Stephen Frears admits he had no idea of the back catalogue of work of his leading actor and actress in romantic comedy 'Tamara Drewe'.
The 'Queen' director admits he had little what either of them had previously worked on, but was told they would both be good options for leading roles in the film.
He said: "I know this sounds ridiculous but I didn't know that Dominic had been in 'Mamma Mia!', nobody told me. I was even more innocent than you imagine. The casting director said he wanted Dominic Cooper, so I thought fine.
"The truth is, to this day, that I've never seen Gemma in anything, I think I might have seen a few minutes of 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' and my wife said she was very, very good."
The British filmmaker also confessed filming the project led him to learn a lot about the countryside.
He told Movies.ie: "I thought it was funny and sexy, but the truth is after a time you start to realise how complex things are. One of the unconscious things might well have been to do with Dorset. I've learnt a lot about the countryside, so I'm sure that was all going on in my unconscious in some way."