A Minute With: Vanessa Redgrave and "Letters to Juliet"

Thu May 13, 2010 8:50am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Legendary British screen actress Vanessa Redgrave stars in the new romantic dramedy "Letters to Juliet."

The film is about a young woman, played by Amanda Seyfried, who goes on a quest to reunite two elderly lovers -- played by Redgrave and her real-life husband Franco Nero -- who are referenced in a dated letter she finds while vacationing in Italy.

Academy Award-winner Redgrave, 73, spoke to Reuters two days before the death of her sister Lynn Redgrave about the similarities between herself and her character, Claire, in the film that opens on May 14.

Q: When one thinks of Vanessa Redgrave of the famous Redgrave dynasty, a Hollywood teen romance is not exactly the type of movie genre that first comes to mind. Why do it?

A: "I liked my character immensely. Claire's story touched off a lot of personal memories of how I first went to Italy when I was 15. At that time, it was very much post-war. The school I went to organized a trip for six girls and we all went together for 10 days with a chaperone."

Q: Did you fall in love on that trip, like Claire did?

A: "I fell in love with everything that I saw. I actually did fall in love with a much older man in one of the cities we visited. His mum made little pastries to host us all for a meal and he said: 'Sweets for the sweet.' I thought that was the most wonderful compliment. It's very banal now, but at the time, I'd never heard of such a thing being said."

Q: You met your husband when both of you starred in 1967 movie "Camelot." Now he plays your long-lost love in "Letters to Juliet." Did you have any favorite scenes together?   Continued...

<p>Actress Vanessa Redgrave arrives for the amFAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) annual gala to kick off Fashion Week in New York, February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri</p>