Kaitlyn Dever: My knowledge of Shakespeare was not much before Rosaline

Kaitlyn Dever admitted her knowledge of Shakespeare was “not much” before starring in the upcoming Romeo and Juliet-based film, but said she learned a lot during her time at the Academy of Arts Royal London Dramatic Art (Rada).

The American actress, known for her role in the upcoming comedy Booksmart, said the experience was “scary” but she has learned to handle Bard’s works on her own terms.

Dever takes on the lead role in Disney’s Rosaline, which tells the story of “Romeo’s ex,” and his attempt to win back his lover from his cousin Juliet’s affections.


Dever stars in Shakespearian comedy, which tells the story of ‘Romeo’s ex’ (Richard Shotwell/AP)

The character Rosaline appears only briefly in Romeo and Juliet, becoming the plot device that allows grim lovers to meet at masquerade balls.

Speaking to PA news agency at the film’s global premiere in Los Angeles, Dever said: “My knowledge of Shakespeare before (the film) was not much.

“I went to Rada when I was 18, I took a Shakespeare course there and I really took the course to experience something new – I knew nothing about Shakespeare.


Dever and Isabela Merced (left) play Capulet’s cousins ​​in the film (Richard Shotwell/AP)

“And I found out that every kid in my class knew so much about Shakespeare and I was instantly scared on my first day of school.

“It was scary (but) I ended up learning a lot, and then I was assigned to read Romeo and Juliet in high school so I’m sure I’m familiar.”

She continued: “When I went to Rada, what I learned was that I was doing Shakespeare the way I thought you were supposed to.


It also stars Chrisopher McDonald, who revealed to PA that, like Dever, he also attended Rada (Richard Shotwell/AP)

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“I was so worried about it and worried about it, and on my last day I did a gig and I just decided to let it go and do it the way I was going to.”

Dever added that Rosaline is a “very strong woman’s story” about self-discovery.

She co-starred alongside Isabela Merced, who plays Juliet, Kyle Allen as Romeo, Sean Teale as Dario, and Christopher McDonald, who revealed to PA that he also attended Rada.

Director Karen Maine agreed that the film “definitely has power” and that many of the film’s feminist themes “unfortunately” are still relevant in modern times.


Isabela Merced, left, Karen Maine and Kaitlyn Dever arrive at the world premiere of Rosaline (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

“It’s a story we’ve never seen before even though it exists in this very familiar Shakespearean tale and has read a million times and seen different treatments,” she told PA.

“We never saw it from the perspective of Rosaline, who is a high school character… what she thinks about things and her role in the whole story.

“There are so many feminist themes… Unfortunately, there are many that are still relevant today. It’s definitely empowering.”

Rosaline airs in the UK on Disney+ under the Star banner on October 14.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/kaitlyn-dever-my-knowledge-of-shakespeare-was-not-great-before-rosaline-42047283.html Kaitlyn Dever: My knowledge of Shakespeare was not much before Rosaline

Fry Electronics Team

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