For some actors or actresses there is a curse – and that curse comes to light when they star in a role that makes them famous and then that is the role they are eternally remembered for. It doesn’t seem to matter how many other roles they play over the years when their name is mentioned it is always that one role that people think of straight away. For British actress Rachel Weisz that role is that of reluctant hero, Evelyn ‘Evy’ Carnahan in ‘The Mummy’ franchise of films, it’s obviously not the greatest performance of her career yet it’s for that series of blockbusters that she is best remembered by cinema goers.
Rachel Hannah Weisz was born on the 7th March, 1970 in Westminster, London. Her father, George Weisz, was an inventor and her mother, Edith Ruth, was a teacher who later became a psychotherapist. Her parents introduced her to the arts from a very early age but sadly they also divorced when Weisz was still very young.
Weisz begun her modelling career when she was just 14 and juggled this with her schooling – she attended North London Collegiate School, Benenden School and St Paul’s Girls School. Her modelling drew her to the attention of the producers of ‘King David’ which was to star Richard Gere, they offered her a role but she turned it down.
After graduating from college she studied for Bachelor of Arts in English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Here she found herself amongst students including Ben Miller, Sacha Baron Cohen, Richard Osman, Alexander Armstrong and Sue Perkins, not surprisingly there was a lot of interest in drama at the school at that time and Weisz soon found herself co-founding a group called the Cambridge Talking Tongues. The group certainly won success even winning a Guardian Student Drama Award at the 1991 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
This soon led to television work and she found herself appearing on shows such as ‘Inspector Morse’, Sweating Bullets’, ‘Scarlet & Black’ and ‘Screen Two’ before landing her first big screen in 1994’s ‘Death Machine’ a low budget horror science-fiction film. Her first notable film was Bernado Bertolucci’s ‘Stealing Beauty’ and from there she found herself appearing in other smaller films including ‘Chain Reaction’, ‘Going All The Way’, ‘Bent’, ‘Swept From The Sea’, ‘The Land Of Girls’ and ‘I Want You’ before being cast alongside Brendan Fraser and John Hannah in the big budget blockbuster ‘The Mummy’ – a role that made her a household name worldwide.
Since then she has reprised the role of Evelyn in ‘The Mummy Returns’ but also appeared in other notable films including ‘Sunshine’, ‘Beautiful Creatures’, ‘Enemy At The Gates’, ‘About A Boy’, ‘Runaway Jury’, ‘Constantine’, ‘The Constant Gardener’, ‘Eragon’, ‘My Blueberry Nights’, ‘Fred Claus’, ‘The Brothers Bloom’, ‘The Lovely Bones’ and ‘360’ before starring in recent blockbusters ‘The Bourne Legacy’ and ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’.
Over the years Weisz has also kept performing in a range of theatre productions and has starred in productions of well known theater pieces including ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘Design For Living’ and ‘Suddenly Last Summer’, but certainly her film acting has overs-shadowed these performances especially when you consider that she has won an Academy Award for her performance in ‘The Constant Gardener’, a role that also saw her nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
Weisz has always had an exrtemally private personal life and the only time she has made magazine covers has been for her modelling. It is known however that she dated Ben Miller while she studying at Trinity Hall. She also begun dating filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (most noted for directing ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’) in 2001. In 2006 Weisz gave birth to their son, Henry Chance, but split up in November, 2010. Later in that year Weisz begun dating good friend, actor Daniel Craig and the couple married on the 22nd June, 2011. They remain married today.
While Weisz may be best remembered for her work on ‘The Mummy’ her recent work on ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ and ‘The Bourne Legacy’ should she still had box-office pull and it surely won’t be long before her fans get to see her on the big screen once again.