Rachel Weisz


  1. Gina Bellman, King David, 1985.    Rachel won the roleof David’s daughter at age 14 and it was refused by her Jewish intellectual father. He wuz right.This was no film for Jewish intelligentsia! (At one point, Davidis called… Dave). She hit back by planning to change her name. “I toyed with changing it to Vice, but it sounded like aporn star. Then, Vyce, which my agent said looked like afucking numberplate.”
  2. Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting, 1997.      She was among five Britishnearly-Skylars: Gabrielle Anwar, Helena Bonham Carter, Julia Ormond,  When the writer-stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Oscars in hand, thanked Minnie Driver, the simultaneous translation on French TV said they thanked… beaucoup de chauffeurs!  (Many drivers…)
  3. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000. Looking for his Penny Lane groupie in his semi-autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter daze,auteur Cameron Crowe saw 48 of LA’s bright young things… Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Lara Flynn Boyle, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth, Maggie Gyllenhal, Alyson Hannigan, Angie Harmon, Anne Heche, Katherine Heigl, Jordan Ladd, Kimberly McCullough (busier as a TV director these days, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, etc), Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Prepon, Lindsay Price, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Winona Ryder, Chloë Sevigny, Marley Shelton,  Tori Spelling, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Lark Voorhies.  Plus the English Saffron Burrows, Anna Friel, Thandiwe Newton and Rachel Weisz, Madrid’s Penélope Cruz, the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, Canada’s Natasha Henstridge, Ukrainian Milla Jovovich, Scottish Kelly Macdonald, Israeli Natalie Portman, German Franka Potente, Australian Peta Wilson and Welsh Catherine Zeta-Jones.  And the winner, Canada’s Sarah Polley, simply split. (Silly girl).  Crowe then chose Kate  (previously booked  for Anita) because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Chloë  was the freest spirit in all Hollywood. As she proved two years later in The Brown Bunny… in a way the others would never have dared.
  4. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino,Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz… who was a mathematician seven years later in Agora.. PS Emily Watson was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because Alicia Nash came from El; Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian, South African, etc.  Director Ron Howard, seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.
  5. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001.      Too pretty! She had no ”huge artistic-feminist struggle with that. You work with what God gave you. And if someone says ‘You’re pretty,’ you say: Thanks very much.”
  6. Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain, 2002.  Up for  Ruby Thewes. For awhile. Which leaves me space to add that Rachel has Hungarian and Italian  blood. And it shows. Beautifully..
  7. Rachel McAdams, Red Eye, 2004.   Horrorsmith Wes Craven also saw Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Amanda Peet, Robin Wright – and made the right choice. Chicago critic Roger Ebert praised McAdams. Highly. “When she’s stalking a terrorist with a hockey stick, she seems like a real woman stalking a real terrorist with a real hockey stick. It’s not as easy as it sounds.”
  8. Radha Mitchell, Mozart and the Whale, 2004.   Dunno who quit first – Rachel or Steven Spielberg.  But they wuz right. Autism is  an almost impossible subject for cinema. Mitchell, Josh Hartnett and Norwegian director Peter Næss didn’t realise this.   Rachel and Spielberg obviously did.
  9. Emily Watson, Wah-Wah, 2005.   Rachel, Emanuelle  Béart , Toni Collette and Meg Ryan all passed on actor Richard E Grant’s writer-directing debut.
  10. Julia Stiles, The Omen, 2006.      Damien’s mother was not, the most appropriate role to offer a pregnant actress… The anti-Christ’s nanny, Mia Farrow (!), suggested Julia.

  11. Rosario Dawson, Clerks II, 2006.      New Jersey auteur – and king – Kevin Smith saw all his fantasies for Becky – except one.Despite all his LA contacts, he just could not  contact Rachel.
  12. Maria Bello, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, 2007.   Director Rob Cohen said rachelhad no wish to play the mother of a 21 year-old son. More like (a) she didn’t fancy another mindlessMummy reprise after having won a support actress Oscar for The Constant Gardener, 2005; (b) not interested in long locations in China; and (c) wanted more time with her own son – aged a mere five months.
  13. Sarah Jessica Parker, Smart People, 2007.    Sex and The Widowed Professor… Dennis Quaid falling for one of his students turned doctor. The film came and went without many noticing.
  14. Elizabeth Banks, Definitely, Maybe, 2007. Never Hollywood-cherished as as she should have been, poor Rachel was picked for Emily – and then given Summer in  the five-minute anecdote stretched to 112 minutes.  Then again, not as long as where the rip-off came from –  TV’s How I Met Your Mother, That lasted nine hears!  Rolling Stone’s, Peter Travers got it right: crap with compensations.
  15. Cate Blanchett,The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008.      Brad Pitt’s Button is entranced by Daisy and has to wait to grow down for her in the F Scott Fitzgerald take onby Mark Twain’s comment: “Life would be infinitely happier if only we could bebornat the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”
  16. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.  Well, Robin was an Aussie, too – Russell Crowe. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic  from several candidates: Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Scarlett Johnansson, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan. Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began… among Blanchett, Rachel Weisz and Kate Winslet.  Director Ridley Scott said the only good Sherwood movie was made by … Mel Brooks!
  17. Winona Ryder, Black Swan, 2009.  Reminiscent (in places) of the 1947 classic, The Red Shoes, 1947, here’s an erotic study of the bleeding art that ballet can be. With Winona Ryder as an already over-the-hill star, Natalie Portman (never better – hence her Oscar and 37 other best actress trophies)) as a star on the rise (being pushed by ex-ballerina mother Barbara Hershey). Director Darren Aronofsky also looked at Posey for the role, plus two of his previous leading ladies: Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream, 1999) and Rachel Weisz (The Fountain, 2005).
  18. Julia Ormond, My Week With Marilyn, 2010.      When asked to play VivienLeigh (in the movie about the making of The Prince and the Showgirl with Monroe and Laurence Olivier in London, 1956), Rachel pleaded exhaustion after three filmsback-to-back. Ironically, one was a re-working of Leigh’s 1954 role in The Deep Blue Sea.
  19. Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister, 2010.   Weisz was about to try mumblecoere as Emily Blunt’s sibling in an all improv 12-day shoot about  a guy stck between two attractive sisters…  when changes in her Deep Blue Sea schedule got in the way. 
  20. Marion Cotillard, The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.

  21. Bérénice Mariohe, Skyfall, 2011.  
  22. Rosemarie De Witt, Your Sister’s Sister, 2011.    OK, sure.  In October 2010, Rachel was keen on actress-director Lynn Shelton’s rom-com triangle (two sisters,  one guy).  And a 12-day shoot was perfect because she had to nip off to make The Deep Blue Sea in November. Well, wouldn’t you know it,    Lynn’s movie was  postponed and De Witt took over… wait for it…  the vegan lesbian sister.
  23. Nicole Kidman, The Railway Man, 2012.    The titular  Colin Firth asked Kidman to take over  when Weisz was hung up on re-shoots for her previous two films: The Bourne Legacy and Oz the Great and Powerful. He needn’t have bothered.
  24. Sandra Bullock, Gravity, 2012.   Once Angelina Jolie passed (twice), they all wanted the 3D sf special written by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron and his son, Jonas – Abbie Cornish, Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johannsson, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Sienna Miller, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde… Because the female astronaut is alone on-screen for most of the movie. (Sorry about that, George Clooney). Oh and plus Weisz – when her new husband, Daniel Craig, was up for the Clooney spacesuit.
  25. Jessica Biel, Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes, 2012.     Rachel and Rooney Mara, once set in stone, became Kaya Scodelario and Biel.
  26. Eva Green, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, 2013.   Weisz, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Michelle Williams were all up for the dame in question. Ava.  Variety critic Justin Chang  was unmoved by the movie. . “ Rare indeed is the movie that features this many bared breasts, pummeled crotches and severed noggins and still leaves you checking your watch every 10 minutes.”
  27. Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars, 2013. Weisz and Viggo Mortensen and Rachel Weisz became  Moore and John Cusack during the first  time in a near 50-year career that Canadian director David Cronenberg actually shot on location in LA. (Well, those maps are of  movie stars’ homes).  A good move for Moore, voted Best Actress at the 2014 Cannes festival.
  28. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl, 2015.      The role? Gerda Wegener, the Californian-born wife of Danish painter Einar Wegener. IUn 1930, he was one of the first mento surgically become a woman: Lili Ebe. First choice Charlize Theron dropped out in 2008. Gwyneth Paltrow moved in. but split for more family time. Uma Thurman entered the mix, then Edith Piaf – Marion Cotillard – in 2010. Weisz followed in 2011 and finally, Vikander played Gerda for UK director Tom Hooper… opposite Eddie Redmayne as her husband.
  29. Natalie Portman, Jackie, 2016.     Jackie Kennedy’s trauma in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of her husband, JFK, assassination, was a hallowed project for Weisz and director Darren Aronofsky when they were a couple. She then wed Daniel Craig and Aronofsky stayed aboard as producer, uniting his 2010 Black Swan star and Oscar-winner, Portman, and the Chilean director Pablo Larraín. “You wonder if anyone could play Jackie – she is so iconic a figure,” said Aronofsky. “But somehow Natalie makes you forget you are watching Natalie… through her magic and voodoo, she can disappear into any role.” And as for the director, “After seeing El Club, I was convinced Pablo could probably do anything.”






 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  29