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30 June 2015 @ 12:19 am
heartbroken about past events  
Reading an interview with Gugu Mbatha-Raw pulled up this tidbit:

At RADA, Gugu’s contemporaries included Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Andrea Riseborough, all former nominees for the Rising Star gong. Shortly after graduation, she was Juliet to Andrew Garfield’s Romeo at the Manchester Royal Exchange, when they were both 22.

Well, this is the worst; everything is terrible. (Oddly enough, I was thinking "I bet she would have made a wonderful Juliet" at an earlier point while reading this article, because Harry Lloyd got mentioned, and he was one of my fancasts for Romeo for a while.)

I mean, I did see her as Ophelia opposite Jude Law, but… Juliet, you know? My heart-girl, my best beloved. I can just imagine Gugu's radiance in Belle in that role.
 
 
 
La Reine Noire: Elizabethlareinenoire on June 30th, 2015 06:16 pm (UTC)
OMG, I bet she was such an amazing Juliet. And a wonderful Ophelia too.
tempestsarekind: she runs lunatictempestsarekind on June 30th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so mad at myself for not finding the time to take notes after that production of Hamlet! I know that I really liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ophelia, but now I can't remember why… And I have an odd hang-up about Ophelia, which is that I always want her to be actively trying to communicate (especially with Laertes) - almost as if she has aphasia and nothing can come out but songs and rhymes. But a lot of time the direction just goes for "heartbreaking spectacle" instead. I can't remember whether this production did that (see above), but if it did, I might not have liked her as much as I would have in a different part.

(You can see her a very tiny bit here, though of course the scene is focused on Jude Law's Hamlet:
http://www.nytimes.com/video/theater/1247464359186/jude-law-in-hamlet.html )

But Juliet. *sigh*

Edited at 2015-06-30 08:14 pm (UTC)
La Reine Noire: Elizabethlareinenoire on July 1st, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
And I have an odd hang-up about Ophelia, which is that I always want her to be actively trying to communicate (especially with Laertes) - almost as if she has aphasia and nothing can come out but songs and rhymes.

I love that idea! I seem to remember Kate Winslet's Ophelia giving kind of that impression, though not explicitly.

Edited at 2015-07-01 03:13 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: opheliatempestsarekind on July 1st, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
I should probably watch the Branagh film again at some point: I'm not actually sure I've seen it since high school! I remember really liking Kate Winslet, although I thought the flashbacks to the Hamlet/Ophelia relationship were kind of weird and uncomfortable...
La Reine Noire: Victorian Fanlareinenoire on July 1st, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, I hated those even when I first saw it in high school. I don't think I've watched the entire thing in a sitting since then, though I used it for teaching a lot so there are certain scenes ("To be or not to be," the closet scene, Ophelia's mad scenes, that hilarious ending) that I've seen a bunch of times. I did show my students the weird Ophelia/Hamlet scenes once and they also didn't quite know what to do with them.

Kate Winslet might still be my favorite Ophelia overall--she just brought so much depth and life to the role, and her madness clearly wasn't being played for pretty sentiment. I love how furious she is and how fierce, and I buy it completely.
tempestsarekind: hamlet/horatio OTPtempestsarekind on July 1st, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
The thing that keeps me from using the Branagh for teaching is that he spells so much out! The Hamlet/Ophelia scenes are a part of that, I think; it's as if Branagh is afraid to leave anything to the imagination in case the audience won't get it, so the ghost is completely over-the-top while the ground is cracking open and spouting smoke, and we have to be shown exactly what the relationship is between Hamlet and Ophelia… But to be fair, I might have really liked that in high school!
La Reine Noire: Austen - Venting Spleenlareinenoire on July 1st, 2015 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely--one of the things I enjoyed doing in classes was to juxtapose Branagh's overly explanatory interp with others that were more ambiguous (i.e. Doran, the BBC version with Jacobi, even Zeffirelli, at least for the Ophelia scenes). Someday, if I get to teach Shakespeare again, I am going to find some way to get my hands on Rory Kinnear's version because I loved so many, many things about that production.
tempestsarekind: hamlet--though you can fret metempestsarekind on July 2nd, 2015 12:24 am (UTC)
Yes! I so wish the National Theatre would change its mind and start putting those productions out on DVD or make them available for download. They would be such a great resource. I think Rory Kinnear's first soliloquy is up on YouTube, so it's at least available for comparison with other versions, but it is odd to just have the soliloquy without any context for the choices he makes!
La Reine Noire: Elizabethlareinenoire on July 3rd, 2015 01:38 pm (UTC)
Well, if you want the NT Live Othello, I do have a not-entirely-legal video file that's still incredibly high quality and makes me cry every time I watch it (in spite of faily students). Let me know! :) I'm still trying to get my hands on Hamlet.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 4th, 2015 02:39 am (UTC)
Ooooh…I may have to take you up on that!