'Much Ado' cast: Joss Whedon 'makes it not feel like work'

'Much Ado' cast: Joss Whedon 'makes it not feel like work'

Joss Whedon is a man who multi-tasks. While directing "The Avengers" -- a film he wrote and helped to conceive -- he was also busily tackling Shakespeare. On nights and weekends, Whedon edited and scored his adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing," a film shot in his own house in just 12 days. "Much Ado" kicks off this year's Seattle International Film Festival.

Known for casting from a central group of talent, Whedon's "Much Ado," features some of the biggest names in the "Whedonverse," including "Castle" star Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker (of "Dollhouse" and "Angel," among other television shows and films), and Seattleite and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" castmember Alexis Denisof.

"When someone hires you a second time, you know you didn't blow it the first time," Fillion jokes. 

And the castmembers appreciate the star power that Whedon himself brings.

"He lets you do things that people wouldn't see you as," Acker explains, noting that working with Whedon "makes it not feel like work."

"Joss is the golden ticket," Fillion noted.

Whedon is also an innovative director who goes to great lengths for his work. The film, which was born out of table readings among friends, was a long time coming, but took just a few months from start to finish. It was shot digitally and "loosely pieced together," according to Fillion, in a production room in Whedon's home. It was then edited and produced within just a few weeks. Whedon also wrote the soundtrack for the film.

"When Joss starts hearing music," says Denisof, "you know he loves the project."

The film, which is a modern adaptation, is described as a "a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love." 

"Much Ado About Nothing" is being screened tonight before the SIFF Opening Night Gala, and will be preceded by an appearance by Whedon and the castmembers. For more information, visit SIFF's website