Rachel Weisz Interview For ‘The Bourne Legacy’
The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise, ‘The Bourne Legacy.’ The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. Faced with the public and political fallout from the events of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum,’ the CIA decides to shut down “Operation Outcome,” the successor to “Operation Treadstone.” Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), an agent of Operation Outcome, and Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a research scientist who helped create the Outcome agents, must find a way to escape before CIA agent Byer (Edward Norton) can have them assassinated. For ‘The Bourne Legacy,’ Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton join fellow series newcomers Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles. ‘The Bourne Legacy’ comes to cinemas August 10th in the US and August 13th in the UK. Look out for a more in-depth interview with Rachel Weisz closer to the films release date.
Marta’s utterly devoted to her groundbreaking research as a biochemist, sort of ignoring the ethical conflict of her work. But then she’s forced to confront the morality of her choices when her life is in jeopardy?
Rachel Weisz: Yeah. I think the really interesting thing about Marta is that she’s working in science, at the very cutting edge of her field and she’s very excited by what she’s doing. She’s very highly paid, the project is very highly funded by the government. But there are certain things that she does not know and is not allowed to know. She’s told not to ask any questions, and I think that probably suits her because she’s a bright person and if she started to think about what she was doing, she would know that there’s a huge moral compromise going on. So it’s kind of, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” She thinks she’s contributing to her country. But at the same time, she does secretly know that what she’s doing has great moral ambiguity to it. I would be less interested in her if she were just doing something good and saving the world. What she’s doing is a little dubious.
Marta and Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross quickly form a relationship out of necessity, they both need each other desperately when Outcome is rapidly shut down. They form an unlikely sort of duo?
Rachel Weisz: I think that’s a real strength of the storyline, that my character and Jeremy Renner’s character have met through my job and his job. We’ve come together, but I don’t even know his name, he doesn’t know my name. For various complicated reasons I can’t survive without him and he can’t survive without me, literally (laughs). Neither of us can stay alive without the other. So we are thrown together through necessity and we kind of become a really unlikely pair, we come from different backgrounds, different places and I think if we met in a bar we probably wouldn’t have got along (laughs). But we’re thrown together and we become very dependant on each other and I think grow to care for each other.
How was it working opposite Jeremy in that capacity, with the dynamic you two have in the story? Both perceived as simply residual cleanup by the “powers that be”….
Rachel Weisz: Yeah. Marta is hesitant to go with him, but she doesn’t have any other alternative. The people who represent law and order in her country just tried to kill her. She is a regular woman who happens to be good at science, but not good at evading the police authorities of the globe (laughs). They’re incredibly driven in very different ways. Marta and Aaron come from completely different backgrounds, and they end up relying on one another for different reasons. That’s a really fascinating way to create a story. And with Jeremy, we’re very different people, like Aaron an Marta, and we come from different backgrounds but we have a similar way of working. Jeremy’s very free and loose and pretty wild, and wonderful to work with. I’ve loved every minute opposite him, that was a lot of fun.
How was the experience working with writer/director Tony Gilroy, someone who must know this “Bourne” world inside out after writing the first three films?
Rachel Weisz: Tony Gilroy, he’s a very unusual director. I’ve never come across someone like him, in that he’s incredibly bright, he’s got a very strong intellect, he’s a wordsmith, he’s got a great sense of control and order. All the thing that you need to direct. But he also loves chaos and chaos in the acting, and I think that’s how you get a raw, edgy, kinetic acting style which feels like reality, rather than safe, stagy kind of acting. I’ve never come across someone who has that combination, Tony has a real rock ’n’ roll streak in him, a raw edginess. It’s like, “Let’s find chaos and abandon, and let’s go,” which is great for acting. He’s an unusual combination in a writer/director, and I’m happy to be in his band (laughs). I felt very exited because of Tony, who was architect and writer of the first three “Bourne” films. It was very exciting, with the curtain being lifted on the first three films. You get to see who’s really in charge, you think you knew who was in charge and you don’t. So that was a really exciting reveal.
A big part of this “Bourne” franchise is the realism with the action. How did you find that?
Rachel Weisz: Definitely. The thing that I like about “Bourne” is the level of realism, so the stunts feel and look very realistic – partly because of Dan Bradley’s great directorial skills, directing stunt skills. But also because the stunts are real, in this, we were just doing them. There were certain amounts of questions that could be asked, but actually the things about stunts is you can’t really explain them, you just have to do them. So if you saw me asking lots of questions on set, it was probably because I was incredibly anxious (laughs), and I was trying to just delay it. You just have to do it, it’s like learning a dance….well, on the back of a motorcycle you just experience it and every time you do it, it becomes a little less scary.
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