DAYS AND NIGHTS is writer/director Christian Camargo’s directorial debut, inspired by Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and set in rural New England in 1984.
The film centers around a fading movie star (Allison Janney), who brings her paramour to her lakeside estate to visit her ailing brother (William Hurt) and fledgling artist son (Ben Whishaw). While the eccentric family and their caretakers (portrayed by an international ensemble cast including Katie Holmes, Cherry Jones, Russell Means, Michael Nyqvist, Jean Reno, Juliet Rylance, and Mark Rylance) gather to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend, reckless desire wreaks havoc and a disastrous turn of events leads the family from dysfunction to heartbreak. In true Chekhovian fashion, comedy and tragedy collide for a profound look at the volatile and fragile nature of love.
Why was christian camargo the best merc u ever seen?
i don’t even know how to explain how he was so incredible. he just had characterization completely down, but played mercutio in a way that was totally unique, not a charicature, and was believable in the role. he’s also had a lot of experience with shakespeare; he’s played hamlet, coriolanus, ariel, and orlando, which is pretty cool. but anyways, he’s clearly well-trained and was able to keep the poetic nature of shakespearian language, even when translating mercutio to a modern setting.
also, the way he delivered all the innuendos was perfect. in 3.1, with “make it a word… and a blow,” he said it in a manner that was so fantastically dirty that i could feel myself blushing.
as a bonus, here are some quotes from the man himself about his experience playing mercutio:
“Mercutio is as refined as he is course. Unpredictable. A character of
extremes. It also helps that Shakespeare gave him the gift of gab …
“The contemporary setting allows me to play with the physicality as well
as some meaning within the lines. I’m able to give some words a
contemporary slang like interpretation. I say Shakespeare’s lines but
the meaning isn’t necessarily Elizabethan. ‘Blow’ changes from a violent
connotation to a sexual connotation. ‘Fiddlestick’ changes from ‘sword’
to … well, you can imagine.”
“David Leveaux, Fabio Toblini (costume director) and I settled on Keith
Richards as a template to begin. There’s something mysterious and
playful about Richards which works for Mercutio. In my mind, Mercutio
commands every space he’s in. He challenges everything, desperate to be
heard and seen. Romeo’s seeming betrayal in befriending Tybalt destroys
him. A powerful personality that’s incredibly fun to play.”
“[David and Fabio] started off
with Mick Jagger, and my take on Mercutio is a little bit more Keith
Richards. I felt there was a dirtier edge and little more of a reckless
“It’s a very muscular role. He’s not [on stage] throughout the whole play, but when he’s
there, he’s very present. He’s all over the place in terms of his
physicality. He very quick on the tongue. Mercutio loves to hear himself
talk. He uses sophisticated imagery.”
has sort of a neutral sexuality. Is he gay or straight? Who knows? He’s
just a guy who’s full of life.“
“Mercutio is just on the other side of too much party.”
“For the first scene that Romeo,
Benvolio, and Mercutio are in, it’s as simple as ‘get into the party. I need to get Romeo to this party. The whole Queen Mab
speech comes out of that objective, believe it or not. It seems like the
Queen Mab speech overtakes and becomes more about Mercutio himself, but
actually what I’m doing is trying to get him to the party by using that
speech. By spouting so many freaking words that he finally says,
‘Enough!’ And I’m like, 'Yes. Those dreams mean nothing, so let’s go.’”
“It’s about the text for me, and how the theatre-maker interprets that text.”
“I don’t think Shakespeare was made to be performed before twelve o’clock.”
is a mix of highbrow and lowbrow - very fancy in words and then all of
the sudden, gross humor. I just play with the accent - giving him a posh
accent sometimes and then a real street one.”
“For reasons I don’t fully understand, tragic love has a certain appeal.
The play has some of the most romantic language ever written. We absorb
the words as the lovers absorb each other. In the end, we’re all
romantics. Even the pragmatics. Even Mercutio.”