Michael Lewis for The New York Times

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You’re the star of a long-running TV drama with a grueling production schedule. Or, you’re a key actor in a series of blockbuster comic-book-based films. A friend calls with a proposition: “Hey, I want you to be in my next movie. It’s 12 days of shooting. At my house. And, oh yeah, it’ll be black and white. And, um, it’s Shakespeare.”

What do you say?

If that friend is Joss Whedon, apparently, you move heaven and Earth to say yes.

In the fall of 2011, Whedon had just finished principal production on “The Avengers.” He and wife Kai Cole talked about vacationing in Italy, but instead decided to hang out at their home in Santa Monica filming Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”

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