Netflix’s ‘One Day’ adapts the novel of the same name by David Nicholls, which took the world by storm when it was first published in 2009. The book and the show follow the story of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, with each chapter focusing on one day in a year in their life for twenty years. The story is beautiful and bittersweet, and the realistic and relatable characters are one of its biggest draws.
The appeal of ‘One Day’ has sustained through the years, which is evident from the fact that this is not the first time that it has been adapted for screen. The movie, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, was released in 2011. Considering that both the movie and the show follow Emma and Dexter, the audience might wonder if there’s any overlap between the two. Do the actors from the movie show up in the Netflix series?
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess Are Not in Netflix’s Adaptation
The fans of ‘One Day’ film might be disappointed to find out that Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess don’t show up in the Netflix show, but it was not unexpected. The TV show adapts the book and is entirely unconcerned with the movie and what road it took to tell Emma and Dexter’s story. The show differs from the film on many levels, and because it is in no way related to the film, it would have felt forced to have the movie’s cast cameo in the show. It would have also taken the spotlight away from the new Emma and Dexter— Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, who are exceptional in their parts.
Hathaway’s casting in ‘One Day’ has raised some eyebrows, with almost the entire fanbase of the novel questioning the decision. To avoid that conflict in the Netflix series, the creators of the show chose to stick to English actors. David Nicholls revealed that hundreds of people auditioned for the role, and there were multiple rounds of auditions because they knew that they couldn’t afford to get the wrong casting for Emma and Dexter. The whole story is about the characters and their journey, and it was absolutely necessary to get two people who could embody the relationship over the span of twenty years.
About casting Ambika Mod, whose breakout role in ‘This is Going to Hurt’ also made an impression on Nicholls, the author said that she has a lot of Emma’s qualities, especially “a kind of watchfulness and wisdom” that is heart and soul of Emma’s character. For Mod, who read the book when she was thirteen and loved it, it was a dream come true to get to play the character she’d loved and bring her own take to Emma, who is not of South Asian descent in the book. The actress called it a “massive” opportunity and revealed that she didn’t revisit the Anne Hathaway film to prepare for the role.
Another thing that worked in Mod’s favor was her chemistry with Leo Woodall, who has appeared in the second season of ‘The White Lotus’ and ‘Vampire Academy.’ According to Nicholls, the actors developed an immediate rapport and were “magical” together, which is how the show makers knew they had their Emma and Dexter.