British actress Rachel Weisz spoke with Reuters this week, discussing the politics of her new film, and recounting a dangerous, on-set incident involving a horse.
The 47-year-old, who found fame with her role in action, comedy “The Mummy” in 1999, stars in “My Cousin Rachel”, in which she plays a mysterious woman who is suspected of murdering her cousin’s guardian.
Here are excerpts of the interview:
Q: How would you describe “My Cousin Rachel”?
A: It’s a romantic, Gothic, dark, suspenseful, mysterious thriller. That’s a lot of adjectives, but I think it can handle that description. I stand by that.
Q: Did you have any challenging moments while filming?
A: The horse I rode, I had to learn to ride side-saddle, which was a first, which is challenging in a corset and a big dress, he had been trained on “Game of Thrones” to die when you pulled his left rein very sharply which I didn’t know.
So I cantered out of shot and stopped and pulled the left rein, and he very gracefully buckled his front legs and his back legs and died on his left side, which was the side I was on… It was a terrifying moment because I didn’t know if I’d get crushed but I was fine.
Q: For a period film, “My Cousin Rachel” has modern sensibilities.
A: The novel was written in the 1950s so it had quite twentieth century ideas, so you know women already had the vote, but (a) woman who believes in sexual freedom, financial freedom, doesn’t think she should be a possession of her husband in the 1850s is really radical, so that’s what makes the film have a kind of modern edge.
“My Cousin Rachel” is released in UK cinemas on June 9.