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So I started with the potion scene, and I got all dramatic and—because, you know, in the film he cut it down to one line: "Love, give me strength." But there's actually a whole monologue that she does before taking the potion. OH: And by the time I'd finished, I fell back with—dramatically, and I was crying and when I fell, once I started crying I couldn't stop. And when I stood up, everyone was just standing there in sheer—just silence. And it was actually the potion scene that—and Michael—he didn't tell me at the time, but later Michael told me that he said, "Franco, if you don't hire this girl, you're crazy. I knew that wasn't true, but I wondered if you'd ever heard that rumor.
Franco said, "Cut." And then he walked over to me, and he put his arms around me and said, "You're gonna love Rome." G: () OH: And that's when he said, "You musn't tell anybody yet—because we're going to make a big public announcement." And I said, "Really? You're my Juliet." G: And was that sort of an in-the-room audition or a screen test? You know this is Juliet." G: That piece of footage would be worth its weight in gold OH: Yeah, I think Franco has it somewhere. OH: I think he kept that one, yes—And then, all through the film, I went through the balcony and all of this, and I got this very close bond with Franco. And all through the film I'd be saying, "When am I gonna shoot my potion scene?
The film won't be ) OH: So he was so afraid it was going to steal the whole film.
In a way I was heartbroken that I didn't get to do it, because it was such a wonderful scene for an actress.
You grew up in Argentina, and you lived there until about age seven, is that right? No, I remember leaving there and going to England with my mother and my brother. You know, and I cried and Franco said, "Don't worry, it's just jealousy." G: Yeah. Franco said, "I really don't want it to be lost in the dialogue.
I know you probably haven't had much time to spend there since. I mean obviously I remember my father, and you know, it was such a long time ago, Peter. And we stayed up until four in the morning at the—I can't remember what it was—the Wal—the Astoria—the Waldorf Hotel or something like that— G: Waldorf-Astoria. And the reviews came in and—in London—and they were so mean. Of course, in London, they were so protective of the Shakespearean— OH: But you know what?
" I said, "I look ridiculous." G: () OH: And he said, "You don't understand anything. OH: He was such a genius and such a joy to work with.
G: Now, you've always been very complimentary, of course, about the great Zeffirelli. And you know, Paramount never so much as gave us like a little bonus check for personal appearances. OH: Well, I'd—you know, if they can get it from Franco, if he's still got it. G: Now, had you been prepared at all to handle—obviously it was such a whirlwind experience—it's impossible to imagine a headier experience than playing the most important role in dramatic literature for nine months in Italy— OH: Well, playing the role was easy. And years later, I went back to Rome—because I was always back and forth to Rome to visit him after that. So the legend has been printed a few times over the years about . G: Well, one thing that I read is that a rumor was spread—which I know not to be true—that you were Zeffirelli's daughter. And then we traveled around the world with the whole film. And now, I hope I'm the definitive Teresa, even though nobody's seen that film yet. So I wanted to do just a quick "lightning round" about some of the rumors, some of which are clearly false and some of which are probably true.
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OH: I'm okay, thank you—Just getting my breath back. But I said, "Maybe, you know, I can work, and maybe they'll take me in—at least let's get an interview." So my mother called the school and got an interview with Miss Conti, the head of the Italia Conti state school. I'm a great actress, and all I need is the chance to prove it." G: () At seven, you said that. And I was always painfully shy and very short for my age, and I went to audition for a great English stage director called Peter Woods for , which was the new hottest play by Jay Presson Allen, based on the novel by Muriel Spark. G: Now, by today's standards you two were very underpaid, weren't you, for that film? And actually, we toured for eight months, you know, we were really the hottest young actors in the world at that time. OH: We couldn't go to any country in the world and not be mobbed.