A dossier for the new film "The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet"
The Character's Appearance
NOTE : As the source text however is only speech it does not clearly give a description of the character however this is what is required of you (the actor) to be apart of the film.
The Character's Speech, Actions, Thoughts, Interactions & The Feud
The character must also act as a father figure to Romeo in the film as in the source material he is very concerned about the welfare of the young man. These paternal instinct he has over Romeo leads him to not only be a friend but a confident to the boy. Friar Laurence must also be acted out as a somewhat spontaneous character. This can be seen in the scene previously stated (where Juliet comes to his chamber) and also in the final act where she awakes from "death" to find Romeo dead. The Friar then very persistently tells Juliet she must leave the crypt to go live in a nunnery. It is clear that he is a leader and makes decision that we wishes others to follow. For example in Act V, Scene III he tells Balthasar "Go with me to the vault". Although Balthasar refuses it is clear that Friar Laurence sees himself as someone who can easily command another person to do something, which he believes they would follow.
The character must also not seem to be apart of the feud in any way. Even though he interacts, gives advice to and is a role model to Romeo he is not on the Montague's side. He believe his purpose on Earth is to serve God and help the people of Verona, not get involved in such trivial matters as a family feud. In the film Friar Laurence will be helping people from both houses (marrying Romeo and Juliet, giving the potion to Juliet) and is affected by the feud as a result of this new love between the two main characters. It is important however that he should always seem and remain a bystander to the conflict and that his actions are not connected towards his preference or involvement in the two houses and their feud. Also, Friar Laurence is though willing to marry Romeo and Juliet may also have ulterior motives as he may hope that their marriage may unite the two feuding families.
Other characters must think highly of him and see him as a trustworthy individual as they come to confess and confide in him. He must be acted out calmly throughout the film (even after finding a dead Romeo in the crypt) and must also be portrayed as an entirely trustworthy character, whom people from all classes of society can trust.
Friar Laurence only interacts with a few characters in the film and source text. These are mainly Romeo, Juliet and briefly The Nurse. To Romeo he is a confident, father figure and guides the boy through life. To Juliet the Friar is seen also as a confident and a person she believes to have answers (he gives her the potion that feigns death). The Nurse should interact with him as through he is the protector of Romeo as when she seek the boy she goes to Friar Laurence's chambers instead of the Montague's house.
The Character's Representation & Growth
William Shakespeare's play shows the Friar as a person with good intentions. He is very fond of assisting people who are in difficult situations. However through the play his plans do not turn out in the way expected by the Friar. After marrying the pair, Romeo is banished. After Romeo is banished he gives Juliet a potion that fakes death. As a result of Juliet's "death" Romeo kills himself which then leads Juliet to do the same to herself. Even though it was not entirely Friar Laurence's fault these things occurred without his input and involvement in the couple's events the story may have turned out differently. At the end of the play the Friar feels guilty about his actions and blames himself for the pair's death. He says "Miscarried by my fault, let my old life Be sacrificed … Unto the rigour of severest law"( (Act V, Scene III, Lines 267-269). In this film adaptation we want him to feel guilt in what he has done leading him to question whether he should stop interfering into other people's lives.