Much Ado About Much Ado

For some, this panel was like a big family reunion

Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon (Photo by Will van Overbeek)

SXSW Film Conference Quick Cuts

Much Ado About Much Ado

Saturday, March 9, Vimeo

For Joss Whedon megafans, the Q&A following Much Ado About Nothing's screening was much like a big family reunion, a vast group of folks onstage ranging from dear siblings and close cousins to distant relatives who are nonetheless kin.

It turned out that only a few of the cast members had Shakespearean experience prior to Ado, and they had no problem admitting that they initially struggled with insecurities when it came to the Bard's flowery language, with Nathan Fillion claiming that, after an enthusiastic agreement to partake in the project, Whedon had to coax him out of splitting from it with some strong encouragement that he could, indeed, handle the lines.

"I signed on right away," said Fillion. "I tried to chicken out afterwards, and Joss calmed me down, said all those wonderful things a director will say to a chickenhearted actor. ... [He] talked me off the ledge and said, 'I don't have a replacement, so you have to do it'."

Moderator Adam B. Vary, senior film reporter at BuzzFeed, tried his best to draw comparisons between the Whedon of The Avengers and the Whedon of Ado, but the consensus from both Whedon and the cast was that the two are essentially the same.

Sure, there's a difference of scale: "Everything was so massively prepared [on The Avengers], and they could show you renderings on their iPads of what everything around you was going to look like as they did the scene, and what this guy was going to turn into when he became a rage monster ... And this was very, very not like that," explained Clark Gregg, who signed onto Ado just one night before filming started at Whedon's house in Santa Monica.

But, see: "At the end of the day, big or small, it's all about conveying a story," said Whedon.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Sound and Vision: The Meow Wolf/Spatial Connection
Sound and Vision: The Meow Wolf/Spatial Connection
Did SXSW give a preview of the technology behind the next portal?

Richard Whittaker, April 14, 2022

MSNBC Gets Behind the Story of <i>Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets</i>
MSNBC Gets Behind the Story of Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets
New documentary talks to the people who bought Gamestop shares

Ikram Mohamed, April 8, 2022

More Screens Reviews
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
Josh Frank brings the legendary unproduced movie to printed life

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 22, 2019

What If <i>The Texas Chain Saw Massacre</i> Was Really About the Horrors of Modern American Society?
What If The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Was Really About the Horrors of Modern American Society?
Putting the Austin-made seminal slasher back into context

Marc Savlov, March 22, 2019

More by Joey Keeton
Avant-Garde Austin
Avant-Garde Austin
Experimental Response Cinema announces its spring lineup

Jan. 24, 2014

Clips and Sips at Republic Square Park
Clips and Sips at Republic Square Park
New Belgium Brewing hosts short film festival Downtown

Sept. 20, 2013


Much Ado About Nothing, Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, SXSW, Shakespeare, The Avengers, Santa Monica

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle