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Weisz Beyond Her Years: From Optioned Novel to Arthouse Drama, Rachel Weisz Nurtured Disobedience at Every Stage

Weisz Beyond Her Years: From Optioned Novel to Arthouse Drama, Rachel Weisz Nurtured Disobedience at Every Stage

Producing

Weisz is understandably guarded about her home life (she’s been married to Daniel Craig since 2011, the year she became an American citizen, and has a son with former partner Darren Aronofsky) but not about the place she calls home. Though she spends about half her time in New York, where she’s lived since 2001, England is really where Weisz’s heart remains. “It’s where I lived until I was 30. There’s ‘home-home,’ and then there’s everything else. New York is a home too, but England is where I’m from. Nothing can ever top or oust that,” she laughs.

We pivot to her take on one of the collaborations that’s defined her career. What’s Weisz’s recollection of working with Terence Davies on The Deep Blue Sea, which earned her several award nominations, including a Golden Globe nod and a win from the New York Film Critics Circle?

The Deep Blue Sea director Terence Davies is “very emotional about what camera angle is required for each shot,” says Weisz. We can see why. Image courtesy of Music Box Films

“He’s very exacting, and you can tell by the film. There’s no shaky camera and his movements aren’t freestyle.” Her takeaway from observing Davies frame her performance? “The camerawork in the film is very close up, with people placed right in the center of the frame. Terence is very emotional about what camera angle is required for each shot.”

She’s also considered feature directing. Weisz recalls the time she helmed “The Thief”—an 11-minute short, made for Glamour in 2011 from an adapted true story she wrote, starring Rosemarie DeWitt and Joel Edgerton—with fondness and some regret. “The camerawork was very shaky—by my choice. But if I were to do it again, I would make the camera more quiet,” she admits, wholly without artifice. As for other book adaptation projects Weisz has her sights set on, she blurts out one author instantly. “Thomas Pynchon. Inherent Vice? Completely destroyed me,” she raves.

As an artist and as a person, Weisz remains curious—about film, theater, community, home, faith, acting, freedom, craft, gender and sexuality, and life. Amidst her ongoing involvement in the day-to-day operations of the dream projects she nurtures, she frequently steps back to ask herself how her audience is connecting with the material. She asks me if I saw myself in the film, and I tell her I did. With kind eyes, she says, “I know you.” She was talking to me, but also to the audiences she’s invested her time, her money, and her faith in. MM

Disobedience opened in theaters April 27, 2018, courtesy of Bleecker Street. Featured image photograph courtesy of Bleecker Street.

This article appears in MovieMaker’s Spring 2018 issue.

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