Date of Birth
7 March 1970
Place of Birth
Westminster, London, England, UK
Rachel Hannah Weisz
5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Daniel Craig (22 June 2011 – present)
Weisz was born in Westminster, London, and grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Her father, George Weisz, was an inventor from Hungary. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is a teacher-turned-psychotherapist from Vienna, Austria. Her parents fled to the United Kingdom before the outbreak of the Second World War, to escape the Nazis. Her father is Jewish; her maternal grandfather, Alexander Teich, was also Jewish, and had been a secretary of the World Union of Jewish Students. Her mother’s ancestry is Austrian Jewish, “Catholic Viennese” and Italian. Weisz’s mother was brought up as a Roman Catholic, and, according to Vogue, later converted to Judaism. Weisz has a younger sister, Minnie, who is a photographer and curator.
Weisz’s parents valued the arts and encouraged her sister and her to form opinions of their own by introducing them to family debates. Her parents later divorced. Weisz left North London Collegiate School and attended Benenden School for one year, completing A-levels at St Paul’s Girls School. Weisz claimed that she was a bad pupil until an English literature teacher inspired her at the age of 16.
Known for being an “English rose”, Weisz started modelling when she was 14. In 1984, she gained public attention when she turned down an offer to star in King David with Richard Gere.
After leaving school, she entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she graduated with a second-class honours, upper division (2:1) Bachelor of Arts degree in English. During her university years, where she was a contemporary of Sacha Baron Cohen, Alexander Armstrong, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc, Richard Osman, and Ben Miller (whom she briefly dated), she appeared in various student productions, co-founding a student drama group called Cambridge Talking Tongues. It won a Guardian Student Drama Award at the 1991 Edinburgh Festival Fringe for an improvised piece called Slight Possession, directed by David Farr. The group existed until 1993.
– I found myself a sophisticated, educated American. He’s not an actor. He’s traveled the world. He knows where Europe is, unlike a lot of Americans. He’s very cultured, but he’s all man.
– People find out I’m an actress and I see that ‘whore’ look flicker across their eyes.
– I find Hollywood really toxic.
– I have absolutely no empathy for camels. I didn’t care for being abused in the Middle East by those horrible, horrible, horrible creatures. They don’t like people. It’s not at all like the relationship between horses and humans.
– When I’m playing a character, I use the American accent. But when I go back to England, I just glide right back into Englishness immediately. Every actor uses a dialect coach. Every actor, and if they say they don’t, they’re lying. Everybody does, yeah. You don’t want to worry about it. You have someone listening out to check that you’re not straying.
– I’m a bit superstitious about certain things, like what shoes to wear. If I wear the wrong shoes, the whole day may go wrong. Or if I don’t get to the bottom of the stairs before the door closes – stupid little things like that. Then I also have all the normal ones, like don’t walking under ladders and so on.
– God no! I hate it, absolutely hate it. I can’t stand it, it’s such a drag. So I just tend to wear the same things all the time. I don’t like change anyway. – on shopping.
– I sometimes do worry that actors are people’s role models, you know. And doctors and teachers and people doing really important things just get paid nothing. And they put us on the cover of magazines. They should be our heroes. I find it all a bit dubious.
– I’m not one for parties and stuff like that. I get a bit nervous around lots of people. Being invisible is what I really enjoy. That I find quite entertaining.
– I think mystery is kind of great. I don’t know anything about Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn or Ava Gardner – not really – and I like that. I love watching their movies because they’re my personal movie stars. I don’t know what they eat and who their trainer is.
– You know what, I have faith in people. I think people want to see something new and different. They don’t want to see anything that they’ve seen before. They don’t want to have it worked out in the first 10 minutes how it will end. I think people are really smart and sophisticated.
– I’ve never felt uncomfortable with my level of fame. I don’t get hassled. Maybe sometimes in a minor way, but New Yorkers are much too cool for that. The thing is, you choose to be an actress, but not to be a celebrity.
– ‘Oh God, don’t make me come across as a moaner. I think it’s unacceptable to moan about anything when you’re lucky enough to do what I do. What I’m trying to say is I’m more settled now. The thirties have calmed me down. I know who my real friends are, I know what I want to do. In your twenties, you just do everything. It’s just overload all the time. In the thirties, you learn that it’s OK to go to bed early if you want.
– I don’t do too well there. If you were brought up in London, where you can walk around everywhere and there are theaters, you can’t really do LA. I couldn’t make a life there. You’re in a car all the time, and there are no seasons.
– There’s a lot of contemporary actresses I admire, but there’s practically no one who’s made a color movie whose career I’d want … I don’t feel very modern at all.
– I’m very wary of talking about statements. I’m a storyteller, I’m an actor, an entertainer.
– The celebrity thing… I don’t want to sound as if I absolutely don’t want it because that’s not true. If you’re in the entertainment business, you have to be honest. There’s something alluring about it…
– They’re very harsh critics and they’ve often said to me: “That was shit, you were crap’, but this is the first time [after he saw her as “Amy Foster” on Amy Foster (1997)] my father said to me: ‘I think one day you’ll be a good actress”– on her parents.
– “Working with someone like Dustin Hoffman is a huge honor and, after you kind of get through that, you’re frightened about working with a screen legend, and I was just in awe”.
– [Talking about Darren Aronofsky] I guess the first impression was that I’d been a big admirer of his work, and then I met someone who you’d never have put with that work. There was something very refreshing about that. I thought I was going to meet someone who was very intense and weird.
– Los Angeles makes you feel ugly. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t secretly wanted to be super-skinny, because all girls do.But I have a woman’s body, not a boy’s body. Most women do and should feel proud of their butts and their breasts and their bellies.
– [re winning Oscar for The Constant Gardener (2005)] I was eight months pregnant, so a lot of my memory was centering around – well, needing to urinate] actually often, and you know, the thing, the fear that you have that you’re going to be in the can when your name is called. There was a huge amount of excitement, huge amount of anxiety that comes from being at the Oscars for the first time and being very pregnant. I also get really sad. I had designed such a clever dress that people who didn’t know me, that didn’t know I was pregnant, probably thought I was just chubby. I wish I’d worn a tighter dress that definitely showed for sure I was pregnant.
– Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan (2010) has technique, but what she doesn’t have is abandon. If you have both, it equals something very special. The only way to feel free is to get lost.
– Some of the material I’m attracted to is not commercial. Which means it’s really fucking interesting, you know? – It’s off-center. It doesn’t fit a genre. I’m not trying to sound like I’m unaware. I understand that it’s a business to some extent, but I also think that with independent film, the stakes are not that high. There are things that are big-business-slash-small-art. This cocktail would have been low-business-slash-high-art. It’s about creativity rather than merchandising.
– I think most people look back on their childhood and think: “Phew! I’m out of that!” But of course, I grew up in a very nice house in Hampstead Garden Suburb, so what do I know?
– I thought David Bowie was a poet in touch with God. For me, he really dramatized not belonging in a really powerful and poetic way and when you’re 14 and you feel grotesque, it’s like: “I’ve found a friend.”
– If I was a record, I’d be Beethoven. It’s very raw and passionate, it makes you want to get out there and do your thing.
– The thing about having your hair a different color is that it doesn’t change your DNA. It’s how people respond to you, I guess.
– There’s not much room for eccentricity in Hollywood, and eccentricity is what’s sexy in people.
– She pronounces her last name “Vice.”
– Studied English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.
– Studying English at Cambridge University, Weisz formed the Talking Tongues theater company and at 1991’s Edinburgh Festival won a student drama award for a play she wrote and acted in.
– She has recently become a patron of The X Appeal, which is the official charity of the Royal College of Radiologists.
– Her father invented respirators that supplied their own oxygen and machines that sense land mines.
1998: Named as one of European films’ Shooting Stars by the European Film Promotion Board.
– She was awarded the 1994 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre) for Most Promising Newcomer for her performance in Design for Living.
– Educated at the prestigious St Paul’s Girls School in London. Was in the same class as actress Emily Mortimer.
– Lived in New York with director Darren Aronofsky (2004).
– Ranked #30 in Stuff magazine’s 102 Sexiest Women in the World (2002).
– Drives an old, black Jaguar 4.2 Sovereign with pepper-pot wheels.
– Is the face of Revlon (2005).
– Announced on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) that she was five months pregnant and engaged to Darren Aronofsky. [January 6, 2006]
– When asked who her idols were, she named Gena Rowlands, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, Ingrid Bergman, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
– Rachel and her fiancé, Darren Aronofsky, became the parents of a son, Henry Chance on May 31, 2006.
– Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
– Replaced Kate Moss as the new face of the Burberry campaign.
– Was a radical feminist at University.
– Her favorite movie is Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s psychedelic 1970 masterpiece Performance (1970).
Good friends with fellow British actors Jude Law and Susan Lynch, and Ian McKellen.
– Is very good friends with fashion designers Narciso Rodríguez and Donna Karan.
– Was offered a large part in the Richard Gere movie King David (1985) when she was only 14. Her parents wouldn’t let her do it.
– She was offered the role of “Becky” in Clerks II (2006). She couldn’t do it because of scheduling conflicts. The role eventually went to Rosario Dawson.
– Rachel’s paternal grandparents, Yair Weisz (from Pressburg) and Katherine Glickel Sternberg (from Budapest), were both Ashkenazi Jews. Rachel’s maternal grandfather, Alexander Teich, was an Austrian Jew. Rachel’s maternal grandmother had Austrian and Italian ancestry.
– Divides her time between New York and London, where she has a home on the same street as fellow British actor and good friend Jude Law.
– Is semi fluent in German.
– While filming The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), she formed a strong friendship with fellow co-stars John Hannah and Oded Fehr. They remain good friends.
– Has a younger sister named Minnie Weisz.
– Very good friends with the Fiennes family having worked with both Joseph Fiennes in Enemy at the Gates (2001) and twice with Ralph Fiennes in Sunshine (1999) and The Constant Gardener (2005).
– Beat out Nicole Kidman for the role of Georgie Jutland in Dirt Music (2011).
– Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#37). .
– Had a role in the film Smart People (2008), but dropped out before filming began. As a result, Sarah Jessica Parker was given her role.
– Ranked #85 on Askmen.com’s 100 Most Desirable Women in the World (2008).
– Was originally considered for the role of Daisy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) but later backed out due to scheduling conflicts. The part was then given to Cate Blanchett.
– Ranked #44 on Glamour Magazine’s Most Glamourous Women in the World list (2009).
– Her parents escaped to England from central Europe before the start of WWII.
– Grew up a tomboy.
– Voted #63 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World of 2009.
– Chris Weitz, who directed her in About a Boy (2002), was a classmate of Rachel when she attended Cambridge University.
– Her part in Eragon (2006) made her one of the first actresses in history to have a leading role as a dragon.
– The role of Hypatia in Agora (2009) was written with her in mind.
– Returned to work two months after giving birth to her son Henry in order to begin filming Un bacio romantico (2007).
– Was one month pregnant with her son Henry when she completed filming on Eragon (2006).
– Was in consideration for the role of Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), but Anne Hathaway was cast instead.
– One of People magazines Most Beautiful People in the world 2011.
– Her publicist confirmed that Weisz married Daniel Craig in a secret ceremony in New York City, with just Craig’s daughter Ella, Weisz’s son Henry and two close friends as witnesses.
– Ranked #22 in the Maxim Hot 100 Women list in 2001 and #93 in 2003.
– Ranked #82 in the FHM (German edition) list of 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2009.
– Ranked as having one of the “most beautiful faces” for 18 consecutive years by “The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World.” She was ranked #51 in 2013, #59 in 2012, #48 in 2011, #20 in 2010, #19 in 2009, #2 in 2008, #6 in 2007, #6 in 2006, #7 in 2005, #7 in 2004, #5 in 2003, #7 in 2002, #8 in 2001, #10 in 2000, #18 in 1999, #22 in 1998, #23 in 1997, and #30 in 1996.
– Has a tattoo of a ladder on her hip.
– Was considered for Cate Blanchett’s role of Lady Marion in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010).
– Was cast in Mozart and the Whale (2005), alongside Josh Hartnett, however she had to drop out, due to schedule conflicts, and was replaced by Radha Mitchell.
– Named one of the “most desirable” women for 2013 in Askmen’s list of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women.
– She appeared in two movies in 2005 that have the word “Constant” in their titles: Constantine (2005) and The Constant Gardener (2005).
– Manila, The Philippines: Started filming for The Bourne Legacy (2012). [January 2012]
– Can be seen in audience on Bryan Adams music video “There Will Never Be Another Tonight”.
– Is one of 6 actresses to have been pregnant at the time of winning the Academy Award; the others are Eva Marie Saint, Patricia Neal, Meryl Streep, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Natalie Portman. Neal is the only to have not accepted her award in person as a result of her pregnancy. Weisz was 7 months pregnant with her son Henry when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Constant Gardener (2005).
– Was the 127th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Constant Gardener (2005) at The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) on March 5, 2006.
– Was replaced by Drew Barrymore in Miss You Already (2015) after she backed out of the project.
Became an American citizen in 2011.
– 22nd June 2011 She married James Bond actor Daniel Craig.
– Shared the cover of Vanity Fair magazine’s 2016 Hollywood issue with, Jane Fonda, Viola Davis, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling, Lupita Nyong’o, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton and Saoirse Ronan. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.