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BWW Interview: Denzel Washington, Corey Hawkins & Alex Hassell Talk TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

The Tragedy of Macbeth is now streaming on Apple TV+.

BWW Interview: Denzel Washington, Corey Hawkins & Alex Hassell Talk TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

Denzel Washington, Corey Hawkins, and Alex Hassell star in Joel Coen's new film adaption of The Tragedy of Macbeth.

The new film, presented in black-and-white, presents a bold new rendition of one of Shakespeare's most popular works with an all-star cast, also featuring Frances McDormand, Bertie Carvel Kathryn Hunter, Harry Melling, and Brendan Gleeson.

BroadwayWorld caught up with Washington (Macbeth), Hawkins (Macduff), and Hassell (Ross) ahead of the film's Apple TV release! See what the stars had to say about the latest stage-to-screen adaption.

Since you have experience onstage, what was it like bringing a piece that many people are familiar with in a theatrical setting, to the big screen?

Denzel Washington: It was fun. It was fun because so much was left to our imagination. The way that Joel designed the sets and the lighting and there wasn't a lot of stuff that, actor stuff to lean on props and things like that. It was just sort of bare spaces. So it was like raw with the language and the other actors. So that made it a little more frightening, but more fun as well.

Corey Hawkins: It was thrilling. To be honest, I'm kind of still pinching myself that I got the opportunity to be a part of something that I think is a cinematic masterpiece and not only to do that, but to be doing Shakespeare, which I remember a teacher of ours, Michael Kahn, always called it the Olympics of acting. Having been able to do it on both stage and now, you know, the silver screen, so to speak, it's a joy and it's a pleasure.a??

I love that there is a sort of theatricality to the way that Joel envisions this version of Macbeth. And so it sort of lends itself to the theatricality in a really beautiful way. I love Shakespeare. I love the theater. And so it felt like theater, it felt the rehearsal process and those weeks felt like a luxury that you don't normally get on a film. We became this like company, almost. It's always thrilling in that way.

Alex Hassell: It was just an absolute joy from start to finish, to be honest. I knew the play very, very well. I just directed it. But luckily the way that my theatre company works is that we don't really make any decisions. So it wasn't like we had all landed on the quote unquote right or best way to do anything. So therefore it meant that I could be very open to the processes and the other people's performances and their way of interpreting the roles.a?? I brought a really deep understanding of what was happening in the play and the use of the language and stuff that I found really, really helpful and useful.

Joel's version, his screenplay, as a version, as a film in general, but as a version of Macbeth is so exquisitely put together and really just sort of folds back in on Macbeth all the time, rather than in any way showing off as a director, I think. It seems to just be constantly refocusing you on the story and the characters and the predicaments which I think is really classy of him.a?? And for me to play a part that obviously exists in the play, but that he has refashioned in a very different way for the purposes of the film and created this different narrative, to get to collaborate with him on the level necessary for us to work out what this character should be together was just an utter and profound artistic joy, I must say.

What can audiences who have enjoyed Macbeth onstage expect from this new film adaption?
Denzel Washington: It's a visual feast. I mean, you can't recreate in a theater what Joel did here, just with light and sound alone, you know? And there's the space that he leaves for the imagination.

Watch the trailer for The Tragedy of Macbeth here:

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