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AOL CinemaPOV - Romeo and Juliet

Question #1
Subj: Claire-
Date: 96-02-15 06:18:33 EDT
From: TankGirl72
Posted on: America Online

Hello Claire,
I just wanted to say hello and that I hope you are enjoying your work on ROMEO AND JULIET. I miss seeing you on TV each week, but congratulations on your film career!! I was just wondering how you deal with being away from your family and friends during the long shooting shedules? What do you do for fun?

Best wishes,

I'll tell you, even though my mom always travels with me, it's very difficult to be away from my family and friends during long shooting schedules.
I make many, many long distance phone calls, which add up and are ridiculously expensive but worth it, because it counts as my social life. So, it's something that I'm struggling with and I'm learning how to manage. Sometimes I make short trips to New York or L.A., just to catch up on what's going on on the home fronts. And sometimes my friends will visit me. We make it work.
I also make really, really wonderful friends while I'm working. People on set are usually very interesting, creative and smart. That can be difficult as well because you are immersed in one family and you hop to another when you do films. Some relationships can be very special, very valuable.

Question #2
Subj: Re:Claire/Juliet
Date: 96-02-15 21:04:17 EDT
From: AbiButler
Posted on: America Online

Dear Claire,
Without trying to sound trite, I'd like to say that I have enjoyed your work. Although I've only seen a few episodes of My So-Called Life, I relate to them quite well. Little Women is also one of the most touching movies I have seen in a long time. As a pianist, I was moved by your portrayal of Beth when she recieves the piano from Mr. Lawrence.
Is this your first time to work on Shakespeare? My friends are currently putting on a production of Much Ado About Nothing and I am amazed at how difficult it really is. I live in Houston and recently saw Vanessa and Corin Redgrave direct and star in Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. It never ceases to put me in awe at how aplicable Shakespeare's plays are to life today. Of course, Romeo and Juliet is the classic example. I can't wait to see how your work turns out. Best of luck to you in all you do. You are a talented actress with a style people just can't turn away from. Don't let Hollywood go to your head.
Abi Butler

It is my first time working on Shakespeare. I've read it for school and I've done papers. I actually had not read "Romeo & Juliet" until I planned to do the movie. I'm reading "Hamlet" now in school, just by coincidence, so it's fun to compare the two plays. The idea of doing Shakespeare did seem impossible, at first, and very frightening. But, I've become more comfortable with the language. Although the feelings are very, very intense, the words are so powerful and the feelings are so real and the situation is so real that it makes the job of the actor fairly easy. (Well, I don't know how real Juliet's situation is, but in context it is. It's just a heightened version of what might happen. It's not an everyday occurrence.) There are no missing pieces (in the writing), so I don't have to fill in the blanks for the writer, by any means. And it's funny, now I'm reading scripts for other movies and I'm ridiculously disappointed! It's impossible to measure up to Shakespeare.

Question #3
Subj: claire is the sun
Date: 96-02-16 00:27:51 EDT
From: Wijic
Posted on: America Online

Dear Claire,
Hi, How are you! I just wanted to tell you that i am so happy you were picked to be juliet. It's a perfect choice. I am a big fan of yours i was addicted to My So Called Life and your the reason it lasted as long as it did. Your movies are great ive seen all of them. I just wanted to know what it was like working with Jody Foster. Did she give you any advice on your career? I appreciate your time.
Thanks, Wijic(Jennifer)

Jodie Foster is a great person and I wish I had gotten to know her a little better. She's very, very smart and she's a great director. (I've never worked with her when she was acting, which would be interesting.) She was exceptionally efficient and I trusted her immensely, because I knew that she knew where I was coming from. That meant a lot. She was very sympathetic to the actors and at the same time, she understood how the technical end worked and was available to anyone who needed her on set.
She was an actor who has done this her entire life. She talked to me about going to college and how much she loved going to Yale. She really encouraged me to do that. She's proof that you don't have to compromise an education in order to act.

Question #4
Subj: Acting with Leonardo
Date: 96-02-18 10:37:20 EDT
From: Slacker95
Posted on: America Online

What is working with Leonardo DiCaprio like?

Leonardo DiCaprio is great, he's probably the best actor I've ever worked with. He's very intense. He is also so funny. It got to the point on set where I'd be bent over in pain from laughing. It's important to have that kind of humor on set because things can get very serious and people are stressed out. What else about Leo? It's been a real treat working with him. Between when the director calls action and cut, it can be really ... I hate to use the word 'magical,' but it is magical, I think. Leo cares about acting a lot and I respect that, because I do too.

Question #5
Subj: Other Juliets
Date: 96-02-19 15:52:41 EDT
From: Miguel E 3
Posted on: America Online

Did you look at Olivia Hussey's version of Juliet. I just rented that version again. I remember when I was in seventh grade, Zeffarelli's version has just come out and I was so enchanted I went to see it for two consecutive days while vacationing at Myrtle Beach. That may be 25 years ago but I still like to see that movie. Hopefully you will have that effect on teenagers when the movie comes out.

Indeed, I did look at Olivia Hussey's version of Juliet and I really shouldn't have. I saw it in July, or something, and we started shooting the movie in January. It took that many months to get her out of my system and start anew with Juliet. Olivia Hussey was so beautiful, first of all! I thought, how am I going to match that?! But, this is another version. I think she did a great job, but they're going to be very different films. I guess my interpretation of Juliet will be not the same, because I'm a product of a different time period. I think she emphasized Juliet's innocence more and .... I actually have no perception of what my Juliet is like. I have to see it all together in order to have some distance and objectivity. Maybe I'll see it again (the Zeferelli film) after this is all over.

Originally transcribed by: Steve Reed

From America Online, 1996