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.

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

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