Recasting British history & accents

Hathaway casting in 'One Day' hardly a given

Lone Scherfig didn’t suffer any Danish angst to find a follow-up to her sleeper hit “An Education.” When the “One Day” script, adapted by David Nicholls’ from his bestselling romance, “arrived from Focus, two hours later I said yes,” Scherfig said during the Waldorf Towers press junket Tuesday.

Casting American Anne Hathaway as the English Emma Morley was hardly a given.

“I could have insisted on someone English, but she’s an actress,” Scherfig said. “Actors always play something they’re not, vampires or scientists or people who are older than they are.”

As for Hathaway’s accent, “I let Anne do her thing,” said co-star Jim Sturgess. “It was weird, she stayed in her accent most of the time so I got used to it after a week. We filmed over a period of months so I didn’t think about it. Then in a bar she might have one too many — and the American accent would come flying out.”

* * *

The legit version of David Seidler’s “The King’s Speech,” due on Broadway in fall 2012, will be notable for a number of reasons, chief being what the Weinstein Co. powers had the scribe cut out of his screenplay. During press chores for the pic last year, Seidler groused a bit about having to delete some of the monarchy’s pro-German leanings, none of which made the screen lest auds turn against the royal characters played by Colin Firth (King George VI) and Guy Pearce (King Edward VIII). Stage producer Michael Alden told CNN that the play “delves a little bit more into some of the political backdrop of the time.” Unless, of course, legit auds also don’t like Nazi sympathizers.

* * *

Precocious Bailee Madison, whose poise makes her seem like 11 going on 20, appreciated the challenge of starring in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” In the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror remake, the petite Florida native plays lonely Sally, who’s terrorized by hideous vermin-like sprites who live in the basement of a mansion her dad is renovating.

“Dark” allowed Madison to “grow as an actor,” she said at the Miramax-FilmDistrict’s Waldorf Towers press junket Tuesday. “Because it was my first scary film and this was my first time having to be scared with nothing that was there. That was very different for Bailee,” added the young thesp, switching to the third person.

Even though she “got to be scared for four months,” Madison “never had nightmares. Sometimes it was hard to leave Sally on set but I’d have a hot fudge sundae and I’d be fine.”

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