Rachel Weisz - Biography
Rachel Hannah Weisz (pronounced
/ˈvaɪs/ "vyess"; born 7 March 1970) is an English actress and model. She
gained wide public recognition after her portrayal of Evelyn "Evy"
Carnahan-O'Connell in the films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. In 2001,
she starred opposite Hugh Grant in the hit About a Boy and continued to
garner leading roles in Hollywood productions. Her performance in The
Constant Gardener (2005) won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting
Actress, along with other major motion picture awards.
Weisz was born in Westminster, London, England, and grew up in Hampstead
Garden Suburb. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is a teacher turned
psychotherapist who was born in Vienna, Austria. Her father, George Weisz,
is a Hungarian-born inventor and engineer. Weisz's parents fled to England
during World War II. Her father is Jewish and her mother has been referred
to as either Catholic or Jewish (as well as "half-Italian"). Weisz was
raised in a "cerebral Jewish household" and refers to herself as Jewish.
Weisz has a sister, Minnie Weisz, who is an artist.
Weisz was educated privately at prestigious independent schools for girls:
North London Collegiate School, Benenden School, and St Paul's Girls'
School. She then entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she graduated with
a 2:1 in English. During her university years she appeared in various
student productions, co-founding a student drama group called Cambridge
Talking Tongues, which went on to win a Guardian Student Drama Award at
the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for an improvised piece called Slight
Having already worked for television productions, with parts in such major
UK television series as Inspector Morse (1993), Weisz started her cinema
career in 1995 with Chain Reaction and then appeared in Bernardo
Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty. She followed this work with more English
films including My Summer with Des, Swept from the Sea, The Land Girls,
and Michael Winterbottom's I Want You. Although she received favourable
critical recognition for her work to this point, her breakout into wide
audience recognition came from a popular serio-comic horror movie The
Mummy, in which she played the lead female role alongside Brendan Fraser.
She followed this up with two hits, The Mummy Returns (2001), which
grossed higher than the original, and About a Boy (2002) with Hugh Grant.
Since then, her other film work has included Enemy at the Gates (2001),
Runaway Jury (2003) and Constantine (2005).
In 2005, Weisz starred in Fernando Meirelles's The Constant Gardener, a
film adaptation of a John le Carré thriller of the same title set in the
slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya. For this performance, Weisz won
the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the 2006 Golden Globe
Award for Best Supporting Actress and the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award
for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. In her
home country, she was recognised as a leading role for the film according
to the nomination from the BAFTA awards and winnings from the London
Critics Circle Film Awards and British Independent Film Awards.
The same year, she starred in The Fountain and also provided the voice for
Saphira in the fantasy film Eragon. Her subsequent films include the Wong
Kar-wai-directed drama My Blueberry Nights (in which she played an
"anti-Southern belle") and director Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom, in
which she plays a wealthy American woman targeted by two con man brothers
(Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo). She plays the lead role of Hypatia of
Alexandria in the historical drama film Agora, released in October 2009.
Her breakthrough role was that of Gilda in Welsh director Sean Mathias's
1995 West End revival of Noel Coward's 1933 play Design for Living at the
Gielgud Theatre. Her other stage work includes the role of Catherine in a
London production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer and Evelyn
in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things at the Almeida Theatre (also film) at
its, then, temporary location in London's Kings Cross. In 2009 she played
Blanche DuBois in a Donmar revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, Critics'
Circle Theatre Award Best Actress 2009.
Weisz is engaged to American filmmaker and producer Darren Aronofsky. They
have been dating since 2002. They have a son, Henry Chance, born on 31 May
2006 in New York City. The couple reside in the East Village in Manhattan.
Weisz also serves as a muse to fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.
Rachel Weisz - Personal Quotes
"I found myself a
sophisticated, educated American. He's not an actor. He's traveled
the world. He knows where Europe is, unlike a lot of Americans. He's
very cultured, but he's all man."
"You just have to play every scene honestly and forget about a
reaction and what the audience is going to think. I think the more
seriously you take something, the more funny it might be."
"People find out I'm an actress and I see that 'whore' look flicker
across their eyes."
"I find Hollywood really toxic."
"I have absolutely no empathy for camels. I didn't care for being
abused in the Middle East by those horrible, horrible, horrible
creatures. They don't like people. It's not at all like the
relationship between horses and humans."
"When I'm playing a character, I use the American accent. But when I
go back to England, I just glide right back into Englishness
immediately. Every actor uses a dialect coach. Every actor, and if
they say they don't, they're lying. Everybody does, yeah. You don't
want to worry about it. You have someone listening out to check that
you're not straying."
I'm a bit superstitious about certain things, like what shoes to
wear. If I wear the wrong shoes, the whole day may go wrong. Or if I
don't get to the bottom of the stairs before the door closes -
stupid little things like that. Then I also have all the normal
ones, like don't walking under ladders and so on.
God no! I hate it, absolutely hate it. I can't stand it, it's such a
drag. So I just tend to wear the same things all the time. I don't
like change anyway. - on shopping
I sometimes do worry that actors are people's role models, you know.
And doctors and teachers and people doing really important things
just get paid nothing. And they put us on the cover of magazines.
They should be our heroes. I find it all a bit dubious.
I'm not one for parties and stuff like that. I get a bit nervous
around lots of people. Being invisible is what I really enjoy. That
I find quite entertaining.
I think mystery is kind of great. I don't know anything about Bette
Davis or Katharine Hepburn or Ava Gardner - not really - and I like
that. I love watching their movies because they're my personal movie
stars. I don't know what they eat and who their trainer is.
"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
"I've never felt uncomfortable with my level of fame. I don't get
hassled. Maybe sometimes in a minor way, but New Yorkers are much
too cool for that. The thing is, you choose to be an actress, but
not to be a celebrity."
"'Oh God, don't make me come across as a moaner. I think it's
unacceptable to moan about anything when you're lucky enough to do
what I do. What I'm trying to say is I'm more settled now. The
thirties have calmed me down. I know who my real friends are, I know
what I want to do. In your twenties, you just do everything. It's
just overload all the time. In the thirties, you learn that it's OK
to go to bed early if you want."
"I don't do too well there. If you were brought up in London, where
you can walk around everywhere and there are theaters, you can't
really do LA. I couldn't make a life there. You're in a car all the
time, and there are no seasons."
"There's a lot of contemporary actresses I admire, but there's
practically no one who's made a color movie whose career I'd want
... I don't feel very modern at all."
"I'm very wary of talking about statements. I'm a storyteller, I'm
an actor, an entertainer."
The celebrity thing... I don't want to sound as if I absolutely
don't want it because that's not true. If you're in the
entertainment business, you have to be honest. There's something
alluring about it...
They're very harsh critics and they've often said to me: "That was
shit, you were crap', but this is the first time [after he saw her
as "Amy Foster" on Swept from the Sea (1997)] my father said to me:
'I think one day you'll be a good actress"-- on her parents.
"Working with someone like Dustin Hoffman is a huge honor and, after
you kind of get through that, you're frightened about working with a
screen legend, and I was just in awe".
[Talking about Darren Aronofsky] I guess the first impression was
that I'd been a big admirer of his work, and then I met someone who
you'd never have put with that work. There was something very
refreshing about that. I thought I was going to meet someone who was
very intense and weird.
"Los Angeles makes you feel ugly. I'm not going to pretend I haven't
secretly wanted to be super-skinny, because all girls do.But I have
a woman's body, not a boy's body. Most women do and should feel
proud of their butts and their breasts and their bellies."
Rachel Weisz - Filmography
Unbound Captives (2010) ....
Dream House (2011)
The Whistleblower (2010) .... Kathryn Bolkovac
The Lovely Bones (2009) .... Abigail Salmon
Agora (2009) .... Hypatia
... aka Ágora (Spain)
The Brothers Bloom (2008) .... Penelope
Definitely, Maybe (2008) .... Summer Hartley
... aka Un jour, peut-être (France)
Fred Claus (2007) .... Wanda
My Blueberry Nights (2007) .... Sue Lynne Copeland
Eragon (2006) (voice) .... Saphira
Eragon (2006) (VG) (voice) .... Saphira
... aka Eragon: The Game (International: English title: informal
The Fountain (2006) .... Isabel / Izzi Creo
The Constant Gardener (2005) .... Tessa Quayle
... aka Der ewige Gärtner (Germany)
Constantine (2005) .... Angela Dodson / Isabel Dodson
... aka Constantine (Germany)
Envy (2004) .... Debbie Dingman
Runaway Jury (2003) .... Marlee
Confidence (2003) .... Lily
... aka Confidence: After Dark (UK)
... aka En toute confiance (Canada: French title)
The Shape of Things (2003) .... Evelyn Ann Thompson
... aka Fausses apparences (France: TV title)
About a Boy (2002) .... Rachel
... aka About a Boy oder: Der Tag der toten Ente (Germany)
... aka Pour un garçon (France)
The Mummy Returns (2001) .... Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell / Princess
Enemy at the Gates (2001) .... Tania Chernova
... aka Duell - Enemy at the Gates (Germany)
Beautiful Creatures (2000) .... Petula
This Is Not an Exit: The Fictional World of Bret Easton Ellis (2000)
.... Lauren Hynde
Tube Tales (1999) (TV) .... (segment "Rosebud")
Sunshine (1999) .... Greta
... aka A napfény íze (Hungary)
... aka Sunshine - Ein Hauch von Sonnenschein (Germany)
The Mummy (1999) .... Evelyn Carnahan
My Summer with Des (1998) (TV) .... Rosie
I Want You (1998/I) .... Helen
... aka Beloved
The Land Girls (1998) .... Ag (Agapanthus)
... aka Trois Anglaises en campagne (France)
Swept from the Sea (1997) .... Amy Foster
... aka Amy Foster (UK)
... aka Amy Foster: Swept from the Sea (UK: DVD title)
Bent (1997) .... Prostitute
Going All the Way (1997) .... Marty Pilcher
Chain Reaction (1996) .... Dr. Lily Sinclair
Stealing Beauty (1996) .... Miranda
... aka Beauté volée (France)
... aka Dancing by Myself (USA: alternative title)
... aka Io ballo da sola (Italy)
Death Machine (1994) .... Junior Executive
Seventeen (1994) (TV)
White Goods (1994) (TV) .... Elaine
"The Scarlet and the Black" (1993) TV mini-series .... Mathilde de
... aka Scarlet and Black (Australia)
"Sweating Bullets" .... Joey (1 episode, 1993)
... aka Tropical Heat
- His Pal Joey (1993) TV episode (as Kenya Campbell) .... Joey
"Inspector Morse" .... Arabella Baydon (1 episode, 1993)
- Twilight of the Gods (1993) TV episode .... Arabella Baydon
Dirtysomething (1993) (TV) .... Becca
Rachel Weisz - Related Links
Wikipedia: Rachel Weisz
YouTube: Rachel Weisz