James Ivory cast an unknown named Helena Bonham-Carter opposite an unknown named Daniel Day-Lewis in A Room With A View.
Merchant Ivory’s low budget approach to filmmaking lent itself to giving unknown talent a try.
Absolute first film: Felicity Kendal (Shakespeare Wallah), Sean Young ( Jane Austen In Manhattan)
First major role in a film: Christopher Walken (Roseland), Hugh Grant ( Maurice)
James Ivory on casting nineteen year old Helena Bonham-Carter for the role of Lucy Honeychurch:
“I thought she was perfect,” he says. “She came for a reading and she just sort of came in and scowled and flung herself on the couch. She was very positive, and obviously very, very intelligent and she had this kind of beauty that’s unusual, very unusual. Even though she didn’t have that much experience and she’d never been to a drama school and so on, I thought I’d try it.”