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Rachel Weisz has worked with a variety of filmmakers – some deadly serious (The Constant Gardener’s Fernando Meirelles) and others decidedly more silly (Fred Claus’ David Dobkin). But for her upcoming turn in Oz: The Great and Powerful, Weisz tells The Hollywood Reporter she encountered an unusual combination of consummate professionalism and peculiar creativity with her director, Sam Raimi (the original Spider-Man trilogy).
“He is always in a suit – I’ve never seen him not in a suit,” she explained at the Los Angeles press day for The Bourne Legacy. “He is always incredibly graceful, kind, respectful, tender, sweet, and at the same time he has this bizarre, impish, mischievous, wild imagination.”
In Oz, Weisz plays Evanora, also known as the Wicked Witch of the East. Her character was only seen from the ankles down in the original Wizard of Oz – her ruby slippers are the ones that Dorothy wears throughout the movie after Glenda magically puts them on her. But the character appeared in several of L. Frank Baum’s books about the world of Oz, and screenwriter Mitchell Kapner created the story for The Great and Powerful by combining elements of many of those stories and then inventing something new.
Weisz says it’s appropriate, then, that Raimi possesses so many different qualities as a director as he shepherds the film to the screen.
“He was a complete pleasure to work with,” she says. “He is those two things and many other things – he’s a big old cocktail.”
Watch the video above for more details about Weisz’s collaboration with Raimi. The Bourne Legacy opens nationwide August 10. Oz: The Great and Powerful arrives in theaters March 8, 2013.
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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures