Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 113
Olivia Hussey was just fifteen when Franco Zeffirelli cast her in Romeo and Juliet. When the film was released in October 1968, it catapulted Hussey and Leonard Whiting, the young actor playing Romeo, to global stardom. For many Shakespeare lovers, Zeffirelli’s film is still the definitive film adaptation of the play. Now, fifty years after the movie’s release, Hussey’s memoir, The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet, tells the story of the actress’s life before, during, and after Romeo and Juliet.
We talked with Hussey and asked her how she felt about Shakespeare before making the movie (“very boring”), filming the balcony scene (“I’d bump my teeth into his chin”), the endless press tour, and whether she’d do it all again. Olivia Hussey is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.
From our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published January 22, 2019. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Speak Again, Bright Angel” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the Associate Producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California.