Greta Garbo was extremely protective of Erich von Stroheim during filming. He was suffering from depression and poor health, and on some occasions, she covered for him by claiming to be sick.
According to cast member Hedda Hopper, filming of some scenes ran longer than expected because Erich von Stroheim would have trouble remembering his lines.
Although Erich von Stroheim was barred from the MGM lot by studio head Louis B. Mayer and production head Irving Thalberg, he was hired for the role of Karl Salter at the insistance of Greta Garbo, who threatened to quit otherwise.
Pirandello's play "Come tu mi vuoi", written by late 1929 premiered in Milan's Teatro de Filodrammatici on 18 February 1930.
The character of Karl Salter was loosely based on Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár.