For the autumn/winter 2011 season, Rachel Weisz appears as she's never been seen before. As the cover star of AnOther Magazine Issue 21, the Oscar-winning actress appears in stills taken from a short film shot by Craig McDean with creative direction by David James and styling by Olivier Rizzo. Premiering exclusively here, the film sees Weisz on location in Red Hook, New York, her series of non-narrative micro performances, inspired by postmodern dance legend Pina Bausch.
Known for her complex roles and chameleon talent, the actress has no less than eight major films in the pipeline. She’ll step into the shoes of real-life Nebraskan cop Kathryn Bolkovac in Whistleblower, star in Jim Sheridan’s mystery Dream House and be directed by cinematic legend Terrence Malick in his follow up to Tree of Life. Weisz's films will also open and close the 55th BFI London Film Festival next month, Fernando Meirelles’ 360 and Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea respectively.
AnOther asked artist and writer Harland Miller, best known for his large-scale paintings based on Penguin paperbacks, to interview Weisz for our cover story. It’s not the first time they’ve met, as Miller recalls...
"After the Berlin wall fell I had decided to move there. Coincidentally a friend – “crazy Ella” – was driving out there from London the same weekend, and on an impulse her friend Rachel came along. I drove a black Jag at the time and Ella discreetly asked if Rachel could come with me; Ella drove a decommissioned London taxi and was embarrassed by how much it vibrated at anything over 50. It was a slow convoy, but it was, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I recall a few coffee stops, the night ferry in between and then the morning sun flickering through the silver birch trees that Hitler had planted along the road to Berlin.
What strikes me now, looking back, is how amiable and adaptable Rachel was to the way the weekend quickly fell apart. The key for the apartment I was borrowing on Sophienstraße was not under the mat as promised. Contemplating the next move we went to a bar and got drunk – I lost my wallet and a period of not eating ensued. Low blood sugar kicked in and turned everything black. I’ve got a hazy memory of killing time in a succession of all-night bars. At some stage I seemed to come round from a trance into an empty club. On the dance floor two figures silhouetted against a strobe light were headbanging to a heavy metal track – I hunted around for Rachel to say “Let’s get out of here”, only to discover that she was one of the two dancers.
I remember coming out into daylight and going to a café for breakfast. Afterwards Rachel somehow managed to make a telephone call (not that easy in East Berlin in those days) and was suddenly having to fly back to London. After we dropped her at Tegel airport I realised she hadn’t really explained why she’d had to dash. A characteristic reticence I soon discovered, when it comes to talking about herself. I vaguely got that it was something work related – an audition, a break – and I didn’t see her again for a year. But all things considered I’m imagining it went OK."
Photography and Film: Craig McDean
Creative Direction: David James
Styling: Olivier Rizzo