CON: Rachel Weisz
One-on-One Interview with Rachel Weisz
From a veranda high atop the San Diego Convention Center, I stood underneath the clear, blue sky and looked over the railing down upon the hundreds of fans lined up looking to get a coveted spot inside Hall H. Another beautiful day in San Diego and as I turn around I spot Rachel Weisz sitting by herself at a small two-person table waiting for me. At another table positioned directly next to her is Natalie Portman. I take one more look at the fans below. Yeah...life is good. I walk over, say a quick hello to Ms. Portman (who's waiting for Patrick Lee of SciFi.com) then introduce myself to Ms. Weisz. She's looking particularly elegant on this day with a slinky black dress with white trim and a large sunhat. As she takes off the black, round sunglasses and places them on the table, she inches her chair closer to me. She's just moving out of the direct sunlight and into some shade but I try to convince myself otherwise. Heck it almost feels like she and I, along with Natalie and Pat Lee, are on some weird double date. Yeah...life is good.This movie existed for some time before you signed on to star. Were you familiar with the project before you read the script? Definitely, yeah. Was it anything at all like your expectations? Much better than any of my expectations. It was like nothing I've ever read in my life. How did the script change as the project went along? Well it changed in that the earlier version that never went into production was a $90 million film. Then they cut it down because Warner Bros. didn't want to make it anymore. They cut it down to a $35 million movie. So I think it got honed down a lot and simplified. The battle sequences were honed down and things like that. So it changed it that respect but the story was still the same. The film has an air of secrecy around it but can you tell us something about your characters in the film that we might not already know? Well in 15th century Spain I play Queen Isabel but in the main core of the movie I play character called Izzy. She's a character dying of terminal cancer and she's married to Hugh Jackman. It's really about her leaving him and dying and the love they have for each other. In the future she's a...ghost.
Is Hugh's character a doctor in the movie? He's a research scientist; a neurologist. He's been working on an anti-aging drug and when I get ill-- [A flock of supersonic jets go screaming overhead. It takes at least 60 seconds for the noise to die down. In the meanwhile we and Natalie and Patrick joke that this must be some kind of Joel Silver publicity stunt.] --sorry... He was working on an anti-aging drug... Yes, yes. Once she gets diagnosed - it's kind of a backstory then - he devotes his work to cancer. He believes he can find a cure for that. So he's trying to defy death as a scientist. Finding a cure for cancer, as we'd all like to do. Then we she dies he starts looking for the fountain of youth so he can be young forever. Why does he start looking for the fountain of youth AFTER she dies? [Thinking then mimes zipping her lips while laughing.] Is the Hugh character in 2600 AD the same as the Hugh character from 2000 AD? It is the same character. OK so what is the relationship between that character and the character from the 15th century? [Thinking]...I can't give away that much (laughs)! But he's a conquistador in the 15th century and I'm the queen. And I send him on a quest to look for the "tree of life." The 10-minute sequence we saw was very abstract, in a sense. How much of the film do you feel is left open for interpretation? As with anything great, I think there will be lots of different ways of interpreting it. I don't think it's massively confusing but I think semi-subjective.
Darren Aronofsky said he's real nervous today showing off the footage of the film. Do you share any of that anxiety? You know what, I have faith in people. I think people want to see something new and different. They don't want to see anything that they've seen before. They don't want to have it worked out in the first 10 minutes how it will end. I think people are really smart and sophisticated. So I'm not really worried. I have faith in people. I think people are bored seeing the same old thing. It's something new, yet something old cause it harks back to classic, smart science-fiction. Right. This includes a lot of philosophy like those did. Besides THE CONSTANT GARDNER, which comes out this fall, do you have any other films on the horizon? Nothing right now. Just taking it easy.
If it seems like a short interivew, it was. They had cut times drastically to try and get things back on track after some early morning delays. On top of that, I didn't know about the time crunch and Rachel and I spent a good two or three minutes at the beginning bullshitting about the weather, how beautiful it is in San Diego, etc. In hindsight, I should've gotten right to brass tacks. Luckily she wasn't one of those actors who tends to ramble on endlessly at the simplest question. That at least allowed me to get more than two questions in. My much lengthier Darren Aronofsky one-on-one is still to come along with a wrap-up of the FOUNTAIN cocktail party that Warner Bros. tossed. There are some classic stories in there so make sure to check back later this week...
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