Last month, the 91st Academy Award nominations were announced revealing this year’s standout movies that might score an Oscar on Hollywood’s biggest night. The Favourite along with Roma tied for the most nominations this year, with each movie earning 10 nominations. All three leading ladies of The Favourite earned acting nominations - Olivia Colman for Actress in a Leading Role, while Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are both nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role.
Apart from that The Favourite is nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos - among other nominations.
For Rachel, last year was gratifying both personally and professionally. Not only did she give birth to a daughter, she also starred in two very different films about triangles, Disobedience, directed by Sebastian Lelio and The Favourite.
Talking about her experience of working with The Favourite director, supporting actress contender, Rachel Weisz told Variety that it was similar to the audience’s experience with the film. “There is a high level of the unknown and mystery in his process, but there is a lot of fun,” she shared.
According to the actress, Lanthimos’ attention to the actors and to the script was clear even before production began. “Everything surprised me!” shared Rachel Weisz. “On the page, the script was excellent, but nothing prepared me for the way Yorgos Lanthimos moves from the text to framing a story – the way he shot it, the tonal shifts from the absurd to the tragic, to a love story, to a political thriller. The mastery of tone still surprises me.”
Before they started shooting for the film, Rachel informed that they rehearsed for three weeks. “During the rehearsals, there never was any camera blocking. He didn’t dictate things from the camera. On the day of filming, we’d just do it, and he’d adapt the cameras to how we were playing the scene. There was nothing discussed or analyzed.”
When asked what they did for three weeks with no camera blocking and no analysis, Rachel said, “It was all about playing. Anyone who has done theatre would find it normal: theatre games, trust games, games that made you laugh and broke down barriers.”
She continued, “We would play games like Twister – but not Twister – while saying our lines very fast, or saying someone else’s lines. It was about familiarizing us with the text, to know the script really well, so it became second nature, so we were free to act spontaneously.”
Rachel further went on to talk about her character and revealed, “Sarah can be defensively aggressive but she’s not cruel. With cruelty, there’s a pleasure in administering nastiness to others. I see her as practical. I think she’s a lioness. In nature, females can be quite aggressive. Sarah is definitely alpha, very territorial; she’s working to protect her patch of land, which happens to be the whole of Britain. It’s a big patch.”
On what kept her energy up during production, the actress said, “Tea, cups of tea! And then playing with incredible performers like Olivia and Emma; their energy is very invigorating. It was an unusual experience. To work with all those actors, including those two extraordinary performers – It’s something I’ll never forget.”
– With information from Variety