- Actor-Shared Background: Ben Kingsley's paternal family was from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same state Mohandas K. Gandhi was from.
- Candice Bergen was, besides her acting career, an accomplished photographer who considered her character, Margaret Bourke-White one of her idols.
- AFI's 100 Years... Series:
- All-Star Cast: Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills and Martin Sheen to name a few.
- BFI Top 100 British Films: #34
- Creator Backlash: A minor one, but Richard Attenborough stated numerous times that Steven Spielberg should have won the Best Director Oscar for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial instead of him, and E.T. should have won Best Picture. Indeed, he actually apologized to Spielberg at the Director's Guild Awards. This gesture touched Spielberg enough that he cast Attenborough as John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
- Doing It for the Art: The film was a real labour of love for Richard Attenborough, having wanting to make it since the late 1960s.
- Martin Sheen donated his salary to charity.
- Dyeing for Your Art/Method Acting: Ben Kingsley prepared for his role by studying newsreel footage of Gandhi, reading books on and by the man, dieting, losing weight, practicing Yoga and learning to spin thread just as Gandhi did.
- Fake Nationality: Largely averted. Ben Kingsley's mother was English but his father, although was born in Kenya, was (like Gandhi himself) of Gujarati Indian ethnicity.
- Real-Life Relative: Gerald Sim (Magistrate) was Richard Attenborough's brother-in-law.
- Star-Making Role: For Ben Kingsley, as he nailed the Best Actor Academy Award.
- What Could Have Been:
- Attempts to make a Gandhi biopic began in the 1950s; David Lean was considered as director, but decided to make Lawrence of Arabia instead. Another independent project was considered by Otto Preminger who actually visited India and discussed it with Prime Minister Jawarhlal Nehru. Fred Zinneman was attached to the project in the mid-'70s, but ultimately decided not to make it due to budgetary concerts.
- Robert Bolt, whom Zinneman initially asked to write his screenplay, was hired by Richard Attenborough after Zinneman backed out and produced a 200-plus page draft script. Attenborough strongly disliked Bolt's script, feeling Bolt focused too heavily on the British characters at the expense of Gandhi and the Indians. American writer John Briley wrote the finished screenplay.
- Dustin Hoffman expressed interest in the title role (seriously), before backing out to star in Tootsie. Anthony Hopkins was also offered the role, but decided he would be laughably miscast and backed out. Other candidates included Albert Finney, Alec Guinness and John Hurt. At one point, Richard Attenborough even considered playing Gandhi himself for fear that he wouldn't find a suitable performer.
- Laurence Olivier was announced for General Dyer in 1980. Before David Lean had to abort his version of the Mahatma's life, Olivier was scheduled to portray the last viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten.
Trivia / Gandhi