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Joss Whedon at the Glasgow Film Festival

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On the evening of Sunday 24th February, the ninth Glasgow Film Festival drew to a highly successful close, celebrating over 39,000 ticket sales a 12% increase over the previous year. The closing night gala was a sold out preview screening of the new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon, and starring a roster of actors with whom Whedon has worked on his many previous projects  - Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher and Fran Kranz among them. After the screening, Whedon spoke with Allan Hunter, co-director of the festival and took questions from the audience.

Joss Whedon - Thank you to all of you who didn’t leave. I think they liked the film.

Allan Hunter - Indeed. I’m sure you probably all have a thousand questions, and we will get to as many as we can. Congratulations on a fantastic, romantic, witty, funny -

JW - Script?

AH - Script. And such beautiful music as well. Was there something that first ignited your passion for Shakespeare? Did you see a production somewhere, did you do stuff in college?

JW - I can’t remember ever not being interested. My mother and stepfather would have readings at the house, and I would try to read before I could understand what I was reading, but the productions that really sent me were when I was in high school at Winchester College and I saw, first, Jacobi’s Hamlet, which was on the BBC, I didn’t see the live version. That’s what started everything, then there was a production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Regent’s Park open air theatre which I saw three times. That was when I realised how much the plays come to you, how little you have to do to get to them. You just show up, they’re just that good.

AH - Is there an extra trepidation in how a British audience is going to respond?

JW - For sure. But I’m not showing it at all. Some people were like “Let’s open this… what we should do is premiere this at a Shakespeare festival.” No! The harshest critics? Let’s premiere it at ComicCon. There’s always this terrible perception, “Oh, you’re going to tell us how it’s supposed be done? Thanks.” I think the Mormons believe Shakespeare was born in America.

AH - And are the actors intimidated at all? Is it still an Everest to climb for them?

JW - Intimidated? It’s funny you should bring up Nathan Fillion. He was terrified. It just looked horrible. He’d read at the house, but he’d never done any Shakespeare outside of that, and he tried to back out, and I was like, “I love you but you can’t.” And he just never stopped thanking me.



 

Comments  

 
#2 Nathalie Caron 2013-02-26 04:38
Yes, I second that, thanks for bringing us Joss Whedon, Mike. That was extremely interesting. I read Much Ado About Nothing a couple (make that many) years back after seeing the Branagh version. I just loved him and Emma Thompson together, when they were still a couple. They had such chemistry.

I'm curious about Whedon's version (Even though I really don't like black and white.) But I know this was a project that was close to his heart.

Maybe I'll be able to catch that at some point - hopefully, but I'm really grateful you brought us the great Q&A.
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#1 Craig Oxbrow 2013-02-25 22:40
Thanks for that Mike!
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