The girl from Shakespeare’s balcony opens up in a debut memoir.
In 1968, director Franco Zeffirelli came to London to cast fresh new faces for the roles of Romeo and Juliet in his forthcoming film adaptation. Born in Argentina, Hussey moved to the U.K. in the late 1950s and eventually joined the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. “I had known I wanted to be an actress since the age of four,” writes the author, “though I didn’t start to take my career seriously until I was eight—when, over breakfast one morning, I announced, ‘I think it’s about time I started taking my career seriously.’ ” It was this determination that landed her the role of Juliet. Here, Hussey looks back at the many aspects of her experience working with Zeffirelli, from the annoying things he did to tease her during her audition to his powerlessness in the face of the rising ego of a growing diva. But the author doesn’t just focus on Romeo & Juliet. Hussey travels through most of her life, moving from one anecdote to the next—e.g., she once lived in the house where Sharon Tate was murdered—and chronicling her relationships and acting roles. In the process, the author provides insight into the approach she took in her professional life, her techniques, and her impressions about her practice. Though her life has been punctuated by bouts of agoraphobia, the devastating loss of her first husband and her separation from her second, and stage 4 breast cancer, Hussey maintains an engaging narrative voice that oozes strength and determination. As a result, this memoir will surely lure readers into binge-watching all of her films, either all over again or for the very first time.
A fun peek into the turbulent life of a 1960s sweetheart.