There was a lot of bad blood between Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis. Davis had won an Oscar For "Jezebel", a role that Hopkins had played on Broadway and had expected to play in the movie. To make things worse, Davis had had an affair with Anatole Litvak, Hopkins' husband, while making "The Sisters".
Warner Brothers publicity department took full advantage of the dueling divas and played up their feud to boost ticket sales for the upcoming film. They even went as far as to circulate a photo of the actresses in full costume with boxing gloves on, ready to duke it out, with director Goulding looking resigned between them.
On her first day on the set, Hopkins wore an exact duplicate of the dress Davis had worn in Jezebel. Davis reflected on this time with Hopkins in her autobiography with the following observations "Miriam used and, I must give her credit, knew every trick in the book. I became fascinated watching them appear one by one. When she was supposed to be listening to me, her eyes would wander off into some other world in which she was the sweetest of them all. Her restless little spirit was impatiently awaiting her next line, her golden curls quivering with expectancy."
Bette Davis's characters in both The Old Maid and Now, Voyager were named Charlotte. They both were involved with a child named Tina. Bette starts out in similar makeup in Now, Voyager to the makeup she ended up in in The Old Maid. In both films she played characters referred to as "old maids".