Trivia: At the beginning of the movie when Benjamin is taking the children to Aunt Charlotte's house in Charleston, there is a woman on the street that does not move, and wearing a big hoop dress. She is there to hide the fire hydrant on the street underneath her dress.
Trivia: By the time Heath Ledger won this role, he was flat broke. He recalled, 'It came to the point where I had like, no money.' He was practically living on Ramen noodles by that time. This was because he 'got nothing offers to do these teen movies and television sitcoms', and he refused to do them due to the 'very little depth' of the scripts. By the time he was accepted for The Patriot, he said later, 'I guess I put myself in a situation where I didn't belong. But saying no turned out to be more valuable than saying yes.'
Trivia: The character Benjamin Martin was based very strongly on the real life militia leader Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox". In the original drafts of the script even the character's name was to be Francis Marion. However, during filming certain historical sources revealed that Francis Marion was perhaps a very dubious character who was accused of hunting Native Americans for sport and raping his female slaves. Historical debate rages over the veracity of these accusations; but Sony Pictures changed the name of the character to Benjamin Martin to avoid any potential controversy around the film.
Trivia: Ironically, when Heath Ledger tried out for the role as Mel Gibson's son for the first time, he felt he did not deserve the part, so he apologized to the casting agents and left. The next day, they called him up and asked to give it just another shot at auditioning, which he did. He nailed it.
Trivia: The Patriot was one of several movies (including A Knight's Tale) in 2000 that became part of a major lawsuit against Sony. The studio had invented a fictitious film critic named David Manning, who naturally wrote glowing reviews of all its films. In 2005, the studio finally settled out of court and agreed to refund $5 to every theater goer who'd been duped by "Manning." How many ever took advantage of the offer was never disclosed.