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Casanova in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Casanova

Heath Ledger • Sienna Miller • Jeremy Irons
DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallstrom

Just another day for Casanova THE CONCEPT:
Set in the 1700s, the story of the legendary adventurer, Casanova (Ledger) whose amorous dalliances would go on to inspire countless lovers throughout the centuries, and his fictional relationship with Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller), a writer not interested in his charms.

U.S. RELEASE: December 25 2005, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“I got a script five years ago that suggested a comedy on the Casanova legend. I didn’t like that script at all, but I felt maybe one could explore doing something lighter. Jeffrey Hatcher came aboard and rewrote that script completely, and that’s when I got excited. There’s always a fascination with seducers, how they actually do it, what’s their technique. I have that in common with most people.”

“I loved the script and I’ve always really admired Lasse as a director, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with him. I thought Casanova as he was written in this screenplay would be an incredible amount of fun to play. And, of course, I was only too happy to travel to Venice.”

“Francesca Bruni is an early feminist, strong, independent, cross-dressing, swashbuckling heroine in the 1750s. She’s not a real character, but I think that it’s feasible that someone like her did exist in that time. The Venice years were Casanova’s most debauched, crazy years, and I’d like to think that someone like her existed. I had to for my own peace of mind when I was making the film.”

“Thousands of women were falling in love with him all the time. So when he finally finds a woman who isn’t attracted to any of that, that’s what really devastates him - and interests him. He sees that here’s a chance that he can convince Francesca that there’s a worthwhile man underneath the myth, and he’ll do whatever he must to prove that to her.”

“I did my own research on the time, talked a lot to the art designer and the costume designer, they knew that I wanted the backdrop to be as real as possible. The Casanova story is all an invention, and it has very little to do with the real Casanova story, but I really wanted the atmosphere around it of the period to be correct and real.”

“I think we have male and female Casanovas nowadays. I think people misinterpret what he was, and see him as this kind of Alfie character, who just sleeps with women and discards them. Casanova loved women, worshipped women, and made them feel loved and worshipped, and so it was more an exchange of love than just a conquest.”

“Casanova, the real man, was such a good listener and he respected women, and that was a rare thing in those days. I bet there are a couple of Casanovas today – Warren Beatty used to be a Casanova. Kissinger is a good Casanova, he’s a good listener; smart guy, has that wide range of appeals that Casanova must have.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Casanova site
Images above © Touchstone Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #665, January 2006 cover

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