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Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz talks ageism, sexism and her love of complicated women 

Rachel Weisz isn’t like other actresses. Despite being one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, throughout her 20-year career she’s never succumbed to playing the secondary sidekick or ditzy love interest. She has an Oscar, Olivier Award and an action franchise under her belt but has stayed, largely, well away from rom-coms. At a time when the industry is tarnished with sexism, at the age of 46 her career is the busiest it’s ever been. Oh, and she’s married to the former James Bond.

Born in 1970 to Jewish parents – Hungarian George and Austrian Edith – Weisz grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb. She studied at Cambridge University along with Sacha Baron Cohen, Alexander Armstrong, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc (leaving with a 2:1 in English). It was here she fell in love with acting and formed a theatre group that performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her career began in 1992 but broke through in 1996 with a major role in thriller Chain Reaction alongside Keanu Reeves.

Two decades, 43 films and various stints on Broadway later, Weisz is talking to me from Manhattan, where she lives with husband Daniel Craig. The two are US citizens, but Weisz isn’t ruling out a return to the UK. “I spend half my time in north London anyway,” she says. “My favourite place ever is Regent’s Park. And now, with everything that’s happening, I definitely think I’d consider moving back to the UK.” By ‘everything that’s happening,’ she – of course – means, ‘Donald Trump becoming the imminent leader of the free world.’ And, like a true north London liberal, Weisz is uncomfortable with the idea. “I didn’t think either Brexit or Trump were possible,” she says. “I was in London the day the [Brexit] vote was counted and I couldn’t believe it, but in London we were inside our own little bubble, not really hearing the stories from people who we didn’t agree with, and that’s the same in America. People that lived outside of the East Coast and West Coast weren’t being heard. There’s a lot of anger.”

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Rachel Weisz is put on trial along with history itself in the new courtroom drama Denial.

The Mick Jackson-directed film finds her playing American historian Deborah E. Lipstadt, who was sued for libel for calling British writer David Irving a Holocaust denier in a 1993 book. Because the burden of proof is on the defendant in English libel cases, it’s up to Lipstadt and her legal team to disprove Irving’s claims that the Holocaust never happened.

In a recent video interview with EW, Weisz talked about spending time with Lipstadt, whose voice and demeanor provided a point of entry into the role.

“The thing about Deborah that really helped me unlock her spirit and her character is her accent, strangely,” Weisz said. “She’s from Queens, New York, and she’s very much on the front foot. She says what she thinks.”

The Oscar-winner continued, “As a British person, we tend to not say what we really feel, and hide our feelings away, and speak in subtext and stuff. So the thing that unlocked the character for me was spending time with her.”

Jackson added that he likes to pair actors with their real-life counterparts when possible, in order to “see what osmosis happens between the two, and what the actress picks up, and what gets fed back into the performance.”

Denial opens today. Watch the interview with Weisz, Jackson, and more above.

SOURCE: ew.com

You know her as the Oscar-winning British actress whose choice of characters on screen are as much of a brilliant display of artistry as they are compelling. From her role in ‘The Constant Gardner’ in 2005 where she took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award, to the quirky comedy ‘About A Boy’ opposite Jude Law, and even looking ahead to her forthcoming film ‘Denial’, where she plays historian Deborah Lipstadt, who was sued by fellow historian David Irving after she accused him of being a Holocaust denier.

There is no mistaking Rachel Weisz as one of the most talented artists of our generation. And it should also be no surprise that the roles she takes comes from a desire to be part of the growing movement of women in Hollywood who are demanding female characters not just be written or created as an afterthought or side-piece.

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Rachel Weisz has worked hard to become one of Hollywood’s most talented actors – and to keep the celebrity that comes with it at bay. She tells Natalie Evans-harding why she wants to remain a mystery.

“Mystery is good for acting,” Rachel Weisz reasons, taking a long sip of tea. We’re sitting in a diner in upstate New York, discussing the downsides of the celebrity-interview rigmarole, particularly for an enigmatic actress like herself, and her reticence to tell all about her private life in the name of movie promotion. “I don’t love going to the cinema and knowing tons about someone’s real life,” she says diplomatically, taking her first bite of a breakfast wrap. “Look, I totally understand why people are curious. It’s how they relax. They open magazines and see stories of famous people failing; crashing and burning; doing well; crashing and burning again. It’s a sport. A relaxation sport. It’s human.”

This might be why you know relatively little about Weisz. You know her name, obviously: her acting résumé is extensive and impressive. You probably know that she’s an Oscar winner (for The Constant Gardener in 2006), she’s British, 40-something (46, although truthfully she looks 10 years younger in person), and is married to fellow British actor Daniel Craig (since 2011). You may know that they live in New York, and that Weisz has a young son, Henry, from her previous relationship with director Darren Aronofsky. You’ve also likely noted that she is intelligent, perhaps from her mostly highbrow choices in film projects, or perhaps you’ve read somewhere that she studied at Oxford. But more than this? Weisz is a beautiful mystery.

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Rachel Weisz (Youth) talks to Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith about the night she won an Oscar eight months pregnant, why she doesn’t take advice, and the fearlessness of youth.