Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof Talk 'Much Ado About Nothing,' Shakespearean Surprise, and Always Saying Yes to Joss Whedon

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker as Beatrice and Benedick (Lionsgate)

Joss Whedon has given us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, The Avengers, and countless other cult hits. But now the writer/director has something new up his sleeve. Well, something old, actually.

Whedon's latest film is a goreous black and white version of William Shakespeare's classic play Much Ado About Nothing that was shot over just 12 days at the director's own Santa Monica home. Angel and Dollhouse alums Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star at the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick, along with a host of other Whedon favorites, including Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, and Sean Maher.

Zimbio recently sat down with Acker and Denisof to chat about their surprise Much Ado casting (the two stars had read the parts almost 10 years ago during a casual staged reading at Whedon's home, but never dreamed of bringing the tale to the big screen), the hectic timeline of making a movie in just two weeks, and more.

"He only told us about three weeks before we started shooting," Acker revealed. "Usually if Joss calls I answer the phone saying, 'Yes!'"

Denisof actually thought he was getting bad news when Whedon called. "He had just wrapped on Avengers and he called me," Denisof shared of his casting. At first he thought Whedon was calling to tell him that his small role in the Avengers had been cut from the film, but it turns out Joss had something else in mind. "Instead, he pulled the script out of his pocket and said that he thought instead of going on vacation that he would shoot [Much Ado] at his house and did I want to do it. And before I had a chance to realize that was insane, I said yes."

Even though the shoot was fast-paced and there wasn't much time for elaborate rehearsals, Acker and Denisof both said that they felt immediately comfortable and safe because they had worked with some many of the actors before. "It didn't have a pressure that it probably should have if we had known that all these people were going to see it," Acker told us. "It was more just that we were getting to do this great thing with our friends."

So what Shakespeare play would the two stars like to see Whedon take on next (after he's done with The Avengers 2, obviously)? "I think Joss has a killer Hamlet in him," Denisof suggested. "I mean, he's the busiest man on the planet…so I don't know when. But I feel like this project just got him in a place, it sort of hit something in him that he really, really loves. So I hope he finds something else like this to do."

Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters this Friday, June 7. You can check out the rest of Zimbio's interview with Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof below:

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