Rachel Weisz was my second interview of the day at the recent press event for “The Bourne Legacy,” right after I talked to Jeremy Renner, and when we walked in, she spotted my seven-year-old son Toshi, who was with me.
She said hello to him, and he smiled, more shy than normal. I told her that he was probably just recovering from how excited he was to meet Renner. Toshi was even wearing his “Avengers” t-shirt.
She nodded. “Of course,” she said. “He’s a superhero, after all. I can’t compete with that. I’m just a weird lady in a leather dress.”
Toshi might not understand the appeal of Weisz, but I was certainly pleased to sit down and chat with her again. The last time I saw her was in Montreal on the set of “The Fountain,” and that encounter was a brief one because of how emotionally demanding that shoot was for both her and Hugh Jackman.
She’s an important part of the puzzle in “The Bourne Legacy,” one of the most sympathetic characters in the film. Even so, there’s still plenty of grey in the characterization, and it’s interesting to see how likable she makes this morally compromised scientist who has been happily hiding her head in the sand until the undeniable end result of her work shows up in her apartment, desperate for her help.
She and Renner have strong chemistry in the film, and it’s nice to see that it’s not played as pure romance. Instead, there’s a tension between them that has to do with their situation, and I love the way they play off each other. Talking to her about a film like this, which is so different than what we normally see from her, I’m struck anew by how well she’s able to ground the characters she plays. There’s something approachable and centered about her that almost makes it possible to forget she’s so stunningly beautiful.
“The Bourne Legacy” opens this Friday in theaters everywhere.