. It was Paramount’s London production chief Richard Mealand who recommended Audrey for the lead role. He had scene her bit-part in Laughter in Paradise and was impressed. William Wyler put Thorold Dickinson in charge of Audrey’s screen test because he had worked with Audrey previously in the Secret People. Her Roman Holiday screen test took place at Pinewood Studios in London on September 18, 1951.
"We did some scenes out of the script. Paramount also wanted to see what Audrey was actually like not acting a part, so I did an interview with her. We loaded a thousand feet of film into a camera and every foot of it went on this conversation. She talked about her experiences in the war, the Allied raid on Arnhem, and hiding out in a cellar. A deeply moving thing." Thorold Dickinson (Audrey Hepburn)
What cemented Audrey’s chances of playing the princess in Roman Holiday was what happened after Dickinson yelled “cut”. On Wyler’s instructions, he kept the cameras rolling unbeknownst to Audrey.
"First, she played the scene from the script, then you heard someone yell ‘Cut!’ but the take continued. She jumped up in bed and asked, ‘How was it? Was I any good?’ She saw that everybody was so quiet and the lights were still on. Suddenly, she realized the camera was still running and we got that reaction, too…She had everything I was looking for—charm, innocence and talent. She was also very funny. She was absolutely enchanting, and we said, ‘That’s the girl!’”. - William Wyler (Audrey Hepburn)
Audrey Hepburn photographed by John Engstead during the production of Roman Holiday, 1953.
Personal note: These are two of my favorite Audrey pictures.
TCM SUMMER UNDER THE STARS - Friday 8/22 - Audrey Hepburn
6am EST Laughter in Paradise
8am EST The Lavender Hill Mob
9:30am EST The Secret People
11:30am EST Love in the Afternoon
2pm EST Green Mansions
4pm EST The Children’s Hour
6pm EST Wait Until Dark
8pm EST Roman Holiday
10pm EST The Nun’s Story
1am EST My Fair Lady
4am EST Robin and Marian
I am especially excited to see The Secret People. This will be my first time seeing it on television.
A very happy Audrey Hepburn poses with her Oscar after winning Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Roman Holiday, New York, March 25, 1954.
"I received this extraordinary Oscar so early that I really didn’t know what hit me. I know more about the Oscar today and appreciate it more than that day. I knew I won a prize and that it was a movie prize." - Audrey Hepburn during an interview with Larry King, October 21, 1991
Audrey Hepburn backstage at the 26th Academy Awards in New York on March 25, 1954. She won for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Roman Holiday.
Audrey Hepburn surrounded by photographers after winning her first Oscar for her portrayal of the runaway princess in Roman Holiday. The 26th Annual Academy awards were held in New York (where Audrey accepted her award) and Los Angeles on March 25, 1954.
submitted by eleanorstyle92
Audrey Hepburn (with Edith Head in the background) puts on her tiara and necklace while on the set of Roman Holiday, 1952.
At the 26th Annual Academy Awards, Audrey Hepburn wore a white floral, belted dress created by couturier Hubert de Givenchy. The dress was an adapted version of the gown designed by Edith Head for Roman Holiday. It was then given to Givenchy for alteration as the actress wanted to convert it into an evening gown. This was the first time audiences saw Audrey wearing a Givenchy gown but definitely not the last. The actress and fashion designer developed a friendship that lasted over 40 years.
William Holden awarding Audrey Hepburn with her best actress Oscar for her performance in Roman Holiday. The presentation was held at the Hotel Pierre in Los Angeles, California. The oscar was returned to Audrey after a two-month absence during which time the statuette was inscribed. May 3, 1954.
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck palling around on the set of Roman Holiday, 1953.
Audrey Hepburn with Italian actress Silvana Pampanini and her Roman Holiday co-star Gregory Peck at a cocktail party on the set of Roman Holiday, in Rome’s Cinecitta on June 26, 1952.
Audrey Hepburn and fiancé James Hanson at a cocktail party on the set of Roman Holiday, in Rome’s Cinecitta on June 26, 1952.
Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, 1953.
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck at the “Mouth of Truth” in the film Roman Holiday, 1953.