The Hardest Thing About Filming Little Women Was Probably Not What You'd Guess

Jo and Laurie in the snow in Little Women 2019

Little Women, like most movies, did face some challenges while it was coming together. Amy Pascal, former Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment and current producer of Little Women, recently shared “the hardest thing” about filming the period drama. Honestly, I did not see her answer coming in the least.

Because Little Women features notable names and period costumes, I would have assumed her answer had to do with making sure cast members like Meryl Streep were available or even wearing all the period garb of the day. But actually, the hardest thing to deal with on the set of the Oscar-nominated movie was the weather. Specifically, the cast and crew spent a lot of time waiting for snow. Or as Pascal put it:

I'll tell you, the hardest thing was waiting for snow. It was the one thing that we couldn't control. So we had a lot of weather apps that we dealt with all the time. There were days that we were chasing snow.

Getting period details right is hard enough, but getting certain iconic scenes from Louisa May Alcott’s book to appear how people remember them on the big screen is even harder. You can’t adjust a scene in the icy cold and snow if the weather doesn’t cooperate. This isn’t a Hallmark movie where fake weather can be expected. It needed to be accurate, and cold much of the time.

It’s worth pointing out it wasn’t so long ago that the BBC TV version of Little Women got a bit of flack for “crap fake snow,” with other users also pointing out “the snow was RISING not FALLING.” So, clearly, there is a wrong way to do weather patterns and a right way to do weather patterns, and the Sony movie chose the hard path.

In the interview with THR, Amy Pascal also touched on getting frustrated on movie sets and occasionally wondering if things were not going to work out, noting,

You think that a little bit every day when you're making a film. Right? It's like the challenge of getting everything right all the time. You are always hoping that you're remembering what the goal is. I was lucky that Greta and I got to remind each other every day.

After all, it wasn’t particularly easy to get Little Women made in the first place. It was a dream of Greta Gerwig’s for a while. She pitched it to Amy Pascal, in fact, before she went off to direct Lady Bird. It was only when that movie got traction that Sony got interested enough to greenlight the project.

Then, it was off to the races, but apparently only on the days the weather would cooperate in Massachusetts, where the movie filmed. The final product looks great though, and has earned some attention during this year's awards season (though Greta Gerwig was snubbed at several events in the director's category), as well as made plenty of money for the studio. All in all, it seems it was snow problem.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.