×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth Talk Star-Crossed Love at ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Premiere

For the stars of Relativity’s latest big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the trick to tackling an iconic literary figure is not regarding him/her as such.

Star-crossed lovers Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth, along with costars Ed Westwick, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tomas Arana, and Nathalie Rapti Gomez and director Carlo Carlei, hit the Swarovski crystal-studded red carpet for their film’s world premiere at ArcLight Hollywood on Sept. 24.

Steinfeld, who was joined on the red carpet by gal pal Taylor Swift, said she teetered between being intimidated by Juliet and treating her like any other character she had played in the past. The young starlet was also joined by friends Jaden Smith and Moises Arias inside the screening.

“You kind of have to take it as any other role because I feel like, if I made it a thing that I was a part of re-making this classic or playing this iconic role, I would sort of lose sight of the work,” she said. “So I was able to read it on a clean slate and go into it and just sort if immerse myself in the entire world.”

Although the tragedy was written in 1597, the cast and crew said its theme of forbidden love still resonates today.

“I think the theme’s just still so relevant,” Booth, who plays Romeo, said. “I mean, all over the world you could find examples of people who are madly in love, but are being forced to marry other people. I think it’s going on all over the world in all societies.”

“It’s still relevant 500 years later and it will always be relevant a thousand years from now, nothing changes,” Arana said. “In Syria now there’s going to be a young son of a family that supports the regime that falls in love with a young daughter of a family that supports the rebels. And I’m sure that happens everywhere in the world.”

Instead of a dramatic reinterpretation, a la Baz Luhrmann, screenwriter Julian Fellowes opted for a traditional retelling of the classic tale, a la Franco Zeffirelli.

“I felt (that a drastic adaptation had) been done, I felt it’d been done by Baz, I felt it’d been done very well, actually,” the “Downton Abbey” creator said. “What hadn’t been done was a romantic, traditional reinterpretation with a whole Kleenex box of tissues to cry through and that seemed to me to be more interesting because it was nearly half a century since anyone did that on film.”

Meanwhile on stage, two major adaptations — a Broadway play starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, and a Classic Stage Company production with Julian Cihi and Elizabeth Olsen — will both have opened by the end of the month.

Fellowes said “Romeo and Juliet” is one of the rare stories that can be constantly re-adapted for new generations of lovers.

“We’ve all experienced star-crossed love, but I didn’t wind up dead in a tomb, that’s all,” he said with a chuckle.

The stars later chose sides between the Montagues and Capulets with their themed drinks at West Hollywood’s Soho House.

More Film

  • Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals

    Cannes: Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals on 'Traumfabrik' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has clinched first deals on romantic drama “Traumfabrik,” which is produced by Tom Zickler, the former producing partner of German star Till Schweiger. The film has been picked up by Leomus in China; Flins & Piniculas in Spain; LEV Films/Shani Film in Israel; Taiwan in Moviecloud; Media Squad in Czech Rep., Hungary [...]

  • Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the

    Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the Mayor'

    Sophomore director Nicolas Pariser follows his politically engaged debut, “The Great Game,” with an even deeper plunge into the disconnect between political theory and the workings of government in the unmistakably French “Alice and the Mayor.” Deeply influenced by Eric Rohmer in the way it aspires to use philosophical dialogue to reveal something about the [...]

  • 'Diego Maradona' Review: The Football Legend

    Cannes Film Review: 'Diego Maradona'

    You expect the director of a biographical documentary to have a passion for whoever he’s making a movie about. But the British filmmaker Asif Kapadia spins right past passion and into obsession. He doesn’t just chronicle a personality — he does an immersive meditation on it. Kapadia plunges into the raw stuff of journalism: news [...]

  • Atlantics

    Emerging Talent From Gallic Cinema

    Variety is teaming with Unifrance, an agency that promotes French cinema around the world, to focus attention on four emerging talents in the French movie industry as part of Unifrance’s “New Faces of French Cinema” program. Here Variety profiles the rising filmmakers: Justine Triet, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, Hafsia Herzi and Mati Diop. Mati Diop Born to [...]

  • John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’

    John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’ Actors for Horror Pic ‘Lair’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Hannah, Corey Johnson and Oded Fehr will star in “Lair,” billed as a socially conscious horror movie about an LGBT family embroiled in one man’s attempt to prove the existence of the supernatural. The trio all appeared in the successful franchise “The Mummy,” and their new picture goes into production later this year. Katarina [...]

  • Loving Vincent Animation Oscars

    Adult Audience Animation: Cannes Panel Talks Big-Screen Strategy

    CANNES–A panel of leading animation industry executives gathered during the Cannes Film Market on Sunday to shed light on their strategies for the theatrical release of adult-oriented animated features. It was a timely conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Five of the 28 animated projects in the Marché du Film are adult audience-focused, including [...]

  • Lea Drucker poses with the Best

    French Filmmaker Axelle Ropert Readies 'Petite Solange' With MK2 Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    French writer/director Axelle Ropert is set to direct “Petite Solange,” a film that will star Léa Drucker and Philippe Katerine, who won the best acting nods at this year’s Cesar Awards for their performances in “Custody” and “Sink or Swim,” respectively. MK2 films will handle international sales. Haut et Court has acquired rights for French [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content