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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Knightley picked as ideal Juliet
Keira Knightley
Knightley said she would like to play Juliet in the future
Actors James Marsters and Keira Knightley have been named as the ideal pairing for Romeo and Juliet in a poll for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Marsters, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, and Love Actually star Knightley were picked by RSC website visitors.

Other choices for Romeo included Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp, while Juliet voters also went for Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.

The RSC's current Romeo and Juliet are Matthew Rhys and Sian Brooke.

Announced on the eve of Shakespeare's birthday, the fantasy couple was voted for by a majority of 2,000 people who named 150 different actors in all.


Alternative suggestions included Kate Winslet and Juliet Landau in the role of Juliet, and Brad Pitt and Colin Firth as Romeo.

Marsters said he was "flattered and excited" to be nominated.

"I think that the themes of violence and social disintegration are as important today as they were in Shakespeare's day," he said.

Knightley said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have come top of the poll, particularly as Juliet is a role I would very much love to play in the future."

A winner will be chosen among the voters to enjoy a weekend break for two at the Giulietta e Romeo Hotel in Verona.

The RSC's production of Romeo and Juliet runs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford until October and then transfers to London.

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