Rachel Weisz: "All the stories sound crazy."

Rachel Weisz talks bugging out with The Fountain.
Venice, September 2006

This film is preoccupied with death.

“I’ve probably been over preoccupied with death. I think about it unhealthily too much. Actually, I think I see it as an ashes-to-ashes grand recycling scheme that when we die our body goes into the soil and a tree grows and the fruit grows and a bird eats from the tree, and you go round and round and round.”

Did you bring anything of your own to the script?

“No. Darren [Aronofsky]’s not a director where you contribute to the script. I think there are two sentences I improvised.”

Who do you see as the audience for the film?

“Well, um, I think it’s a film one could see many times and get more from it each time. What I’ve noticed in responses is it’s young people that really like it. The young generation, they’re the ones that really bug out on it.”

How is it working with your partner, Darren Aronofsky? If you have problems at home is there a danger that they can bleed into each other?

”I’m sure there could have been. You know, there are stories about couples working together and it really going very well, and couples working together and it not going very badly, so we were very careful before we made the decision that we were going to have good boundaries. We just had a very, very professional relationship. It was an immense undertaking for Darren so he was really focused and didn’t have any time to listen to what I had to say about anything. He was doing his thing and I was doing mine. So the best way I describe it is I met the director and he met the actress. It was just a whole new and really exciting experience.”

Why do you think this particular project has been so important to him?

”I don’t even think he knows why. He’s the kind of director that if you ask him, ‘Why does he want to tell this story?’ he might tell you he first got the idea when his parents, who are well and live, were diagnosed with cancer. I think that’s how he first started to think about mortality in a very serious way. But it’s just the story he wanted to tell. He had the same thing with Pi - that’s the story he wanted to tell. All the stories sound crazy but I think he’s an artist and he has a need to portray the world in a certain way. So he does.”

The Fountain is released January 19.

© Stephen Applebaum, 2006

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