Hollywood legend Al Pacino believes that William Shakespeare plays should be made more accessible to children - through the medium of film.

The 64-year-old actor - who stars as SHYLOCK in Michael Radford's forthcoming adaptation of Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE - remains a fan of reading, but believes movies can really bring the plays to life for a new generation.

He says, "It is important to encourage children to read. Reading is such a friend, so comforting.

"You don't have to understand every single word to get the gist of it. I believe Shakespeare in film is something that should be tried more and more often.

"People don't want to do Shakespeare. They are afraid. They feel they have an audience that already won't go, but they are just the people who would get so much out of seeing Shakespeare on screen.

"We have a tendency to close off when we don't understand something. If we were made to feel more open and not afraid, we'd be able to experience it more."

06/09/2004 13:59