Considering Shakespeare never got to cast a girl in the role, Olivia Hussey may have been the best Juliet ever. She looked the way everyone seemed to have imagined the woman/child to look: hot, but also dignified and innocent. She acted the way we wanted, also, with a light touch and girlish charm along with a heavy dose of thespian craft. Hussey, for her part, played the role at age 15, while her Romeo, Leonard Whiting, was 17. In general, the film in which she starred is widely considered to be the best R & J ever committed to celluloid; director Franco Zeffirelli is one of the only directors whose choice to stay faithful to Shakespeare's time and place didn't result in hokey pomposity. At Romeo & Juliet with Olivia Hussey, the lady appears in person and is interviewed by Jan Wahl; she'll doubtless talk about the journey from Juliet to one of her most recent roles, Mother Teresa.
Thu., Feb. 14, 7 p.m., 2008