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Sean Teale

You might think you know all there is to know about Shakespeare’s famous tale Romeo and Juliet, but Rosaline proves there is always more to the story.

In love and romance, we always believed there to be two sides of the story — the two people in the relationship. But what happened to the partners who ‘almost’ ended up together? Rosaline explores that (and then some) by giving Romeo’s past love Rosaline the spotlight, showing what happened to her while Romeo was wooing Juliet. Sean Teale’s character Dario has a similar journey as he goes toe-to-toe with literature’s most famous lovesick man. Although he’s no stranger to period pieces, Teale continuously brings a deft touch to every character, analyzing their motives and diving into their psyche even in a comedic tale like Rosaline. For him, it’s all about connection — something he shares with his characters from past, present, and future.

Sean Teale chats with 1883 Magazine to discuss Rosaline, his career aspirations, and more.


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The costumes and the sets are all beautiful and historic. What was it like getting to go to work in a set, and in clothes like that? 

Well Mitchell Travers is a genius and his team too so that was a blessing, Andrew Mcalpine our production designer too, and credit to the locations department. I’m always amazed when period pieces come together well because it just seems insanely stressful. But if you ask any of the crew – the challenge of doing a period piece is one of the main draws for getting involved. The locations they found were genuinely some of the most astonishing I’ve seen. I didn’t realise hedge mazes that long existed. It was great.

I mean, this job is at some base level just playing dress-up. It often starts there you know when you’re a kid. Stepping into worlds that’re so foreign but so dense that they’re completely real, racing through castles on horseback wearing these incredible things with boots and swords on. It takes you back to that adolescence. You can end up taking this job incredibly seriously, so it’s nice at times to be reminded sometimes to have fun like when you were young. 


Did the costumes help you get into character more easily than in more modern projects? 

All costumes play their part but I suppose so yes. I find that with modern clothing, naturally, there’s more connections to real life that you can stumble over or that might edge you slightly into a less relevant (to your character’s) space. Whereas mediaeval costumes.. I mean unless you’re quite punchy you don’t have anything close to what you’re wearing to equate to, which makes it really personal. It roots you in that world, at that time. 


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What was one of your favourite moments when filming? 

It’s hard to pinpoint one specific moment across the shoot – we genuinely had so much fun all summer. There were some nights out in the countryside that the cast and crew spent together which were just hilarious and kind of soul filling. We had some really great days at work shooting on the lake where my character’s boat is docked – that felt special. My character really cherished that place and that definitely seeped into my psyche. That said, there’s one quite big scene in the movie that basically the entire cast is in. That day was one of the silliest, funniest, and hardest to get through appropriately that I’ve had. 


What was it like getting to revisit this classic piece of literature from a new perspective? 

My first thought when I read about the project, years and years ago, was ‘oh man you’re taking on Romeo and Juliet (AGAIN?!)’.. it’s going to have to be wildly unique. Then immediately after I started reading I found that that’s exactly what this movie is – this quirky reimagining of the story from a completely fresh and fun angle. I’ve always loved medieval comedies, and taking on that period with contemporary touches like modern dialogue and music just highlights how absurd medieval times were. Absurd, tough, deeply unhygienic times. 


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If you could tell another classic tale from someone else’s perspective, which story would you choose? 

That’s a fun question. Who cares about Snow White – I want to know more about these Seven Dwarfs! I suppose characters that are often fascinating but don’t have their stories told from their perspective are villains. If we could do a bond villain series of films from their point of view, and that attempt to make these lunatics hellbent on world domination our heroes – that might be fun. 


As you look ahead, what kinds of roles are you most excited to take on? 

I just want to try different things to be honest – I’m not sure which takes preference. I’ll be happy trying as many types of roles, genres, or mediums as possible and hopefully I can tell some stories that matter along the way. I’m very lucky to be in this industry, with the people I work with and to be able to do things that realistically I can’t do in real life. Of course it’s not real life, but it’s the next best thing. I want to be sent to the moon, or perform surgery, or fight in a coliseum. I really want to put myself in as many places as possible. Taking on new challenges is always fun and this year I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of it in Barcelona shooting a new show for Netflix, acting bilingually in English and Spanish. Which means I’ve probably butchered not one language, but two.


Rosaline is out now on Disney+.


Interview Kendall Saretsky

Photography David Reiss

Styling Benedict Browne

Grooming Paul Donovan

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