Ready for some major drama, literally?
Our excitement about the new Romeo & Juliet only grew after chatting with Ed Westwick, who plays Romeo's rival, Tybalt. Ed gave us a call to talk about the classic love story, his favorite scene and how he chooses his roles.
"I've always been very intrigued by the character [Tybalt], ever since I was a youngster," Ed told us. "I was playing somebody trapped between generations. I think during that period, the Renaissance, it was a changing time. What I wanted to bring was a character that was somewhat struggling with adapting times."
We couldn't help but think of Ed's famous role as Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl when we saw him as Tybalt, but Ed kept them very separate. "I see them as different individuals," he said. "They're from generations apart, and I think Tybalt is motivated by what he knows. As opposed to Chuck, who is a playboy. Tybalt was far from a playboy."
Romeo & Juliet is known for its tragic love story, but Ed's favorite scene was far from that. "I enjoyed the fight from the bridge between the two rival households," he told us. "There was a gust of wind when we were shooting it which blew a lot of sand off the floor and it really created this amazing image. It was completely unintentional."
Trying to find a balance between a classic and modern day can be tricky. "The language is tweaked," Ed said. "A lot of the original verse is there, but parts are changed and made more accessible to an audience who perhaps isn't familiar with the original Shakespeare language--old English." But he assures us the heart and soul of the original dialogue is still there: "It maintains the core message of the story."
Ed definitely chooses his roles wisely and strategically, but what does it really come down to? "I think if you get a script and you're 15 pages in and it's not grabbing you--I don't think that's going to be the one," he said. "It's all about the great stories, the people you're going to work with--and you want to feel that you can do something with the character."
Don't forget to watch Ed's take on Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, out in theaters on October 11.