As Romeo in Julian Fellowes’ new adaptation of Shakespeare’s love story, Douglas Booth has got the love-struck look pretty much nailed. His rheumy-eyed gaze as he lusts after Hailee Steinfeld’s Juliet makes up a sizeable chunk of this classical reworking of the 17th century tale, but how did he perfect it?
“It’s just remembering what it feels like to fall in love for the first time – that crazy feeling you get,” he told RadioTimes.com. “Those natural chemicals that start flowing around your body and you’re like, ‘What is happening to me? I don’t know what this is? I feel so amazing, I feel so crappy, I feel confused,’ all these things that first love can bring.
“You have to try and remember those feelings and what it felt like to fall in love and the fact that would consume anything and blind you to anything else. “
Prior to his role as Romeo, the 21-year-old British actor’s star has been firmly on the rise ever since he eschewed his dreamboat good looks to put in an acclaimed performance as Boy George in BBC2’s Worried About the Boy.
Next up is blockbuster Noah, plus roles in 2014’s Jupiter Ascending and Posh, but in the meantime he’s doing the rounds promoting his update of Shakespeare’s infamous love story, which sees Downton creator Fellowes rewriting sections of the play’s original language.
“I hope it’s not intimidating for young people,” says Booth. “What I would love is if people who wouldn’t normally come and explore this story feel that it’s accessible for them.”
Romeo & Juliet starring Douglas Booth, Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti and Ed Westwick is out now in UK cinemas nationwide.