Interview: Rachel Weisz
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Oscar winner Rachel Weisz has played many roles in her career, starring in films as varied as The Mummy, About a Boy and The Constant Gardener, the latter of which won her a 2005 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. In 2011, she married Daniel Craig in what was possibly the most unexpected celebrity wedding of the year. But we aren’t here to talk to her about James Bond. In Oz the Great and Powerful, the Sam Raimi directed Disney film that we have assembled in a London hotel to discuss, Weisz takes on the role of Evanora – more commonly recognised as the witch crushed by Dorothy’s falling house in the 1939 film, known best for her ruby slippers. So, what was the one thing that attracted her to the film – other than the fact that it was a “Sam Raimi love-in”? “I really love the script, I love the character,” she says. “The chance to play someone evil and wicked.” The bad girl role, she adds, is something that seems to have fallen off the Hollywood radar in recent years, which was part of why she jumped at the chance to take up playing Evanora, the bad witch with the flying baboon army. Evanora isn’t in the original film, so Weisz didn’t have much to go off in terms of character – although she did try to snatch some inspiration where she could: “I guess in the 1939 film her feet are sticking out from underneath the house,” she laughs. “The ruby slippers. I internalised the slippers and changed them to black leather lace-up boots, because that’s more Evanora’s speed.” Oz the Great and Powerful is a film that is driven almost entirely by its characters – twisted Evanora and her naive younger sister Theodora (Mila Kunis) pitted against philandering future Wizard Oscar Diggs (James Franco) and Glinda, the Good Witch (Michelle Williams).
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