Rose McIver plays the younger sister of Susie; in reality, McIver is six years older than Saoirse Ronan. Particularly notable is the scene where McIver's character is kissing her boyfriend — she looks about 19 in that scene, but about 13 in all the others. It should be pointed out that most of Lindsey's scenes are when she is older and has graduated from High School, including the climactic scene. While Susie will always remain 14, Lindsey grows up, gets married and becomes a mother. So casting an older actress is necessary.
Reece Ritchie was twenty three playing Ray and Carolyn Dando was twenty one as Ruth. AJ Michalka was conversely only seventeen as Clarissa.
Dyeing for Your Art: Stanley Tucci had his skin lightened as well as chest and arm hair dyed to match the wig he would wear. When Ryan Gosling was still attached, he gained twenty pounds of weight and grew a beard to play Jack.
Playing Gertrude: Almost was the case, with twenty six year old Ryan Gosling cast as Jack Salmon initially. This would have made him only eight years older than the actress playing his middle daughter.
Reality Subtext: Alice Sebold, the author of the novel, is a survivor of rape.
So My Kids Can Watch: Peter Jackson made a surprisingly tame movie that cuts out the darkest parts of the novel.
Originally, Lynne Ramsay was going to direct the film, and she had written a script in which all the scenes in heaven with Susie were depicted as being in her father's imagination, while he and Mr. Harvey became close friends.
Abigail Salmon's original plot from the books - where she has an affair with the detective - was filmed but ultimately cut from the story. This explains the chemistry between them in the scene at the police station.