Rachel Hannah Weisz ( born 7 March 1970) is a British actor.
Weisz began her acting career in the early 1990s, appearing in Inspector Morse, Scarlet and Black and Advocates II. She made her film debut in Death Machine (1994). Her first Hollywood appearance was in Chain Reaction (1996), opposite Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman.
She has worked in theatre. Her stage breakthrough was the 1994 revival of Noël Coward’s play Design for Living, which earned her the London Critics’ Circle Award for the most promising newcomer. Weisz’s performances also include the 1999 Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly, Last Summer, and their 2009 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in the latter play earned her the Olivier Award for Best Actress.
The Constant Gardener
Weisz appeared in the film, The Mummy in 1999, and The Mummy Returns in 2001. Other films that followed are, Enemy at the Gates (2001), About a Boy (2002), Constantine (2005) and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain. For her supporting role in the drama thriller The Constant Gardener (2005), opposite Ralph Fiennes, she received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors’ Guild award. In 2006, Weisz received the BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year. She starred in Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013. In 2015, she appeared in two Cannes Film Festival films, Youth and The Lobster.
Film Threat called her portrayal “effective at projecting scepticism and, eventually, dawning horror”.Her next appearance, in 2005, was in Fernando Meirelles’s The Constant Gardener, a film adaptation of a John le Carré thriller set in the slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya. Weisz played an activist, Tessa Quayle, married to a British embassy official. The film was critically acclaimed, earning Weisz the 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. UK newspaper The Guardian noted that the film “established her in the front rank of British actors” while the BBC wrote: “Weisz is exceptional: film star charisma coupled with raw emotion in a performance to fall in love with”. In 2006, she received the BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.
In 2006, Weisz starred in Darren Aronofsky’s romantic drama The Fountain. The San Francisco Chronicle found her portrayal of Queen Isabel “less convincing” than other roles. That same year, she provided the voice for Saphira the dragon in the fantasy film Eragon; and rejected an offer to star in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor due to script issues. The part eventually went to Maria Bello. Her subsequent films include the 2007 Wong Kar-wai drama My Blueberry Nights, and Rian Johnson’s 2008 caper film The Brothers Bloom, alongside Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. In 2009, she played the lead role of Hypatia of Alexandria in the historical drama film Agora, a Spanish production directed by Alejandro Amenábar. The New York Times called her portrayal “adept”, noting that she imparted “a sympathetic presence”.Weisz starred in the film The Whistleblower, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. The film was based on the true story of human trafficking by employees of contractor DynCorp. During its première, the intense depiction of the treatment meted out to victims by the kidnappers made a woman in the audience faint. Variety magazine wrote “Weisz’s performance holds the viewer every step of the way.” That same year, she guest-starred in the animated series The Simpsons, in the 22nd season episode “How Munched is That Birdie in the Window?”. Weisz’s 2011 roles included an adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s play The Deep Blue Sea Fernando Meirelles’ psychosexual drama 360 opposite Jude Law again and Anthony Hopkins, the BBC espionage thriller Page Eight, and the thriller film Dream House, alongside Daniel Craig.
She filmed scenes for To the Wonder, a 2012 romantic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, alongside Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams; her scenes were cut. She has also starred in the 2012 action thriller film The Bourne Legacy based on the series of books by Robert Ludlum.
Light Between Oceans
Weisz plays the Evanora, in Oz the Great and Powerful, which opened on 7 March 2013. In 2015, she appeared in drama film Youth and in science fiction film The Lobster. The film won Cannes Jury Prize. She will appear in the 2016 drama film The Light Between Oceans with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. She is in a British biographical film about sailor Donald Crowhurst, The Mercy, directed by James Marsh. Weisz portrays Deborah Lipstadt in Denial. The film is based on Lipstadt’s book and is directed by Mick Jackson. She will be starring alongside Matt Damon, Dolph Lundgren, Anna Kendrick, Nat Wolff, Laura Marano, Carrie-Anne Moss and Til Schweiger in the film adaptation of Watch Dogs.