Rachel Weisz arrived fashionably late for her first interview promoting the dark supernatural thriller Constantine, which casts her as a cop trying to come to terms with her sister’s suicide. Her own journey leads her to John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a world-travelling, mage-like misfit who investigates supernatural mysteries and the like, walking a thin line between evil and good, heaven and hell.
Based on a cult comic book, Weisz, quietly spoken, answers questions with as much brevity as she can muster, admitted to not knowing anything about the source material prior to getting this movie. I had never heard of them but I am representative of the audience who doesn’t know anything about them “, she adds smilingly. “All I know is it’s a cult graphic novel with a huge following and they will have a lot to say about the movie,” she adds, referring to some of the grumblings made by hard core fans of the comic who may disapprove of this screen adaptation.
Hers is one of the few completely original; characters to surface in the film, and the actress says it was clear from the outset why she was attracted to this particular project. “It is a great character or actually two characters to play within a world that I thought was incredibly interesting. I have always been drawn to tales of the supernatural and I thought she was very real and grounded, a real girl who enters into this fantastical world.” Weisz says that the supernatural has always been of interest to her. “It’s something since I was a child that I have been drawn to. Nothing supernatural has happened to me, so its’ more alike a fairy tale.” What is particularly interesting about Constantine, that unlike many comic bok adaptations, this one is genuinely dark as it delves into religion and the old dialogue about heaven and hell.
Weisz says she does not consider herself, personally, to be religious, but was still drawn to those elements that permeate within this movie. “I am not practicing any religion. I just have my own superstitions that are not theologically based like never walking under a ladder. For me heaven and hell and demons and angels are within us and there are different ways of talking about it. A psychiatrist might say that there is a good and bad angel and supernatural tales would talk about an angel and a demon so there are different ways of talking about it. However, I am interested in the idea of free will and that we have the capacity to be good or evil and that heaven and hell are places on earth that we make and that is just me. The movie is old testament Christian mythology.”
This is not the first time that Rachel had worked with Keanu, the last being some 8 years ago on the unfortunate Chain Reaction. He is the same kind, sweet enigmatic person. He is a contradiction, because he is very down to earth and not part of the Hollywood world but very enigmatic – an international man of mystery, ” she adds, laughingly.
Weisz has been in the business for over a decade, dividing her time between smaller films such as The Shape of Things, through to Hollywood blockbusters and it is those two extremes that Ms Weisz has coming up., beginning with The Constant Gardener, directed by Fernando Meirelles and based on a John Le Carre novel. “It is a pharmaceutical story, a thriller, and very topical right now.” And she is currently shooting Darren Aronofsky’s long-awaited The Fountain, alongside Hugh Jackman. Weisz is very coy about the film, insisting “It is a little bit of a secret. I will say that The Fountain is a huge, gynormous love story through the ages and has a science fiction feel.”
As for sequels, maybe a Mummy sequel if the right script comes along. “sometimes I hear things but there are no plans and I am not in shackles.” Nor is she tied to a Constantine sequel. “No one has talked to me about it.”