Entertainment Weekly’s Best of Summer TV 2017
[For their sudsy sequel to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, ABC and Shondaland tried to get as authentic as possible–which meant eschewing the customary soundstage and hitting the road to find the perfect Renaissance-era settings. “It’s the most amazing thing about the show,” says executive producer Heather Mitchell of the show’s commitment to shooting the entire seven-episode series on location. “You can’t even say that about Game of Thrones.” A cathedral in Salamanca, Spain, built in the 1200s hosted key scenes including the wedding of Romeo (Lucien Laviscount) and Juliet (Clara Rugaard). A breathtaking gazebo located a few hours outside of Madrid was used for a lunch shared by Romeo’s cousin Benvolio (Wade Briggs) and Juliet’s cousin Rosaline (Lashana Lynch). Based on Melinda Taub’s 2013 YA book of the same name, the show also features Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head as Juliet’s father, Lord Silvestro Capulet.
Filming in public was mostly a dream for the cast and crew, who spent about five months in 2016 shooting across Europe–except when Reign heartthrob Torrance Coombs showed up to play Juliet’s suitor Count Paris. “We didn’t realize that he’s a major teen idol in Spain,” admits Mitchell. “When we shot in Salamanca, there were throngs of teenage girls screaming like they just saw the Beatles.” – Lynette Rice]