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Natalie Portman was meant to play Juliet
At just 13-years-old, Portman was cast to play Juliet Capulet, one of William Shakespeare’s most beautiful characters who falls in love with Romeo Montague, the son of her family’s great enemy. Even though Juliet is 13 in the play, it was felt Portman looked too young to play the role opposite 21-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio. “Fox said it looked like Leonardo was molesting me when we kissed,” Portman told the NY Times. She was quickly replaced.
Why was Claire Danes cast as Juliet?
At 17-years-old, Danes looked older and more suited to DiCaprio. At the time, she was on a show called My So Called Life which had just been cancelled. During the audition, DiCaprio reportedly said, “[Danes] was the only girl that looked me in the eye in auditions.” Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kate Winslet were also allegedly considered for the part.
The making of the elevator scene was intense
DiCaprio and Danes were placed in a fake elevator where crew members would hurriedly remove and replace the “walls” while the camera spun around on a dolly.
The hair stylist was kidnapped
The film’s key hair and makeup stylist Also Signoretti was kidnapped and director Baz Luhrmann paid US$3000 to get him back which he considered “a bargain.” “The bandidos rang up and said for $3000, you can have him back,” explained Luhrmann. “So we sent someone down clutching the money to a hotel, chucks them the bag and they threw him out of the car and broke his leg. So we had adventures.”
Wild weather sent them back months of filming
A hurricane wiped up a few of the sets, most notably the Sycamore Grove Theatre and the huts on Verona Beach.
Did Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio really not get along?
Despite their award-winning chemistry on-screen and Danes openly saying how much she enjoyed the high of playing someone so in love with Romeo, rumours swirled for years the actress and actor were less than friendly and would ignore each other during takes. It was said that Danes thought DiCaprio was “very immature” but later attempted to explain. “There was definitely a spark, but I don’t think wither of us knew how to handle it,” Danes said. “So we sometimes sort of ignored each other. It was too big for us to really accept.”