Why Olivia Hussey is Amazing, and One of My Role Models

Olivia Hussey is an English -Argentinian actress, famous for playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet 1968, she's personally a role model to me, and I admire her work. So I've decided to write a myTake about her.

1) She played the first on screen Juliet. At age 15

It's crazy to think a girl my own age auditioned for one of the biggest films in history. The first on screen version on Romeo and Juliet. Now 1966, 14 year old Hussey auditioned for Franco Zeffirellis adaptation. In a later interview, she recalled Franco asking her what she envisioned Juliet to look like. She replied "oh she has long dark hair and blue eyes" and with no surprise, she got the part.

2) Everyone thought she was in love with Leonard, (Romeo) but she was actually madly in love with Franco (director)

She recalled the experience with a laugh. Many rumours went round over her and Leonard Whiting, however she ended up crushing on a more interesting choice.

3) She knows how to pop conversation with the royals

At the London premiere of Romeo and Juliet, the ended up joining cast and producers during the first screening of the film, as part of her annual cinema trip. Hussey recalled her shoes at the time, which were rubbing her through the film. She sat next to Prince Charles, and saw no issue with her sharing her problems throughout the film. "My feet hurt so much" she told the Royal, who replied with a smile "just take them off then, I won't look."

4) And of course, the scene that got her famous. Nude at 15 years old

Franco Zeffirelli had to get special permission for his film to feature topless Hussey. And that scene caused much controversy. In fact, 16 year old Olivia couldn't see her film in the USA, in fear of her seeing her own nudity.

5) Like most normal girls, she freaked out when it came to filming her topless scene

"I was dreading it" she said in response to the question. "Ever since auditions I was dreading it. But it was done gradually. And no one was allowed to watch". To avoid too many people watching, Zeffirelli limited the team, put a recorder behind the bed and only allowed people into the room when Hussey was fully covered and content.

6) There was a huge rumour that Zeffirelli was actually Olivia's father

A lot of critics believed that Franco Zeffirelli was actually Olivia's father, probably due to the lack of times Hussey spoke of her parents.

7) On her hair

One of the reasons why Hussey was selected for the role was actually because the last girl who was chosen to play Juliet cut her hair short before enrolling. Hussey actually was a later option. And with long dark hair, down to her hips, great acting skills and down to earth personality. She was later cast as Juliet.

8) Today

Hussey later on got married and after a long lifetime of film making, she settled down to have her daughter India and live a quite later life. She has no regrets in her film, or the topless scene. She is big on animal rights and has done quite her bit for charity.

Thanks for reading, any chance you get, watch Romeo and Juliet 1968


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What Guys Said 3

  • Not surprising she was only 15; I believe Juliet is supposed to be that age in the play, or younger.

    In a lot of (especially American) movies the actors have been a lot older than the characters portrayed. I read where Henry Winkler was almost 30 when he played Fonzie, a "teenager".

    • Juliet was actually 14, and yes, I think casting a girl her own age was a brave but controversial decision. 😊

  • I remember her mainly for Jesus of Nazareth and Ivanhoe.

  • She seems like just another actress.


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