Picks and Pans Review: Excerpts

UPDATED 02/12/1996 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/12/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

>THE SENSE AND SENSIBILITY SCREENPLAY & DIARIES by Emma Thompson

If you want literature, stick with Austen's novel. But Emma Thompson's screen adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is published along with a self-deprecating diary she kept while playing sensible Elinor during the 10-week S&S shoot. Gossipy highlights:

•Thompson's impression of costar Hugh Grant (Edward) at first rehearsal: "Repellently gorgeous, why did we cast him? He's much prettier than I am."

•Director Ang Lee's comment to Thompson on the first day of shooting: "Don't look so old." Thompson, 36, was playing a woman in her mid-20s.

•Subtlest special effect: In this pastoral romance, sheep seen in the background had wool permed to look fluffier.

•Subtlest special effect scrapped as impractical: Thompson hoped to find trained trout for Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) to tickle and catch to impress Marianne (Kate Winslet).

•Actor for whom craggy-faced, 40ish Alan Rickman was mistaken by daft tourist in Somerset: Tom Cruise

•Taiwanese director Ang's comment during shoot: "The acting in England is much better than the food."

•Thompson's diary entry on necking with costar: "Kissing Hugh very lovely. Glad I invented it."

•Thompson on her appearance in ball scene: "Pulled boobs up as far as they'd go, but they are still disappointing."

•Number of times during the shoot that Thompson complains about having a blemish: Four.

•Number of times that Thompson mentions estranged husband and erstwhile collaborator Kenneth Branagh during the shoot: Zero. (Newmarket Press, $23.95)

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