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Weisz, Rachel (Constantine)

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I had the pleasure of taking part in a round table interview with Constantine star Rachel Weisz as she discussed her dual roles in the film as twin sisters Angela and Isabel Dodson. To genre fans, Weisz is probably best known for her turn as the lovely Evelyn in The Mummy films, first a love interest and later the wife to Brendan Fraser’s character. In Constantine she’s stepping away from the light-heartedness of the Mummy films and taking a good, long look at hell.


Question: Was there any talk of the irony that Constantine went from British to American, and you are British playing American? Any discussion of using your normal voice?

Rachel Weisz: Of me personally? No. I’m an LAPD homicide detective. It would be really odd if I spoke in English. No, there was no talk of that.

Q: How much did you have to work on the American accent?

RW: I’ve done it a bunch of times, so it’s not a big deal now.

Q: Did you think you wanted to go back to a big action fantasy thing?

RW: At the time I was actually looking for a comedy, and I was reading romantic comedies and there just wasn’t one that really got me. Suddenly I read this script. I’d never read the comic book, I’d never heard of the comic book. Sorry, I know it’s a huge cult comic/graphic novel, but it never crossed my path. But I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Something about the world that it painted and the complexity of this woman within it. I just thought it was just such an interesting role for a woman. Then I met Francis (Lawrence, the director) and I was really impressed with him and I saw his music videos, which I’d seen before and hadn’t realized they were him, and I just thought he’s such a great visual stylist. He’s so intelligent and really was interested in working with actors. So no, it was real left of field for me, but obviously I must be interested in supernatural stuff because the Mummy totally is more for kids. It’s more like Saturday morning TV B-movie, more self consciously. This is much more grown-up stuff I think.

Q: Do you go for the dark, brooding type?

RW: When I was younger, definitely. The bad boys, brooding types. Now I’m much more interested in geeks. Nice, kind, geeks. I think what’s meant to be cool, like bad boys, I find it very uncool. I’m into geek culture. I think that’s where the coolness is.

Q: Is there a middle ground, brooding geek?

RW: Geeks are too cool to brood. Brooding is kind of pretentious I think.?

Q: Is doing a comic book movie a good way to reach out to geeks?

RW: That is genius. Yeah, I never thought of that but probably. Yeah, maybe I’ll get me some geek fans.

Q: Do you choose one indie, one studio film?

RW: As I said, I was looking for a comedy, so it really wasn’t part of the plan. It wasn’t like I want to do a big Hollywood special effects movie. It literally came out of nowhere and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I couldn’t bear to let anybody else play her.

Q: What do you like better?

RW: You know, after you’ve done a big effects movie, I was definitely yearning to do a film where I could just sit in a room and talk to somebody and they talk back and that would be it, which I did. So I’m kind of greedy. I like to do both and right now no one’s making me draw down the line and choose.

Q: You met with a psychic to talk to for research on the film, do you believe in them?

RW: I actually met her through somebody I know here in LA who’s quite deep into that culture. I believe that she believes that she’s psychic, this woman that I met. I don’t know, I can’t prove it.

Q: How did meeting her affect your performance?

RW: In doing research, if you meet someone who really is who you’re pretending to be, I steal. I just steal from them so I ask them questions about their childhood and about what it feels like to have a vision, what it feels like to have sight and how it’s a burden, how it’s a blessing and what it’s like to have a boyfriend and you can read their mind. I just ask them all the questions. So then I just steal from them, so when I’m playing the character, I’ve just gotten stolen goods from somebody else and it’s research. Like detective work.

So did I believe? I believed that that was her reality. A ghost has never revealed itself to me. I’m pretty in tune with people. I can normally get a sense of what the vibes are in a room, but I can’t read somebody’s mind. It would be fun. It would be fun for about a month. Then it would get really exhausting. Like if we were sitting here and I could hear what you were all thinking in your mind, that I must let the cat out, whatever it is you’re thinking, it would just be exhausting.

Q: How much of this can you personally accept? Do you believe in possession?

RW: You know, it’s never happened to me or to anybody I know, but I’m not ruling it out. Weird stuff goes on in the world and I have a friend who used to live in South Africa and he used to tell me stories, like voodoo stories. I don’t know. I would never be so arrogant as to say not true, because how do I know. Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. So I’m going to look into it now. I’m very curious, like TV shows about psychics and stuff. It’s fascinating.

Q: Did the film help convince you one way or another?

RW: No. A ghost has to come, something has to happen to me in reality. Film is make believe.

Q: How did your relationship with Keanu change from working almost ten years ago together on Chain Reaction?

RW: Just like old pals, really. We didn’t have to go through the getting to know each other phase. We just were like old pals, as you say, getting together. It made things really comfortable and easy.

Q: Did you research the police aspect?

RW: I trained with this ex- what was it called in America? Seals. I don’t know, in England we call it SAS. It’s like the highest trained possible. This guy is called Peter Warita and amongst the LAPD he was a hero. I mean, we’d walk into police stations and the whole room would just stand up and applaud him. He was the man. He’s now training people in movies and doing personal security for really big Hollywood stars, but he gave me kind of a crash course in being a cop and introduced me to a lot of female officers. I met a few days with a female homicide detective. He took me to the LA County Morgue. I spent an evening there which was very intense and a very new experience. I’d never seen dead bodies before and I saw hundreds that night. And he took me in drive-a-longs in police cars at night and taught me to fire a gun at the firing range. I love to do all that stuff. I got to do cops and psychics in this. It was a complete research fest.

Q: Was there any prosthetics used on your stomach during the exorcism scene or was that all CGI?

RW: That was CGI.

Q: Did you have any physical stunts?

RW: Yeah, did you see the movie? There was the scene where I get dragged through the building. They rigged a special machine,it was a chair on a kind of track that was about four times as long as this room. And they pulled the lever on the chair and I was seat belted in but [whoosh] I was whipped back incredibly fast and your body jerked back. That was pretty terrifying. Then they painted in the office blocks afterwards. So yeah, I don’t remember any other stunts, but they were…

Q: You’re moving and they add what you’re moving through? Why not just CGI you?

RW: No, no, you need the motion of the person.

Q: Does your new film the Fountain have a lot of FX?

RW: It does have in one section. It has a kind of science fiction element to it so there is. We haven’t done it, but a little bit of the film is green screen.

Q: How is it going?

RW: It’s phenomenal. The most original, incredible screenplay which is written by Darren Aronofsky. It’s an original story and he’s directing it and Hugh Jackman plays my husband. It’s a love story, a great, big ginormous love story.

Q: How has the struggle affected Darren?

RW: He’s like the happiest guy in the world. He spent six years trying to get something made. It’s his dream. It’s his dream come true, so he’s as happy as anyone can be.

Q: Did you differentiate Angela and Isabel?

RW: One had really long hair. One had short hair. (Laughs)

Q: But how you played them?

RW: One’s an LAPD homicide detective and the other is locked up in a hospital. It just became obvious that they were just apples and oranges, totally different.

Q: What about the bathtub scene?

RW: That was quite scary. That wasn’t CGI. That was me under the bath and the water being held down. The director wanted it to look as real as possible so he told Keanu, in front of me, “don’t go easy on her”. So it was scary. I mean, I had a signal which I think was tap him on the arm, but it was very hard for him to tell because I was thrashing about so much what was tapping and what was thrashing. I think he just knew when it was enough and I had to come. After like a minute and a half, no one’s doing too well without breathing.

Q: What did you say before you got in the tub?

RW: I can’t remember. We did do some improvising. It’s a good moment. I think it must have been in the script.

Q: In the scene when you are running out of the bathroom it looked like you actually fell. Did you really slip there?

RW: They used that take. That was it I just slipped. The best things always are mistakes.

Q: Any chance of a Mummy 3?

RW: Who knows?


Big thanks to Warner Bros. for letting us be a part of the junket and to Rachel Weisz for taking the time to indulge us geeks. Constantine opens everywhere on February 18th! Be sure to check out its official site right here!

Discuss your hopes for Constantine in our forums!

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The Shape of Water Scores 7 Nominations at This Year’s Golden Globes

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Earlier today we let you know Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller Get Out scored nods at this year’s Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture and Best Actor – both in the Comedy category.

Strange.

That said, another film from our beloved genre is getting some love in the form of writer-director Guillermo del Toro’s new creature feature The Shape of Water.

The film was given nominations in a staggering 7 categories including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Sally Hawkins, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for Octavia Spencer, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for Richard Jenkins.

Del Toro also scored nods for his work as director and co-screenwriter for the film.

You can check out the full list of nominations right HERE.

The film is directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by Vanessa Taylor and del Toro, and stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stulbarg, and Doug Jones.

The Shape of Water is currently playing in theaters.

Synopsis:
In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

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Get Out Scores Golden Globe Nominations… as a Comedy

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It was a few weeks back now when we let you guys in on the rather puzzling news that the Golden Globes was considering Jordan Peele horror-thriller Get Out as a nominee…

As a comedy.

As strange as that news was, it seems it wasn’t a joke in its own right as Jordan Peele’s Get Out has scored a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The news broke this morning with the full release of this year’s nominations via EW.

You can check out the full list HERE.

One cool thing is that actor Daniel Kaluuya also scored a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – again, Musical or Comedy. Sad and borderline ridiculous that Peele didn’t score nods as director OR screenwriter. For shame, Golden Globes.

What do you think of this news? Are you just glad Get Out got SOME love from this year’s Gloden Globes, or could you care less about awards season? Let us know below!

Synopsis:
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship; but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could never have imagined.

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Exclusive: Scream 2’s Jerry O’Connell and Kevin Williamson Talk Leaked Scripts and Different Killers!

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Twenty years ago, Wes Craven’s Scream 2 managed to break box office records, opening with a domestic total of $39.2 million. Despite heavy competition against Titanic and Tomorrow Never Dies, the film went on to gross over $172 million worldwideDue to the runaway success of the original film, anticipation for its sequel was high and come December 12th, 1997, audiences flocked to the theatre to follow the continued exploits of traumatized survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell); Woodsboro’s sheepish deputy Dewey (David Arquette); and his media-obsessed flame Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox).

While few would argue that any of the Scream sequels could top the original, Scream 2 comes pretty close; the series only consists of four films, so there’s not much room for competition (with each having their own strengths) — but Scream 2 has consistently rated as a fan favorite. The film takes the self-referential commentary to the next level with its dissection of horror sequels, as well as the introduction of the film-within-a-film Stab (based on the events of Scream).

Aside from its pop culture references, part of the appeal of the Scream franchise is that it isn’t your typical slasher series. Rather groundbreaking at the time, the films incorporate elements from all genres — horror, comedy, action, drama — all wrapped within an Agatha Christie-esque ‘whodunit?’ mystery thriller. The guessing game as to who is behind the Ghostface mask is what makes these films all the more enjoyable.

One of the more notorious killers of the series is Scream 2‘s Debbie Salt. Initially thought to be a pesky reporter looking to ride on Gale Weathers’ coattails… In a Friday the 13th-inspired(?) twist, it is revealed that Debbie Salt is none other than Mrs. Loomis — the mother of the previous film’s killer — seeking revenge on Sidney and Gale for the murder of her son. While Mrs. Loomis was always set to orchestrate the events at Windsor College… rather than “freaky Tarantino film student” Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), one particular draft implies the enraged mother was intended to have a different set of accomplices…

In response to the hype for Scream 2, major precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the film’s ending. Despite this, it is well known that a draft of the script was leaked onto the internet before production began. In the 2011 documentary Still Screaming, the late Wes Craven remarked, “[Writer] Kevin [Williamson] sent us, I think, something like thirty pages by email. We read it, it was fabulous — it was on the internet, in its entirety, that night.” 

“One of the endings was definitely posted on the internet,” added producer Marianne Magdalena. Indeed! There is an online version of the script which features none other than Sidney’s boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell) and best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) as the killers.

On whether he was aware of this, Jerry O’Connell tells us, “I didn’t know about that until after — like years after. Somebody told me — I think at a comic con or something… because we never got the ending. When we first got the script, I got everything but the last twenty pages. I think they rewrote the ending — I’m not sure if it got leaked or what, but the script had a weird non-copyable pattern on it that you couldn’t make xerox copies of it.

It’s funny. Revisiting the film, I guess I could see that but Timothy Olyphant was so good in that — in that turn — it was sort of fun to see him do that.”

Initially believing this script to be real — with the change in killers an effort to combat the script’s leak — we caught up with writer Kevin Williamson to discuss this purported draft. As he revealed, this script (which has been circulating the web since 1997) isn’t real at all — but it’s not entirely fake either. “The Hallie and Derek ending was a dummy draft. At the time the script was written, the studio was determined to keep the plot details under wraps.

They were worried the killer’s identity would be leaked, so we wrote several endings. Three in all, if memory serves, and when actors and potential crew members asked to read the script, we would send the script with the dummy ending.”  

As it turns out, Mickey was always intended to be Mrs. Loomis’ accomplice… but one can’t help but ponder the idea of different killers. “There was even a fake ending where Dewey was the killer. They existed as a decoy and nothing more. Extreme measures, but we really wanted to keep the killer’s identity a secret!”

The details of this particular script are rather interesting — it reads fairly similar to the final film, but contains a few extra scenes and reversed character roles. As in the film, Sidney is taken into protective custody after Randy’s death — but in this version, Hallie does not accompany her; she and Joel had to Windsor’s film department to retrieve footage for her film class. After watching Mickey fall prey during an attack with Ghostface, Sidney heads for the campus theatre, closely followed by Gale — who has just survived her own encounter with the killer; Dewey, on the other hand, not so much…

Inside the theatre, Sidney finds the bodies of Joel, Hallie, and Dewey — all strung up in the same manner as Derek in the film. Terrified, she tries to escape but comes across Cotton Weary — his arms and legs bound by tape. She attempts to help before Derek enters, revealing himself to be the killer.

This would have been an odd choice to consider — the Derek we know in the film is a genuinely likable character. Considering her poor taste in previous boyfriends, Derek as an innocent adds warmth to Sidney’s story (she would carry his gifted fraternity letters in Scream 3). But in this script, he’s totally whacked in the head…

The revelation scene follows closely to the final version. Derek begins taunting Sidney as she contemplates whether or not to unbind Cotton. Knowing that her boyfriend couldn’t have acted alone, Sidney fears Cotton might be his accomplice… until one of the nearby bodies springs to life. Hallie emerges from behind, grabs Sidney, and cackles.

Personally, I would’ve loved to have seen Elise Neal as the Ghostface killer… In the final film, when Dewey considers this, he notes, “Serial killers are typically white males,” to which Randy retorts, “But that’s why it’s perfect! It’s sort of against the rules, but not really!”

According to this script, Derek and Hallie had met on a horror movie chat board. Both serial killer fanatics, the two had forged a relationship and initiated themselves into Sidney’s life. O’Connell’s response? “That’s hilarious. My own relationship with Elise is still great. It’s super fun to see her career — everyone’s career — do well after that. I’ve really stayed in touch with Elise over the years and that would’ve been a lot of fun. She’s a great actress.”

The motive isn’t particularly fleshed out. Like Mickey, neither were preoccupied with being apprehended for the crimes. The only goal was to reap the rewards(?) of a high-profile media trial. Soon after, Mrs. Loomis arrives with Gale at gunpoint. She proceeds to shoot her helpful but worthless sidekicks, revealing she intends to frame Cotton Weary for the murders — the same man who was erroneously charged with the murder of Sidney’s mother.

Unbeknownst to Mrs. Loomis, Cotton has managed to free himself from his ties and lunges at the crazed woman, knife in hand. He repeatedly stabs her until the madness ceases. But Cotton has truly considered Mrs. Loomis’ words; he stabs Gale and tosses her body into the theatre’s orchestra pit. And with that, we now have Scream 2‘s pseudo-fourth(!) killer…

If we were to consider this version, having Sidney’s boyfriend serve as the killer again might’ve proved repetitive… but in turn, might’ve also served as a greater red herring — one wouldn’t have expected Kevin Williamson to tread down that road again. McConnell is equally dismissive of the possibility:

“No, I mean, I love that final ending. It’s a little disturbing — spoiler alert, everybody — to see a hole get blown through my chest. It was thrilling, sort of like an iconic ending — and a lot of people argue that the sequel was just as good as the first one. So it’s sort of fun to be a part of that whole crucifixtion ending… It’s fun to be a part of an iconic death scene. Between that and Piranha, I’m doing pretty well in the horror world.

But yeah, I would’ve had fun playing the killer! But I’m not here to tell Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven what they should be doing with their stories… If they felt I was dying at the end, then that was it, I was dying at the end!”

In any case, had this draft come to fruition, it would’ve been notable for featuring not two… not three… but four(!) killers, as well as the first (and so far only) African-American killer. Diversity? I don’t know… but I still say Elise Neal would’ve killed in that role — literally.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, O’Connell also reminisced on the film’s success, saying, “I think it was the first film that really set the tone — so a lot of praise has to go to that first film — and it was a combination of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. Wes — God rest his soul — was just such a cool cat. And one of the most confident, kind, nice – one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. Literally, every time I walk on a set, I really say a small prayer for him because he was the best. The best. And I think it was just him and Williamson getting together – it just made for a great team.

Also, it was a really fun, young cast. We had a lot of fun off set, we had a lot of fun on set… Liev Schreiber (Cotton Weary) was there to goof around with everyone as well. It was just… everything fell into place.

Big props have to also go to a guy named Richard Potter, who’s sort of an unsung hero of it. He worked at Dimension at the time and he had a lot to do with the story — I believe he was the Dimension executive on the project. He had a lot to do with everything as well, so Richard Potter was a dude that was really elementary. And also Julie Plec [Wes Craven’s assistant].

I know Richard had a lot to do with Scream and the decisions — the first film, the second film, the third film — he and Julie Plec were the real sort of advocates for the whole Scream world.

I love Scream 2 and anytime anybody wants to talk about it? It’s a real favorite of mine. I’m really proud of the film.” 

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