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Douglas, great to meet you. Lovely to meet you. What is so special about this version
of Romeo and Juliet?
I mean, for me, for me there's loads of different things, but the thing that comes to mind straight
away is that, you know, firstly it's set in the original place it's set, where Shakespeare
meant it to be set and that's special. Because that hasn't been done for awhile, and I think
it's brave. Because often people try, they like try to put modern twists on things these
days, you know, on stage they'll set it on counselor's table. They'll set it here. They'll
set it there. It's brave to sort of set it in it's original setting, but want to take
it to a younger audience.
Now, you talked about more modern versions, modern interpretations... Did you feel a pressure
to live up to Leonardo Dicaprio's performance?
I mean, of course, I mean there's a lot of pressure that comes with that. He's one of
my favourite actors, and I admire him more than anyone.
But you'd go mad if you start thinking about that, so actually I just try to forget all
that, through all that baggage out the window and just try and create something new in the
Did you just give him a call? Right, Leo. Main man.
I didn't. I was saying to someone earlier. I happened, just after I finished filming,
I was in a bar with him. He's friends with a friend of mine Ray Winstone and we're shooting...
Oh, casual. Yeah because they're, because they know each other from The Departed and
he was there and he was hanging out. The most normal, lovely guy ever, but I didn't bring
it up with him. I was like, it's too much to bring up...
And he didn't bring it up?
No, he... Come on, I'm not going to pretend he knew who I was, so um yeah. Lovely guy.
Let's talk about the first kiss scene with Hailee Steinfeld. Was it nerve wracking?
Of course it was. I mean, it was actually the first thing we shot. The balcony was the
first thing we shot, and so yeah... It was a little nerve wracking, but um...
There's something sort of special about the fact that we are so similar in age to the
actual characters. The closest it's been... We were 15 and 19 when we shot, and so for
us it's something about discovering these things for the first time. You know, Romeo
has experienced a little more, I think. He sort of falls for girls quickly, but he's
never fallen in love, and Juliet this is her first ever love. So, there's something special
having you know Hailee at 15 playing this character and sort of just experiencing these
things for the first time and discovering this sort of... There's this amazing shot,
where I remember, where I take her mask off at the ball, which is where I kiss her for
the first time and she does this amazing thing where she just look at Romeo with her eyes
and it's just. It's a totally natural thing, and it's sort of this thing of like a young
teenager experiencing something that's totally new to her and that, I don't want to talk
for Hailee. She's probably kissed loads of boys, or not... Who knows?
You could really feel this kind of. It was a newness about this for Juliet, and I think
that's something quite special and the innocence that we brought to this was quite...
It was probably great then that it was sort of your first scene that you shot.
Now, you kiss a lot. Yes. In the film. Was there any need for chapstick?
Oh God, there may have been. I can't remember. We shot over a year ago now. Yeah, we kissed
a lot. There's just a need for a toothbrush, probably.
Yeah, well I'm sure you did keep your teeth nice and clean.
Of course.
Have you got any advice for anyone experiencing a modern day forbidden love story?
That's why this film is still so relevant. People... I think, whether it's on such an
extreme level as this or not, it's still totally relevant today. My advice is, in this case,
communicate. That would help.
That would definitely help. I mean, we're living in an age of mobile phones. I was thinking,
when I watched the film, if only they had a mobile phone.
Exactly. But yeah, I hope this movie sort of can help young people feel less alone in
that sort of crazy mad feeling that is young love. When you first fall in love, that chemical,
those natural chemicals that are being released in your body that leave you wondering what
is happening to me? One moment you feel like the happiest you've ever felt. One moment
you feel full of despair and pain and joy and confusion and then all these things that
you feel, that blind you when you're young, like young love... And I hope that if anyone
is feeling alone and confused by these emotions, that this can make them feel less alone.
Wow, you really are a modern day Romeo. Um, in other projects, how's filming going for
Jupiter Ascending? That's with Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.
Yeah, I finished... I finished that... I did one other film since then. I did Noah after
this and then I did Jupiter Ascending, which I did for most of the beginning of the year,
and I've just finished filming Posh. But Jupiter Ascending was, I had a great time with Channing
and Mila.
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Douglas Booth Romeo and Juliet interview: Actor talks taking on Romeo in new film

212 Folder Collection
s7003122 published on June 26, 2016
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