29 Behind-The-Scenes Trivia About 'Romeo + Juliet'

If you were a teenager in the ‘90s, chances are good that you were at least somewhat influenced by this iconic post-grunge movie. Or maybe you were influenced a lot - maybe so much so that you adorned yourself with silver and/or neon crosses, and had the 1996 Romeo + Juliet soundtrack picking up scratches in your CD Walkman. We refuse to believe it was just us. Sure, we drew the line at those Hawaiian shirts. At least, some of us did.

Anyway, this movie made parents gasp, teens horny, and caused an entire generation to become insufferable by randomly yelling, “A plague on both your houses!” 

We regret nothing. 


ROMEO + JULIET Director Baz Luhrmann made this movie because he wanted to make Shakespeare more accessible. The thing really set out to do was to smash what I call club Shakespeare, [like] you have to be a member of the club to understand it. This 26-year-old writer wrote



ROMEO + JULIET Luhrmann describes his take on Romeo as a combination of James Dean and Kurt Cobain. The director knew he wanted Dicaprio to play Romeo after seeing paparazzi photos of him. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKEDCOMT

The Guardian, Vpro Cinema


ROMEO + JULIET Claire Danes was cast as Juliet thanks to her role in My So-Called Life. Luhrmann didn't know who to cast, until someone told him about Danes in the show. After watching it, they brought her in for a couple of workshops, and everyone was simpressed by her

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET The soundtrack album was made thanks to former Massive Attack producer Nellee Hooper. WIILIAN ROMEO SHATESPEARE'S JULIET NUSIC FROM THE MOTLAN DICTURE Luhrmann approached Hooper to do the soundtrack after hearing his work on Bjork's Venus As A Boy. The album went triple platinum. BEHIND THE SCENES

The Guardian


ROMEO + JULIET The show was influenced by spaghetti Westerns. The director said that he wanted to emulate how Shakespeare would start a story in high comedy, only to let it end in tragedy. So they star the movie with the tone of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET Leonardo Dicaprio had to persuade the studio to give him the role. DiCaprio wasn't that big of a name yet C (Titanic came out a year after Romeo + Juliet), and the studio wasn't convinced about him. So the young actor flew to Australia on his own

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET The film was mostly shot in Mexico City and Veracruz. During this time, the production's hairstylist, Aldo Signoretti, was kidnapped, and the filmmakers had to pay $250 to get him back. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKEDCOMT

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET Marlon Brando wanted to play Friar Laurence. The actor wrote to the director about playing the part, but had to pull out after his son was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKEDCOMT

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET The director asked Radiohead to write the ending song for the film. Lurhmann sent the band two scenes from the movie, and asked them to write the end song. Exit Music (For A Film) didn't make it onto the soundtrack, but it was a hit, and inspired

Rolling Stones


ROMEO + JULIET Harold Perrineau didn't know he was going to play Mercutio in drag. When they got to Mexico and he saw the dresses, the actor realized they were going for a genderbending character. Of the badasses that could be out there, Mercutio was the baddest ass there was.



ROMEO + JULIET Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine was greatly inspired by the movie. In an interview with Luhrmann, she told him that it's whatintroduced her to Radiohead. I think you might be responsible for my interest in religious iconography and big emotions and musicals-which is basically my

Interview Magazine


ROMEO + JULIET The filming of the elevator scene was manual trickery. To get the roundabout shots of Romeo and Juliet's first kiss, a makeshift elevator interior was built with side panels that could lift. As the camera circled the exterior, the crew would manually lift each panel for the



ROMEO + JULIET Mercutio's death was shot in a real hurricane. The entire set in that scene was built on an empty beach in Mexico, from the palm trees to the utility poles. The storm was real though. The set was eventually blown away, and the crew had to go

The Guardian


ROMEO + JULIET Leonardo DiCaprio was impressed by Claire Danes's audition. He said, of all the girls they had him do auditions with, Danes was the only one who looked him straight in the eyes. Claire just came in and was just SO in the moment, SO there, and SO



ROMEO + JULIET The pool was inspired by the grotto at Miami's Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.. The director re-created the grotto pool in Mexico. BEHIND THE SCENES CRACKEDCOMT



ROMEO + JULIET Natalie Portman was considered for the role of Juliet. The studio, however, said she looked way too young. Fox said it looked like Leonardo DiCaprio was molesting me when we kissed. Given that DiCaprio was 21 and Portman was 14 at the time, that seems fair. BEHIND

The New York Times


ROMEO + JULIET Luhrmann said the movie constantly refers to the modern world and the movies it was inspired by because that's what Shakespeare did. CAPULET MONTBGLIE Retnire to posLEriTY by wour MONTROUE LAmour On the Elizabethan stage he would relentlessly reference the equivalent of MTV, advertising, politics. He

SF Gate


ROMEO + JULIET Everclear didn't think their soundtrack song, Local God, would ever be played on the radio. I was like, this is a soundtrack song, it [won't] get played on the radio. But Everclear went to Australia on tour, and I remember the head of EMI Australia asking, 'Why

The Guardian


ROMEO + JULIET Romeo and Juliet has been the most filmed Shakespearean play to date. The first adaptation was filmed in 1908 called Romeo and Juliet, a Romantic Story of the Ancient Feud Between the Italian Houses of Montague and Capulet directed by J. Stuart Blackton. It's also the most



ROMEO + JULIET David Blaine taught Harold Perrineau some magic tricks for his character. Like, making things disappear or reappear. We did a couple of card tricks. It was really to get me used to having this feeling of being mercurial, of not knowing where things are coming from. It



ROMEO + JULIET Baz Luhrmann asked Des'ree to write Kissing You for the fish tank scene, and she also performed it. She said she was prety terrified when the director asked her to write the love theme for the movie. BEHIND THE SCENES

The Guardian


ROMEO + JULIET It was between John Leguizamo and Benicio del Toro for the role of Tybalt. Leguizamo said that the audition process was brutal, and joked that he only got the part because del Toro is a mumbler. BEHIND THE SCENES

AV Club


ROMEO + JULIET The fish tank scene was inspired by an experience Baz Luhrmann had in a Miami nightclub. When I came out of the bathroom to wash my hands, I looked up and saw a woman combing her hair with a brush through a fish tank. It was a

Sydney Morning Herald


ROMEO + JULIET Baz Luhrmann was inspired by an offbeat version of Twelfth Night when he moved to the city in his younger days. People were giving out drinks and it was like we were in a Club Med in the Caribbean. There was music and dancing and there was

Interview Magazine


ROMEO + JULIET Jamie Kennedy and Zak Orth were told to play Sampson and Gregory like Beavis and Butthead. The director wanted all the characters to capture American sounds. Harold Perrineau who played Mercutio had a sort of Brooklyn rapper sound, and Leo's Romeo was told to be somewhere in



ROMEO + JULIET Collage boards done by the artistic director showed references to everything from the Vietnam War to parts of Havana. 70 fortunes fool m The filmmakers originally wanted TBALT to film in Havana, upon thy death. Benvolio. but it wouldn't have worked because a lot of the characters

Luhrmann Instagram


ROMEO + JULIET The rebellion between the older and younger generations were portrayed through wardrobe. The senior Montagues and Capulets were styled to a 1960s/1970 Yves St. Laurent /Jackie O. look,a a style that the younger The Capulets characters reject. young displayed their rejection through Dolce & Gabbana's sleek, black,



ROMEO + JULIET It was a box office hit. The movie hit number one at the box office on the weekend of its release, and grossed near $150 million worldwide on a $14.5 million budget. BEHIND THE SCENES

BoxOffice Mojo, The Numbers


ROMEO + JULIET The movie turned a Radiohead B-side track into a hit. street spirit fade out} parlophone talk show host bishop's robes Parlophone bishop't talk includes exclusive poster street Mmerse sol show your io lVE spinit robes host RADIOHEAD (fade IRADIOHEA out) 4.13 CD 1 street spirit 2438825232 lfade out)

AV Club