I Heart NPR

Joss Whedon Loves NPR

Joss Whedon at NPR West. i i
Melissa Kuypers/NPR
Joss Whedon at NPR West.
Melissa Kuypers/NPR

Fans of writer/producer/director Joss Whedon don't just kinda like him. They REALLY LOVE him. He's responsible for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and movies like Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers, as well as the un-categorize-able Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. This weekend he has a modern, black and white movie adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in theaters. Whedon came in to talk to Morning Edition Host Renee Montagne about shooting the film in two weeks, entirely at his house.

For Whedon, Shakespeare has always been a passion of his, and that Much Ado About Nothing is the original model for all romantic comedies: they hate each other until they love each other. And then some parts (Nathan Fillion as Constable Dogberry) read just like a modern cop show.

"Shakespeare likes to make a stew." Whedon says, "He's not satisfied with just one thing."

Whedon started the project as a vacation after two years of making The Avengers, but he discovered there were a lot of similarities between the big-budget action movie and the small-scale Shakespeare film. His goal in everything he does is to try to draw the life out of every character. He says, "If these things aren't based in character, then it don't matter how 'splody it gets. It's not going to hold you. It's not interesting."

Joss Whedon's fans will be pleased to hear that he's very considerate. He came in with a bit of a cough, and as you can see by the I Heart, he put one of the cards in his mouth for the shoot. When we were done, he handed me back two of them, and with the third said, "I'm throwing away this one that was in my mouth." Which he did. So, Mr. Whedon, my still-healthy self thanks you.

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