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One Day production secrets

One Day: All the behind the scenes secrets from Netflix’s rom-com series

Warning: This will make you love the show even more


Netflix’s limited series One Day truly has had us in a chokehold since its release on February 8th. The emotional rollercoaster the show puts its viewers through and the perfect on-screen chemistry between Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall has been eaten up by all the hopeless romantics out there. And, really, who can blame them?

Obviously, fans have been wanting to dig a little deeper into the ins and outs of the show: the romantic filming locations, the casting processes, and even the gut-wrenching ending. So, for those of you who need more than just the behind-the-scenes pics of the cast, here are all of the intruiging behind-the-scenes production secrets from One Day:

Ambika and Leo weren’t actually born for most of the period One Day is set in, which proved problematic when filming 

Credit: TikTok

On the Millenial/Gen-Z cusp Ambika and Leo had little experience working with the technology of the 80’s and 90’s. And Ambika told BAFTA that there was “a lot to learn” when getting her head around it:

“We had to be taught how to use phones, desktop computers, payphones, typewriters… because we just didn’t [know]! We were like, ‘what do we do with this?,'” she said. “And we had to be taught – usually by an older member of the crew who would begrudgingly give us instructions.”

The gut-wrenching ending of One Day was actually filmed really early on in the production schedule

One Day behind the scenes

Credit: Netflix

Despite the tragic ending of One Day being revealed in the series’ final episode, it was actually filmed near the start of production. Ambika told HuffPost UK: “What’s weird is we filmed the last episode at the beginning of the series. So actually, after we let go of that, it just kind of felt like a great time.”

Leo also stated that on occasion he and Ambika were even able to “kind of forget” the way the devastating end to the story. Ambika agreed: “You just get it out of the way, and then you can kind of focus on the good times.” If only viewers could forget the ending too.

Unpredictable weather nearly ruined filming on multiple occasions thanks to the story’s July setting

One Day behind the scenes

Credit: Netflix

Leo also stated that on occasion he and Ambika were even able to “kind of forget” the way the devastating end to the story. Ambika agreed: “You just get it out of the way, and then you can kind of focus on the good times.” If only viewers could forget the ending too.

Unpredictable weather nearly ruined filming on multiple occasions thanks to the story’s July setting

One Day behind the scenes

Credit: Netflix

Ambika added: “From November onwards is when things started to get really tricky because we were outside with no clothes on, having to look like it was a nice warm summer’s evening, which was its own challenge that I didn’t think either of us could have foreseen going into this. Having watched it back, I’m very proud of us, you wouldn’t have been able to guess!”

Intimacy co-ordinators worked closely with the cast to help illustrate Emma and Dexter’s complicated relationship

One Day behind the scenes

Credit: Netflix

Like Normal People, intimacy co-ordinators were called on to One Day’s set to help depict Emma and Dexter’s close relationship. Ambika told Vogue: “We all sat down and had a really in-depth discussion about the relationship, about what the intimacy in that relationship would look like, about how it evolves, how it differs from the intimacy in other relationships. I’d never thought about sex and intimacy in that way before, but it was so revealing and so helpful.”

Leo nearly didn’t get the role of Dexter because he forgot to take off a fake neck tattoo he’d been wearing for a role the day before

Credit: HBO

If you’re a Leo Woodall fan, you’ll know he plays the Essex Lothario-turned-bad-boy – Jack – in The White Lotus season two. And, when heading to his first meeting with Netflix production crew to chat One Day, Leo nearly lost himself the role of Dexter with one big mistake. He told Lorraine Kelly: “I flew back to London to do my first in person meeting and I had forgotten to take off my neck tattoo,” adding to  Virgin Radio: “They all panicked, because they thought it real.”

Slightly obsessed with the idea of Dex with a neck tattoo, tbh.

The first scene Ambika and Leo filmed of the entire series was chilling together on Primrose Hill

Netflix's One Day: Plot, cast, trailer and release date | British GQ

Credit: Netflix

Emma and Dex sharing wine on Primrose Hill in Camden in episode three was a pivotal and admittedly beautiful point in the show and this sequence, jam packed with emotion, was surprisingly day one of shooting. Pretty impressive.

As Tudum put it: “With the beautiful golden hour light, the stunning backdrop perfectly juxtaposed Emma’s disappointment in her lacklustre London life.” Director Molly Manners also added, “It really helps bring home how important Dexter is in making her feel like she belongs to something in the city.”

Leo and Ambika didn’t land their roles until they’d gone through a series of ‘chemistry reads’ to make sure they were a match

One Day

Credit: Netflix

Chemistry reads (i.e. speed dating for actors) are vital for filming such romance fuelled shows. Whilst Ambika and Leo evidently aced their chemistry read, Leo recalled to ABC News how this first meeting with Ambika didn’t go so well. Seems hard to believe, right? He said, “She was talking to another potential Dexter, and I was like, ‘Oh God, how do I get in here?’. I said, ‘Oh, nice shoes’. And it was like, not mid-scene, but it was while we were supposed to be working and it kind of all just fell flat.” Classic Dex fumbling Emma.

Luckily for Leo, Ambika had a much more positive experience. She told the podcast Reign: “I met Leo at the chemistry reads and he was the second Dexter I read with. He is so cheeky and charming. He was so open and warm just immediately and it felt really easy, the scenes felt really playful and I think that’s really rare.” That sounds more like the Dex we know.

The cast and crew spent weeks travelling together and became ‘close’ while getting those enviable holiday shots of Emma and Dexe

One Day

Credit: Netflix

As we follow Emma and Dex across numerous fabulous European destinations, One Day definitely becomes the perfect form escapism. Lucky for Ambika and Leo, they did get to jet off to locations such as, London, Rome, Scotland, Hertfordshire and Greece. We are so jealous.

Ambika told Rolling Stone, “We all travelled a lot together”. She added, “We stayed in the same hotels. So we’ve become really close in the whole cast and crew.” The dream is to be on a Greek Island with Leo Woodall.

Tilly’s wedding was filmed at a location previously used for the Bridgerton prequel Queen Charlotte

Meet the One Day Netflix cast, from Ambika Mod to White Lotus star Leo Woodall | Glamour UK

Credit: Netflix

The Netflix fiends out there may have recognised that the scenes of Tilly’s wedding were filmed at the Old Palace at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, previously used as a set in the Bridgerton prequel Queen Charlotte. Coincidently, Hatfield, Hertfordshire happens to be the town where Ambika was born. Cute!

Leo actually had horrendous food poisoning while filming the scenes of him and Ambika climbing up Arthurs Seat

Credit: Netflix

The cast and crew put in the effort and climbed to the top of the famous Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park. Ambika had a great time, telling Rolling Stone how “a highlight was Arthur’s Seat” and how “the weather was gorgeous”. She in fact held the location in her heart – she reminisced during an appearance on Graham Norton, about how during her run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2019 she was feeling “a bit lost”, “quite depressed” and as if she “wasn’t getting anywhere” and admitted, “On the last day of the Fringe, we climbed Arthur’s Seat and I remember it as a terrible time. I was not loving myself or my life… Then cut to almost exactly three years later and I am filming in Edinburgh at Arthur’s Seat playing the lead in a Netflix series of my favourite book. It felt very special. A full circle moment.”

However, Leo unfortunately didn’t have quite the same opinion of the renowned Scottish landmark. He recalled to BAFTA: “The second day was less fun for me, because I got food poisoning right as we hit the top of the huge, huge hill. And we had to just keep filming, it didn’t matter what state I was in.”  Poor lad. Although he’s just so talented it’s not like the viewers could tell he wasn’t thriving.

Ambika discussed what her ethnicity might mean for Emma with producers before they even started filming

Who is Ambika Mod from One Day on Netflix?

Credit: Netflix

Imagine One Day without Ambika Mod. The thought can’t even be conjured. Well, shockingly she told Vogue she initially didn’t even want to audition for the part, saying, “I didn’t think that I was right for the part. I thought I would be wasting everyone’s time if I even taped for it. Then I just woke up in bed one night and I was like, ‘I’ve made a massive mistake’. I called my agent the next morning and I was like, ’Is it too late to tape?’.”

And, in preparation for filming, Ambika discussed her ethnicity with producers and what that might mean for the role of Emma. “They weren’t looking for a particular race or ethnicity, they were just looking for the best person to play her, and I’m very lucky and very thankful that they thought that was me,” she told the Watford Observer.

“Before we started filming, we talked about my race and my ethnicity and what that might mean for Emma. But it never really impeded or explicitly showed itself in the writing or in the series in any way because it’s not a story about a young brown woman — it’s a story about two people, Emma and Dexter, and their love, their friendship and their growing up.”

Ambika had ‘militant’ vocal training to get Emma’s Yorkshire accent right after Anne Hathaway’s attempt was ridiculed

One Day

Credit: Netflix

Our talented Ambika was thorough with learning the iconic Yorkshire accent, aware of the major criticism of Anne Hathaway’s attempts at the accent in the 2011 film One Day. She told the Huffington Post that her and her dialect coach, Natalie Grady were “militant” in their practice. “We met, like, three times a week, hour-and-a-half sessions, we went through every single sound,” she said.

“I learned a really, really strong, authentic Leeds accent, and then we pared it down and found an accent that felt really truthful to Emma and where she was in episode one, and then we tapered it from then on.” It was honestly perfect.