You need to see Yara Shahidi playing Juliet in the 2020 Pirelli Calendar

Some of entertainment’s most influential women make the case for a 21st Century take on Shakespeare’s most iconic play
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You need to see Yara Shahidi playing Juliet in the 2020 Pirelli Calendar
Photo: @yarashahidi

It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about Christmas or New Year’s. It’s time we start losing our heads over the always-anticipated Pirelli Calendar.

Titled ‘Looking for Juliet’ and shot by Patrizio Raversi, the 2020 edition of the annual occurrence re-imagines one of literature’s most famous women - Shakespeare’s Juliet. The question posed: how do modern muses embody the romantic yet tragic fictional figure?

According to Pirelli, the subjects were invited to, “present the role of Juliet in an ideal casting session that sees them act, pose, sing; each through their own emotion, art form, personality, character and interpretation of the role.”

Helping to shift the paradigm on who should be considered a classic heroine, starring alongside Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, The Crown’s Claire Foy and Spanish singer Rosalia, is Grown-ish actress, Yara Shahidi.

In the just-released images, the actress is pictured in the contemporary clothing she wore to the casting, and an opulent period-inspired outfit, with her hair forming an embellished crown over her head.

“[Romeo and Juliet] is a story that I’ve spent so much time with, and so to be in this creative reimagining is really cool,” Shahidi shared.

“There’s real power in Juliet’s irrationality. Standing up for what you want, being willing to rebut society is what really motivates the story. All of us were focused on strength and power, and that was truly transformational. From a creative standpoint it’s refreshing and fun and just so cool, because I had never done anything like this,” she continued.

In a press release, Roversi said, "I was looking for a pure soul, someone full of innocence that combined strength, beauty, tenderness and courage… I found this in the glimmer of an eye, in the gestures and words of Emma and Yara, Indya and Mia and in the smiles and tears of Kristen and Claire...in the voices and chants of Chris and Rosalía. In Stella, we have the innocence. There's a Juliet in every woman."

The calendar will be accompanied by a short film in which Roversi portrays a movie director looking to cast his Juliet.

The Pirelli Calendar was first published in 1964 as a gift to give to top clients of the tyre brand. In 1974 it was discontinued but was brought back a decade later and has now featured a venerable bingo sheet of some of global entertainment’s most popular figures; Gigi Hadid, Giselle, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to name a few.

See the official 2020 Pirelli Calendar photos here.

Photos: Instagram and Supplied