What was it like working on a set where you already knew most of your cast members through other Whedonverse projects or other get-togethers with Joss?
There was a special understanding, a special rapport that the cast brought with them because we had either worked with each other or we had hung out with each other or, at the very least, we knew each other’s work because it’s Joss, and we all sort of tend to keep track of each other. I had never worked with Clark [Gregg], although I had a tiny part in The Avengers and he had a big part in The Avengers, but I was a fan of his work. And I’ve never worked with Nathan [Fillion], but I am also a fan of his work, and I know him ’cause we’d spent a lot of time just hanging out. So that familiarity and comfort with each other sped up the process, which frankly, was necessary because we didn’t have a lot of time to get to know each other. It was a good thing that we could hit the set running. The only challenge was learning the lines for the speed of the shoot because we really were knocking out just one or two takes and moving on, and before you knew it you were into a whole new scene and a whole new batch of lines, although Joss cut the play a little. Shakespeare writes a lot of words! And sometimes it’s hard to get past that, but with this one, after a couple of minutes, you don’t even hear Shakespeare anymore; you just hear these people talking and you get it. You understand it.
How much time did you have between getting the call when Joss said, “We’re making this movie!” and the start of production?
Just a couple weeks. The day that he asked me to do it, the last thing he said was, “You might want to start learning your lines.” Normally you’d have quite a few weeks to prepare for something like this, whether it was stage or film. So the lines was probably the biggest challenge. There were a lot of actors walking around the set murmuring to themselves.
So if Joss decides to take another “vacation” after Avengers 2, would you be on board for another Shakespeare movie?
Are you kidding? I’ve already started begging him to do another one. It was just so fun, and I think this group is special, and I think this movie is special. If he put this together again, I’d be the first one to say I’m in, definitely.
Which other plays by Shakespeare do you think would be a good fit for Joss?
I think he’d do a killer version of Hamlet. I know that he’s got that movie in him. That’s the first one that comes to mind. And then if he doesn’t do that, maybe take a really boring history play that everybody hates and then Much Ado will look really, really good. [Laughs] But he’s got this little movie to make called Avengers 2, so I don’t know how soon he’s gonna need another Shakespeare vacation. But if he does, I’ll make the tea for production. I’ll do wardrobe. Anything.
Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing opens in U.S. theaters on June 7. A U.K. and Ireland release is set for June 14. The release follows last year’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, the U.S. premiere at South By Southwest last month, and next month’s opening night screening at the Seattle International Film Festival.
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