One of the things that is an undeniable pleasure about “Oz The Great and Powerful” is that Sam Raimi ended up casting three beautiful and talented ladies as the witches, and each of them brings a very different energy to the picture.
I’ve already run my interviews with Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, and I’ve saved Rachel Weisz for last. I think Weisz is a classic beauty, and I love the way she’s chosen roles over the years. She’s not someone who seems like they’re busy chasing the perfect career move or the giant blockbuster role. It still seems surreal when I see her show up in something like “The Bourne Legacy” or “Oz” because of how rarely she seems drawn to this type of material.
That was one of the things I discussed with her when we sat down to talk, and I think there’s something very appropriate about her playing Evanora, older sister to Kunis’s Theodora in the movie. They certainly look like they share a joint heritage, but more than that, I think Weisz has an authority that makes her a convincing choice to rule the kingdom of Oz while waiting for the arrival of the Wizard who is supposed to take the throne. She never telegraphs Evanora’s intentions, and even once she begins to reveal her true agenda, she never ends up playing the obvious choice.
The first time I spoke with her was on the set of “The Fountain,” and that was not the right atmosphere to have a casual conversation. It was an intense experience, and the sequences we were there for were some of the most harrowing emotional scenes in the film. Watching how completely she threw herself into that role and how willing she was to try anything, I couldn’t help but admire her. It’s nice to see that she has stayed focused on material that pushes and challenges her, and even when she does decide to go mainstream, she still seems to have an eye for roles that offer her something real to play.
“Oz The Great and Powerful” opens this weekend in theaters everywhere.