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Much Ado About Nothing

Sean Maher - "Much Ado About Nothing" Movie - Graffitiwithpunctuation.net Interview

Tuesday 10 July 2012, by Webmaster

BH: You mentioned Much Ado About Nothing, we’ve been hearing lots of things about it and it kind of popped out of nowhere, can you explain a little bit about it?

SM: It literally popped up out of nowhere. I was shooting a series in Chicago (The Playboy Club) and I came home and it was two o’clock in the morning or something and there was an email from Joss saying, this is what I’m doing [Much Ado], and I want to get this movie made and I need a sexy villain, what say of you? And I was like, oh my gosh, I was speechless so I emailed him back instantly and said I’m doing the series but let me talk to some people and see what can happen. The next morning I flew back to Los Angeles because I had to do an event for the show for NBC and I was with my manager that night and I told him that Joss had emailed me about Much Ado and my manager told me to take out my Blackberry and email Joss to say I was doing the film. I asked my manager about the series I was shooting and he said not to worry about it, I need to tell Joss I was doing it, it was an opportunity you won’t pass up. I was actually terrified because I had never done Shakespeare. I think part of me was thinking my manager wouldn’t let me do it because of the series and contractual obligations but he said I had to do it, so I was literally in the middle of this huge event and I ripped out my phone and told Joss I was in and that was it. Soon we started rehearsals and everyone was like “holy shit, this is what we’re doing!” And to shoot a feature film in twelve days is just unheard of, unless you’re Joss Whedon. He called and everyone came – hair, makeup, wardrobe, crews, DPs, not just the actors but everybody wanted to be there 200 per cent, nobody was making any money on it, we had very little time to do it so everyone was expected to do a lot of homework. Joss was telling us the actors that he was setting up three shots, he was going to let the scene play and there was very little room for error so know your words and we rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed…which was great but it was terrifying and then was like the most exhilarating job I’ve had in a while because he was basically shooting live theatre. We only had a few chances to do it and we didn’t know what was going to happen and Joss would cut and I would have goosebumps, it was amazing, and I got to play a villain too which is something that I’ve never done. We would finish a scene and the crew would change the set up and I’d be standing next to Joss and he’s like “you’re such a dick” and I was like “Thanks, I’ve never been a dick” and he’s like “You’ve never been a dick? You should be a dick more often you’re so good at it” and I’m like “Thanks buddy”. Every time I talk to him he’s like “ohhhhh you’re so villainous in this movie” and I cannot wait to see it. He’s also composing the music for the movie and he was telling me he’s composing the most villainous music for my character, he’s so excited about it. He’s such an amazing soul to be around and he was just SO excited, even his wife was saying she’d never seen him so excited in such a long time. Everyone was thrilled to be there, it was just wonderful.

BH: Have you seen the look? Is the film shot entirely in black and white?

SM: It’s all shot in black and white. It was all shot in his home in Santa Monica. It has got a very contemporary feel to it, a little bit of a noir feel to it, ever our direction as actors, he did not want us to be “Shakespearian”, he wanted us to pull-it-in and be as intimate as possible and I think Much Ado is one of Shakespeare’s most universal plays, there’s no iambic pentameter, it’s easy to set it in a contemporary time period. From what I’ve seen, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it but it looks great.