Hulu’s new film “Rosaline” gives fans a new twist on the classic love story of Romeo and Juliet. During the press conference, the cast and director discuss what drew them to the film, who their characters are in this version of the story, and more.
Kyle Allen / Romeo
Isabela Merced / Juliet
Kaitlyn Dever / Rosaline
Sean Teale /Dario
Minnie Driver / Nurse Janet
Spencer Stevenson / Paris
Karen Maine / Director
Why Karen Maine Wanted To Direct Rosaline
Karen Maine does a wonderful job directing this film, and when asked what drew her to it, she immediately blurted out Kaitlyn Dever, who plays Rosaline. “Immediately, I was like, I love Kaitlyn and her work. Dying to work with her. She’s amazing.”
On top of that, she loved the script, which is written by Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter, who she has also long been fans of thanks to (500) Days of Summer and more. “It’s hilarious. The idea to set it in classic Renaissance period with modern language and the modern sensibilities and themes. In my mind, this perfect juxtaposition of old and new that really nailed the comedy and let it shine.”
Maine adds that the music was really great too, because they used modern elements like synth, but also a lot of old period instruments from the time, like lutes and flutes and harpsichords. Rosaline is always walking that line between new and old.
Who Are The Characters In This Version Of The Story
Rosaline is mentioned in the original story of Romeo and Juliet, but she has a very small part in it. Kaitlyn Dever says this helped lessen the pressure of playing the role because there really is not a lot to compare her to. “It was actually a really exciting prospect because you can do anything and everything you want to, and the character that I created with Karen was something that we felt like you could go for it in so many ways.” It is clear from watching the movie that she had a blast with the role, and she confirms that she had fun every single day on set. “I appreciated and admired her determination and her fearlessness and her drive. But played up the comedy. The writing is so brilliant.” Dever admits that she loved being outrageous and sarcastic and comedic with the whole cast.
As for this version of Romeo, actor Kyle Allen says that “Romeo would fall in love with a stick if you’d let him. He’s completely obsessed with the concept and the idea of love. And other than that, that’s pretty much the entirety of his personality. He doesn’t have much else going on.”
Isabela Merced plays Juliet in Rosaline, and she admits that she was very surprised when she got the role. She never really saw herself as a Juliet type. “I’m used to playing characters that are very headstrong, independent, and not Juliet.” She adds, “Juliet is a strong woman, but she’s also very sensitive and emotional and sympathetic and empathetic. I think Rosaline and Juliet do a great job of representing both sides of what feminism and what womanhood really is. You can be strong and you can be sentimental and sensitive, and still be an independent woman. I think it’s nice to see the two extremes of rebellion and then sweetness and kind of a naïveté.”
Dario, played by Sean Teale, is new to the Romeo and Juliet story. He plays a love prospect of Rosaline’s, even though she is determined to get Romeo back. When asked why he is so drawn to her, Teale has a great answer. “She’s incredibly charming — Kaitlyn and Rosaline. There’s so much to her, you would not want to do anything other than find out more.” He says that what drew him to the character is that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, and that is not true of himself. “I’m scared about everyone’s opinion. But Dario manages to be a lot more progressive than a man would be in that time. He’s a little more progressive than one thinks. And so of course he’s completely drawn to this brilliant, funny, charismatic-driven, diligent, independent woman at a time where that was not as easy to be or do.”
Minnie Driver is subtly hilarious as Nurse Janet in Rosaline. She says that she absolutely loves the character, which is why she was so excited to play her. “I love all of the vague resentment and sadness of this lost life that you know nothing about. This film has nothing to do with Janet’s other life. But I like that you feel it there. And I love how much she loves her girl and how she wants the best for her girl. And that’s what made it funny and great.”
Paris is a Count in Romeo and Juliet, and he is in Rosaline as well. The actor who portrays him, Spencer Stevenson, describes him as “bougie.” But goes on to explain that he is “a completely different version of Paris that anybody’s ever seen. And representation matters, so I’m happy for the world to see it and for people to feel seen because our stories matter too. So yeah, Paris is a different version, for sure. But he’s fun.”
Rosaline will be streaming on Hulu and Disney+ around the world on October 14th, and you don’t want to miss this unique take on an old tale.
Tessa Smith AKA Mama's Geeky, is a journalist that covers geek and Disney culture on her own website, as well as freelances for other sites such as What's On Disney Plus and Screen Rant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing and loves all things geeky. She is a Disney Vacation Club member and a Founders Circle Member of Disney+. She is also an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes and a member of the Critics Choice Association. Tessa lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs named Sansa and Khaleesi.