Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-06-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



MOVIES Oscar winner Rachel Weisz: On new role, LGBT films
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Actress Rachel Weisz has come a long way since her first minor role in 1994's Death Machine. She began staking her claim to big-budget Hollywood with Chain Reaction, a few Mummy movies, About a Boy and The Runaway Jury. She later won an Oscar for her role in The Constant Gardener.

In live theater, she revived Design for Living and A Streetcar Named Desire. The Londoner starred with her husband, Daniel Craig, on Broadway with Betrayal, which racked up ticket sales.

Art-house films are her specialty, with 2015's The Lobster, Youth and, now, My Cousin Rachel. This is another film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's work and the first one since 1952. It is a tightly wound mystery involving a young Englishman named Philip, played by Sam Claflin, who plots revenge against his cousin because he believes that she murdered his guardian. Things grow complicated as he develops romantic feelings for her.

Windy City Times talked with the accomplished actress during a recent press conference.

Question: Hi, Rachel. Would you start off with talking about researching the role in My Cousin Rachel and making it different from the past?

Rachel Weisz: I didn't watch the original 1950s classic because I didn't want to have Olivia de Havilland's performance in my mind.

I did read the novel because obviously I could interpret that in my own way, and not be haunted by another actress's reading. I read the script and I like to ride side saddle. That was about it in terms of active research. The rest is just imagining.

Q: Did you work closely with the director on your interpretation of her guilt or innocence?

RW: I made a decision, and when I first read the script, I didn't know. It was open to interpretation and ambiguous as to kind of did she or didn't she but I made a decision before I actually played her as to whether she was guilty or innocent. The director asked that I keep that a secret from him, and it's a secret still. He still doesn't know.

Q: Did you make a decision about it?

RW: I definitely made the decision as to her guilt or innocence. I didn't know when I first read the script whether she was guilty, but I made a decision in order to play her. I played her with that in mind, with my decision in mind.

Q: Now that the film is out, can you say how you feel about the character?

RW: I'm afraid not—I can't. I'll take it to the grave. I'm so sorry.

Q: With Du Maurier, gender lines are broken and sexual orientation is played with. How does the cast deal with this?

RW: Well, it's a great question. I mean, it's there in the story and in the novel, obviously it's a woman writing about a man in love with a woman. Apparently she was actually writing about Daphne's obsession with her publisher's wife. I don't know much more about the story than that but it was her, she was actually in love with this Rachel figure, the writer. So that's there in the history of the writing of the novel, which I think is an interesting biographical detail.

But, yes, I mean she is playing with feminism and a woman living, feeling not guilty about having sexual pleasure, and not feeling like she needs to be married in order to have sexual pleasure or that being married would mean that she would be owned or possessed. She wants to be independent and free and carve out her own sense of self and her own sense of sexuality—which is, I guess, for the 1850s, very radical and, unfortunately, may be still radical in some places.

Q: How did you maneuver in those big costumes?

RW: Well, wearing a corset, you can't put it on yourself—someone has to lace you in. It takes time and, once you're in it, you're very restrained and it immediately makes you more formal, more poised. You feel less modern. I guess it's kind of like a cage of femininity strapped on to you.

It's quite intense, wearing a corset. You can't breathe. I understand why women used to say, you can only shallow breathe. It's a whole other feeling, than if I was in jeans and T-shirt. There's a certain oppression of the time that is expressed through the clothes, I guess. Also beauty—there's great beauty in them as well.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

RW: They were all difficult and all easy. There wasn't one thing that was particularly, that stands out. I think all performances are challenging. They're all a crapshoot; you don't know if you're going to pull it off. It doesn't matter how many performances you've managed to do, sometimes I think the more experience you get, the more nervous you get.

You just don't know if you're going to pull it off. It's a scary endeavor. You have to jump off into the deep end.

Q: You were in the movie Bent in the past. Any plans for more LGBT movies?

RW: Well, I just produced and starred in a film called Disobedience, which is an adaptation of a Naomi Alderman novel. It is a love story between two women.

I just finished a film, 1708, which is also a love story about two women, and then turns out [there are] three women.

Q: When does Disobedience come out?

RW: Disobedience is just in post-production right now.

It's a novel that I optioned and sought out the director and found the financing and we made it at the beginning of this year in London. It stars Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola. It's set in the Orthodox Jewish community of North London.

My Cousin Rachel currently is running at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., among other theaters in Chicago.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

'Lives: Visible' film June 23, 28 at Siskel 2017-06-21 - Lives:Visible—the new film by Chicagoan Michelle Citron that looks at the working-class butch/fem world of pre-Stonewall Chicago, and the film-based snapshot that recorded ...

Gay News

Gender JUST double feature June 23 2017-06-21 - Gender JUST will be camping out at the Chicago Freedom School, 719 S. State St., and showing back-to-back screenings of masterpieces of radical ...

Gay News

Entertainment news: Male model comes out, Laverne Cox, Mariah Carey 2017-06-20 - Model/fashion and lifestyle blogger Carl Cunard as come out as gay, Queerty noted. On his YouTube channel in a video entitled "Coming Out ...

Gay News

The Naked Truth: China Queer film looks at being queer in China June 26 2017-06-17 - JUNE 15, 2017 — "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights," former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared during ...

Gay News

Queer Film Society series in June 2017-06-13 - The Queer Film Society, in association with The Chicago Public Library, is presenting "Celebrate Queer Pride Worldide," a free film series examining the ...

Gay News

MOVIES Matt Wolf aims to tell Bayard Rustin's story 2017-06-13 - Matt Wolf is an award-winning filmmaker based out of New York. His most recent work, Bayard & Me, details the story of the ...

Gay News

Entertainment: Cher, Wanda Sykes, 'Guardians' star, Scissor Sisters 2017-06-13 - A musical based on Cher's life is slated to debut on Broadway in 2018, Rolling Stone reported. The singer confirmed the news on ...

Gay News

MOVIES 'Real Boy' spotlights transgender boy's family journey 2017-06-13 - In 2012, director and producer, Shaleece Haas chronicled the journey of Bennett Wallace, a then-19-year-old transgender teen and his mother, Suzy. In the ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Harry Shum Jr. talks motivation, 'Shadowhunters' 2017-06-13 - On the Freeform ( formerly ABC Family ) show Shadowhunters—loosely based on Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments—the title beings protect regular humans from ...

Gay News

Lives:Visible lesbian film at Siskel June 23, 28 2017-06-07 - The new film by Chicagoan Michelle Citron, Lives:Visible, is an elegy for two cultures—the working-class butch/fem world of pre-Stonewall Chicago, and the once ...


Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.