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Diana & Me

December 04, 1997 | Roadshow Entertainment | 98 minutes
Directed by: David Parker | Written by: Elizabeth Coleman, Matt Ford | Cinematography: Keith Wagstaff | Editing: Bill Murphy | Costume Design: Tess Schofield | Production Design: Jon Dowding | Music: Brett Rosenberg
Twenty-something Australian Diana Spencer (Toni Collette) has the dubious honor of sharing both the name date of birth with the iconic Princess of Wales. She wins a competition in a women's magazine, and gets a trip for two to London, where she wants to meet her idol and namesake. In London, she visits a public garden party, during which things get mixed up. She gets arrested with an overly ambitious Paparazzi, Rob (Dominic West). After being released, Diana follows Rob as she sees her chance to finally meet the princess with her new friend's help.
Cast: Toni Collette (Diana Spencer), Dominic West (Rob Naylor), Malcolm Kennard (Mark Fraser), Victoria Eagger (Carol), John Simm (Neil), Serena Gordon (Lady Sarah Myers-Booth), Roger Barclay (Richard), Tom Hillier (Neville), David Baldwin (Dog Owner), Victoria Longley (Pauline Challinor), Marshall Napier (Bank Manager), Penne Hackforth-Jones (Pollock), William Zappa (Phil)

Production Notes

In “Diana and Me”, an Australian girl shares the name and birthdate (although 10 years earlier) with the Princess of Wales. The rather obsessed Australian Diana Spencer wins a trip to London with a chance to meet her namesake, only to be pushed out the way by a paparazzo. Collette says the film “explores the manic obsession we have with celebrity, royal or otherwise.” She adds that “it is about someone who’s also a terrible magazine junkie and believes everything she reads, and ends up in her own story. She ultimately learns about the scum factor of the paparazzi industry along the way.” Toni didn’t have to do much research on the subject. There’s no love lost between her and the tabloid press. “Funnily enough, a lot of tabloid shit was being written about me in Australia while I was in London shooting Diana and Me, but it was a great experience to work on nonetheless.”

Shooting wrapped in December 1996, and post production was completed at Easter 1997, with release planned for late August. Diana’s tragic death threw the plans into limbo, and director David Parker worked with writer Matt Ford for six weeks on how to take into account the real events that would make the film acceptable, without seeming to exploit the event or to display bad taste. What they came up with simple yet effective: the film begins with new footage shot in October 1997, in which Diana is laying flowers at the gates of Kensington Palace in loving memory of Princess Diana, making the rest of the film a flahsback.

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