Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz’s career has taken a decidedly eclectic turn. Early on, Weisz could be seen in features that leaned more toward the comedy and adventure. More recently, she has askew the comedy for a more historical brand of film, though she does have Black Widow waiting in the wings. But Weisz’s last film was the 2018 period-piece The Favourite. Why haven’t we seen her since?
Here’s where Rachel Weisz has been and why you aren’t seeing more of her.
WHERE RACHEL WEISZ STARTED
Rachel Weisz. started her career at age 14, as a model and then made headlines, still at age 14, when she had to turn down a role offered to her in the Richard Gere-led historical movie King David. It was her parents who said no.
Weisz’s acting career would officially kick off in 1992, a whole eight years after not appearing in King David. Her first few roles were in British TV series starting with The Advocates. She followed that with Inspector Morse, Tropical Heat, a TV mini-series called Scarlet and Black, and then Screen Two.
Rachel Weisz’s first jump into features was in 1994 with a bit part in Death Machine. Her first major role in a feature came a couple of years later in Chain Reaction, a film in which she co-starred with Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman. Since that jump to features, Weisz’s career has pretty much followed the feature film path. She has appeared in a few TV movies, White Goods (1994), My Summer with Des (1998), and Page Eight (2011) but other than those appearances, it has been a career filled with features.
LAUNCHED INTO STARDOM BY THE MUMMY
Rachel Weisz would finally see her star shine when she took on the role of Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan, opposite Brendan Fraser’s adventuring Rick O’Connell in The Mummy.
Though Rachel Weisz was not a fan of horror movies, she never saw the Mummy films as outright horror. She said at the time via The Birmingham Post, “I don’t normally like horror films, I get really scared. I was petrified watching Gremlins,” revealed Weisz, “But I don’t think this is horror. It’s hokum, a comic book world.”
Rachel Weisz revealed much more about her time as Evie. “It was a great character part. Normally women in action movies are just ditsy bimbos. She was a damsel in distress, but she was a librarian in distress, which is funny in itself. And I got to do all my own stunts. I didn’t do that many but there was one bad one where I had to turn round to shoot a rider on a horse. He was on a pulley that yanked him off and he broke both his arms. They still used the shot though – this is not a charitable industry.”
She even spoke about the scorpions and the men who wrangled them. “Quite a few people were airlifted out after they’d been bitten by scorpions,” said Rachel. “They used to have a scorpion wrangler who would collect them in empty Evian bottle then shake them in front of your face going ‘Look what we’ve found’.
Even more revealing than her comments on her first Mummy shoot was the fact that a certain magazine approached asking if she’d be interested in doing a spread. “I think it is just the funniest thing. My agent came round said ‘Obviously you’re not going to do it’ and I said ‘What would it involve?’ and he said ‘You, totally. . . you know.” And she knew. Rachel Weisz never did reveal just what Playboy was offering for her to appear wearing only a sly smile, but she did say, “A lot.”
With The Mummy becoming a successful film for Universal, Brendan Fraser, and Rachel Weisz, a second one was ordered and it too became just as successful. The sequel came two years later and told a story that closely resembled the first. This time, though, we find out that Fraser and Weisz’s characters have married and now have a son. The story brings back familiar characters from the first movie to include John Hannah as Evie’s brother and Arnold Vosloo as the mummy Imhotep. This movie also spawned a spin-off as Dwayne Johnson appeared as The Scorpion King.
Obviously, with the success of the first two, a trilogy was in the works. But this time, Rachel Weisz would not be coming back. No true reason has ever been given, not by the actress nor the studio but speculation ran wild.
The first excuse for her absence came from Rob Cohen, who directed the third film, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. His reasoning was that Rachel Weisz didn’t want to play Evie this time because the movie was introducing Evie’s 8-year old son from the second movie as a now 21-year old and she didn’t feel her character should be aged enough to have a 21-year old.
There was another possible reason for Rachel Weisz not returning. At the time she also had a young child and did not want to spend an extended amount of time away from him. This was kind of shot down as Weisz made two other movies during that time period.
Rachel Weisz herself finally did comment on her lack of participation in the third movie (her role was eventually played by Maria Bello). She said in an interview that she had never even read the script and that if she had, the movie’s production schedule would have taken her off the movie anyway. They were scheduled to film in China for five months, something that Weisz could not do at the time.
Rachel Weisz moved on from The Mummy franchise in big fashion. Her career was taking off and she found plenty of work. For the next decade, she was seen in movies such as About a Boy, Runaway Jury, Constantine, and The Constant Gardner, a film in which Weisz won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
Weisz’s career was in full bloom. She was seen in My Blueberry Nights, Fred Claus, Definitely, Maybe, The Brothers Bloom, The Lovely Bones, and The Whistleblower. It was around this time that the actress became James Bond’s significant other.
STEAMY SEX WITH THE RACHELS
It was called by many, the best sex scene in years. How’s that for a Rachel on Rachel pairing? The movie was Disobedience, and it was one that was the talk of the Toronto Film Festival when it premiered in 2017.
Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams co-starred in a story about two women from an Orthodox Jewish Community who reunite after years apart and begin an affair. The movie, while telling an amazing story of these two ladies dealing with their feeling and emotions for each other, is noted for the steamy sex scene between the two stars.
While Disobedience has been hailed as one of the best sex scenes ever on film (at least for 2017), the actress says it’s what’s left to the imagination that makes it so hot. “You don’t see anything, almost, apart from our faces in close-up. There are other bits of our bodies, but you don’t see any breasts or bottoms. And so in that sense you have to imagine everything that’s happening around the edges of the frame. You see a face in pleasure and you have to imagine what one woman is doing to another woman. And I think that’s pretty erotic,” she explained via Leader Post.
And then there was that spitting, a moment in the sex scene that raised many…eyebrows. McAdams commented on that via Indiewire, “I was excited that Sebastián [director Sebastián Lelio] was doing something new. It’s provocative and brings the audience into something intimate,” McAdams said about the moment. “The makeup department tested out different flavors of lube the night before to use as the spit. We settled on lychee-flavored!”
Eventually what made the scene tick, according to Disobedience, was the lack of her character’s orgasm being shown. “It was too many orgasms,” Weisz says. “Esti’s [McAdams] was more important, and it robbed her of that.” The scene was initially filmed with both characters having one, but in the end, it was more about McAdam’s Esti’s empowerment.
RACHEL WEISZ NOW
Now 50-years-old, Rachel Weisz isn’t a Bond girl she is actually James Bond’s girl. Her relationship with Daniel Craig goes back a few years, with the two eventually working together on the 2011 feature Dream House. They began dating in late 2010, eventually tying the knot in a private ceremony in June of 2011.
The couple’s relationship continues to be a strong one and amazingly enough, they had their first child together in 2018, when the actress was 48-years old.
Since Disobedience in 2017, Weisz has been fairly silent. She was in The Mercy in 2017 and The Favourite was released in 2018. Her decision to work less in the past couple of years could be due to fact that her son is still a toddler. It could be she is focusing more on the producing aspect of film. We do know she did film one movie that should see the light of day in 2021. That would be Marvel’s Black Widow, where she plays Melina Vostokoff (aka Iron Maiden) opposite Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh.
At this point Rachel Weisz is a legend in Hollywood. Don’t expect her to stay gone long.