EXCLUSIVE: Ed Westwick Talks ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ Love and ‘Gossip Girl’
We all know and love Ed Westwick thanks to his Chuck Bass character on Gossip Girl, but get ready to see him in a whole new light! In the latest adaptation of William Shakepeare's Romeo & Juliet — in theaters October 11 — Ed is taking on the iconic role of Juliet's hot-tempered cousin, Tybalt.
Recently, we were able to catch up with Ed, and chatted with him about what he thought was the most intimidating scene to film, Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth's chemistry, the craziest thing he's done for love, and much, much more!
For the full interview, start reading the bloody good Q&A below!
Was there one particular scene you were intimidated to take on?
There was one that was very intimidating I don’t think I probably got it right. They probably edited it so it looks alright. It was the dancing scene, I can’t remember the name of the exact dance. That was intimidating to me because during the period when the story’s set there was very traditional dances and obviously they played a big part at banquets, that was entertainment for the guests. It was very different from anyway people usually dance these days. But it was interesting and I hope that it’s okay.
Aside from Romeo & Juliet, what other works of Shakespeare do you think should be required for everyone to learn?
That’s a bloody good question. I think with Shakespeare a lot of his work was a lot about the commentary of the time and the politics as well. Richard III was especially interesting because it touched on many things. I love Hamlet I think Hamlet’s a wonderful story and then obviously Macbeth. This is one of these questions where you can never really pick one play. The man has such an amazing body of work. I might be wrong, but what I heard was that they were cutting Romeo and Juliet from the curriculum in England, which I thought was quite tragic. I’m hoping that maybe this film can bring it back, we need to educate the children about the greatest romance and tragedy of all time.
How do you think the love at first sight feeling has been altered thanks to modern technology?
Well if you look at all of the online dating match up things, that’s a huge thing. Personally, I properly believe in love at first sight in this day and age. Especially in a town like L.A. where there are so many, I hate to use the word distraction or temptations, but there are a lot of beautiful people running around this town. So if somebody falls in love at first sight here it’s genuine, I mean it’s a really special thing. Yeah I mean it has changed the whole concept of love and falling in love has change but however anybody finds someone and it’s real it doesn't matter as long as it happens.
Tell me about what it was like working with Hailee and Douglas? Describe their chemistry.
I think they were both great. Honestly, I didn't really have any scenes with the both of them. The development of their relationship happens in secret but I felt like they were both very committed and very very talented. I think on screen the chemistry shows and I’m very proud of the work they did.
How did you prepare for this role? Was there training involved? What was that process like?
We worked with these guys called the Monsters of Arms who are absolutely brilliant. I think they worked on Gladiator actually. They were geniuses and they really helped us to create the best, and I think original, they really wanted to do something original with the fight sequences. And we worked at it a lot and it was actually one of the most enjoyable things, it’s something I've never really done. It was something new, something exhilarating and yeah, exciting, enjoyable.
Was there anything you held onto, maybe wardrobe-wise that you wanted to keep?
No I mean I would've loved to have kept some of the costume. The doublets, which were the fashion of the time. But no we didn't get to keep anything, which was quite tragic.
Who is a more menacing character Tybalt or Chuck Bass?
Tybalt, completely. I feel like they are very, very, very different. At the end of the day Tybalt, wields a sword and I don’t think Chuck Bass ever pulled out a sword. He was quite sharp and dangerous with his tongue. They’re very different characters, and that was another thing for me which was great because playing the same role for six years it was very important for me to go onto to something else and experience a different character and a different journey and work with different people. I felt very good at the end of that piece of work.
What do you think is the craziest thing you've ever done for love?
That’s a difficult question because it’s very broad concept. I mean you can talk about things you do when you have a significant other or something like that. But what I believe right now actually focuses around something else. I spent the summer actually back in England because my father died and that was probably the most significant thing of love was to be there with my family and share that love and feel that love together. When it comes to a woman or whatever I don’t really know.
Aside from Romeo & Juliet, what’s your favorite love story?
I’m huge huge fan of the movies Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. I think they are absolutely brilliant and you know just fantastic pieces of cinema. So currently those movies are really something to me. I also adore Notting Hill.
Don't forget to see Romeo & Juliet when it hits theaters on October 11!
WATCH: An exclusive clip from Romeo & Juliet!
Still want more? Catch all the stills from the flick (so far) in our gallery below!