Kristen Stewart plays both Romeo and Juliet in Pirelli Calendar

Kristen Stewart plays the part of both Romeo and Juliet in the new Pirelli Calendar.The famed calendar for the Italian tyre brand features the likes of Claire Foy, Mia Goth, Emma Watson, and Yara Shahidi depicting contemporary versions of the lovestruc…

Kristen Stewart plays the part of both Romeo and Juliet in the new Pirelli Calendar.

The famed calendar for the Italian tyre brand features the likes of Claire Foy, Mia Goth, Emma Watson, and Yara Shahidi depicting contemporary versions of the lovestruck character from William Shakespeare’s play.

Kristen, Chinese popstar Chris Lee, and Indya Moore are also among the famous faces who play both parts of the doomed lovers in the imagery, as well as the accompanying film, shot and directed by photographer Paolo Roversi.

“I was looking for a pure soul, someone full of innocence that combined strength, beauty, tenderness, and courage. I found this in the glimmer of an eye, in the gestures and words of Emma and Yara, Indya and Mia and in the smiles and tears of Kristen and Claire…” Roversi said in a statement. “There’s a Juliet in every woman.”

For 2020, the format has also changed, with Roversi ditching the traditional spiral-bound calendar for a hardback book and a short film.

In the film, which took six months to shoot, each of the women audition for the role of a modern-day Juliet, and answers questions about their own experiences with young love and recite lines from Shakespeare’s tragedy, with Kristen also reading Romeo’s lines.

“I think this is really a portrait gallery of different women, who all express their own character and personality,” Roversi told Fashionista. “It’s not just an image they’re giving, but a presence.”

The photographer’s daughter, Stella, and Spanish musician Rosalia also feature in the calendar.

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Spike Lee to direct hip-hop love story Prince of Cats

Spike Lee is to direct a version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in the 1980s New York hip-hop scene.According to The Hollywood Reporter, the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker has closed a deal to direct Prince of Cats, an adaptation of Ron Wimber…

Spike Lee is to direct a version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in the 1980s New York hip-hop scene.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker has closed a deal to direct Prince of Cats, an adaptation of Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel.

The 2012 book tells Romeo and Juliet’s story through the eyes of her hot-headed cousin Tybalt and transports the story to a fictionalised version of 1980s Brooklyn.

The project has been in development since 2018, when it was to star Lakeith Stanfield, but the Knives Out actor has since dropped out of the movie. Lee will rewrite the script with Wimberly and former The Source editor Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, who wrote the original adapted screenplay. Casting details are yet to be announced.

In Prince of Cats, Tybalt and his Capulet brothers battle with their rival Montagues for control of Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, where underground sword duelling has become a method of settling disputes, among youngsters obsessed with hip-hop, DJing and graffiti.

Lee’s last film, BlacKkKlansman, was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, the 62-year-old’s first non-honorary Oscar. His follow-up project is Da 5 Bloods, a Vietnam War thriller starring Chadwick Boseman.

Prince of Cats returns Lee to his beloved Brooklyn, the setting of many of his movies, including She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, and Clockers.

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Famed filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli dies

Oscar-nominated director Franco Zeffirelli has died at the age of 96.The Italian filmmaker passed away at his home in Rome on Saturday after a battle with pneumonia. “He had suffered for a while, but he left in a peaceful way,” Zeffirelli’s son, Lucian…

Oscar-nominated director Franco Zeffirelli has died at the age of 96.

The Italian filmmaker passed away at his home in Rome on Saturday after a battle with pneumonia.

“He had suffered for a while, but he left in a peaceful way,” Zeffirelli’s son, Luciano, told America’s CBS News.

Born Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli, he began his adult life as an architect, but was inspired to pursue a career in entertainment after watching Laurence Olivier’s 1944 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

He enjoyed some early work as an actor and set designer, before he was taken under the wing of director Luchino Visconti, who instilled his love of opera in the young Zeffirelli.

He went on to stage more than 120 opera productions during his lifetime, including Placido Domingo’s La Traviata and Otello in the 1980s, while also taking charge of notable films like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s 1967 version of The Taming of the Shrew, and 1968 hit Romeo and Juliet, starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director.

Zeffirelli later reunited with Hussey for 1977 TV mini-series Jesus of Nazareth, in which the actress portrayed the Virgin Mary.

Taking to Instagram, Hussey paid tribute to the director and uploaded several photos of them together.

“RIP dearest Franco. You take a piece of my heart with you. Thank you for one of the most beautiful times of my life,” she captioned the snaps.

Zeffirelli’s love of Shakespeare’s works also led him to work with Mel Gibson in Hamlet, which was released in 1990.

His other movie credits include Jon Voight’s The Champ in 1979, Endless Love, which marked Tom Cruise’s big screen debut in 1981, and Tea with Mussolini in 1999, which starred singer Cher.

“My dear friend and brilliant artist, Franco Zeffirelli… has passed,” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a collage of images, including stills from the film.

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Kenneth Branagh completed lifelong studies into Shakespeare with retirement story

Kenneth Branagh has put his passion for uncovering the truth about William Shakespeare’s life to bed in his new film all about the Bard’s retirement. The actor and filmmaker has always been fascinated by England’s greatest playwright and decided he’d …

Kenneth Branagh has put his passion for uncovering the truth about William Shakespeare’s life to bed in his new film all about the Bard’s retirement.

The actor and filmmaker has always been fascinated by England’s greatest playwright and decided he’d like to study the last three years of his life with the help of another Shakespeare buff, Ben Elton.

Together, the old pals came up with the script for All Is True, which imagines the writer’s life in his native Stratford-Upon-Avon after he returns home to retire from the London theatre world in 1613.

Branagh, who portrays his hero in the movie, has always soaked up information about Shakespeare’s life, revealing at 16 he hitchhiked to Stratford-Upon-Avon and camped out as he checked out plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

“I also visited all the Shakespearean birthplace sites,” he explains. “Even back then, I wanted to put together the two things: the man himself and the work that he produced. I’ve been interested in that ever since.”

But there is very little written about the Bard’s final years as he struggled with the death of his only son and returned home to a family that didn’t really know him, so screenwriter Elton had to fill in a lot of gaps.

“The first thing I realised was that Shakespeare’s retirement coincided with the Globe (Theatre) fire,” Ben says. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be a mortality wake-up call?’

“I had the idea that Shakespeare would take this as a cue to go home to Stratford and consider his legacy and his place in the world… Coupling that with my chats with Ken about the themes in the (Shakespeare) plays, I came up with what might have been Shakespeare’s reactions to the known events. It’s fiction based on truth.”

Shakespeare retired to Stratford after his beloved Globe Theatre burned to the ground in June, 1613. A misfired spark from an onstage cannon was blamed for the disaster.

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Kenneth Branagh gave experts 90 minutes a day to transform him into William Shakespeare

Kenneth Branagh gave his hair and makeup experts 90 minutes to transform him into William Shakespeare on the set of his new film All Is True, so he could get on with directing the movie. The filmmaker tasked his team with turning him into the Bard in …

Kenneth Branagh gave his hair and makeup experts 90 minutes to transform him into William Shakespeare on the set of his new film All Is True, so he could get on with directing the movie.

The filmmaker tasked his team with turning him into the Bard in his 50s, suing Chandos’ famous portrait of Shakespeare as inspiration – and then told them they had an hour and a half every morning to create their magic.

“I had considered merely being identified as bearded in some way, or look like some version of myself,” Sir Kenneth explains, “but when I went to see this portrait (at the National Portrait Gallery), as I’ve done many times, the soul of William Shakespeare is there to see in some measure.

“I felt that to try to recreate that look was to try to inhabit the man and encourage the audience to come a little closer to the real man without feeling as though I’d got in the way.”

Branagh opted for a high forehead, fake nose and Shakespeare’s pointed beard, adding, “I wanted to get close to that outside look.”

But he stopped short of wearing coloured contact lenses: “Even though Shakespeare’s eyes in the portrait are sort of hazel and my eyes are grey blue, we decided not to have me wear contact lenses. We wanted the bulk of the exterior to be what we most likely think he could’ve looked like, and then tried through the eyes to bring the inside up and out through me.”

The director then gave his hair and makeup designer, Vanessa White, and prosthetic makeup expert, Neill Gorton, 90 minutes a day to create the look.

“We had to get it right in one and a half hours,” White explains. “There was no time for touch-ups. You could never return and say, ‘Oh, I’ve just got to nip you back to the wagon’.”

But they did such a great job that Branagh’s co-star, Sir Ian McKellen, found acting opposite his old friend a little unnerving.

“When the man sitting opposite you is Ken Branagh, but is also William Shakespeare, that’s alarming enough, but he’s also the director,” he says.

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