Hey! Pssst! Want to see a 14yr old girl naked?
That’s the underlying message in news stories like this one about the new Romeo and Juliet movie, starring 14yr old Hailee Steinfeld, and it’s inclusion of nudity / sex scenes.
I’m well aware that Olivia Hussey was underage (15, was it?) when she played Juliet in Zeffirelli’s 1968 version. What bothers me here, and maybe this was true back then as well, is this idea of leading with the press release, so that everybody knows the real story of this movie is a chance to see a naked underage girl.
I may have cut the director a little slack if I didn’t see this quote in the article:
Director Julian Fellowes said he needs an age-appropriate actress for the role, because that’s how Shakespeare did it.
And then he caps it off thusly:
“My version is a romantic story – one that keeps pretty true to Shakespeare but is, I hope, more accessible.”