The Deliciously Evil Evanora | Rachel Weisz Interview
Our first interview of the day was with Rachel Weisz who plays Evanora in Oz The Great And Powerful. We had just attended the red carpet event the night before and I was stunned by Rachel’s beauty while there. As she entered the room, I once again was stunned by her grace, her beauty, and her accent as she began to talk. I was mesmerized as she spoke about playing a “bad girl”, how she enjoyed flying and her thoughts on the film as she read the script.
Q : So, you were so deliciously evil.
Rachel : She’s bad, isn’t she?
Q : — what did you like slipping into more, the costumes or the character, ’cause they’re both so –
Rachel : You know what? It’s weird. They were kind of like same the thing. When I put that costume on I became that character. I couldn’t have played her without that corset, and sequence, and feathers, and lashes, and lips, and pushed up boobs and the whole thing. The costume was a huge, huge part of the character, and it was very fun to be so nasty.
Q : Because you were so nasty, how did you feel knowing this is a children’s film and yet you’ve got to be pretty bad out there.
Rachel : Well, I think fairytales traditionally have really, really evil characters. Like all the Grimm’s fairytale got bad people in them, so I think kids are used to evil characters. And I think she’s dark, but she’s having a lot of fun being bad. So, I think it’s like Disney bad. I don’t think it’s really, really bad.
Q : What was your most memorable moment while filming? What, what was your favorite part?
Rachel : Well, Evanora really enjoyed torturing Glinda when she was chained in the Emerald City and I did, too. It was just really fun. I mean I get along brilliantly with Michelle. She’s a fellow mom, and she’s a lovely lady, but that was just a really fun scene being that bad. And then just pure fun without being evil was flying. Flying is really fun — a little scary and quite exciting, like having a really good rollercoaster ride.
Q : Speaking of flying, how much flying and stunt work did you actually do?
Rachel : All of it.
Q : Are you in all of it?
Rachel : Yeah. I don’t think there was any flying that isn’t me. Yeah, they didn’t head replacement or anything. It’s it’s me all the way.
Q : Yeah, what helped you prepare the most for your role?
Rachel : Really there was nothing that could help me prepare. Obviously, there’s no witches I could interview or talk to, it’s just pure fantasy. So, the costume, as I said, was a huge part of finding the character, and it’s just pure make believe. There was absolutely no research, just make believe, just like being a kid basically.
Q : Did you feel nervous at all accepting this role, with the Oz legacy? Were you a little bit nervous jumping in there?
Rachel : I’m nervous at any role that I do, because, you know, there’s the fear that you might suck. I wouldn’t really do a role if I wasn’t nervous about it, because that’s what’s exciting is trying something new, and I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve never played a fantasy character. You know, of late I’ve been doing very kind of gritty, earth-bounds, you know, gals with no makeup — very different kinds of things. So, for me it was scary, ’cause it’s a new thing, but that was a plus for me…
Q : What was your reaction to the film the very first time you read the script?
Rachel : I loved it. I loved it. I didn’t know about that Frank L. Baum had wrote ten books, and the Wizard of Oz film is just one-tenth of the whole cycle of stories, and I loved it. You know, we all know the Wizard of Oz so well, and this is the story of how the Wizard came to be the Wizard. So, I loved it, and I loved the character of Evanora, and I loved how, how mercilessly horrible she is. And, yeah, it was really fun, really, really fun.
Q : What was your favorite part of making the movie?
Rachel : Um, my favorite part? I guess flying in terms of just sheer, silly fun. You know, it was just really fun being hoisted up really high on a wire and you know, zoom — you know, zip it — like we’re on a zip line in sequence.
Q : What’s your personal relationship with Oz? I mean did you watch it as a kid? Did your kid watch it? You know, personally?
Rachel : I remember going to the cinema to see it when I was about five, and I vividly remember the seat, in front of me — and trying to see over and hiding. I mean witches really terrified me. They seared into my mind as properly terrifying, but I don’t know. I can’t remember what the reason is that fairytales, like Grimm’s fairytales are really, really dark.
I mean I think it’s to teach children about good and evil and morality — there’s a reason why there’s been hundreds of years the tradition of children seeing scary things. I don’t think it’s damaging, fairytales. I think they’re kind of like important, archetypal stories … I remember vividly seeing it. And it’s one of those movies you never, you never forget.
Q : Besides your character, which character was your favorite besides Evanora?
Rachel : It’s really hard for me to pick. I just think it’s like the whole big family of characters. I thought Theodora was just delicious, and the Wizard is great. I guess the most surprising for me was the China Girl and the Monkey, because I never got to work with ‘em, and, of course, it was animated. That was really very surprising, and they’re really delightful characters.
Q : How was working with the rest of the cast?
Rachel : Really great. I mean I did most of my scenes with Mila, my sister, and a few scenes with James, and then a few scenes with Glinda, and then, of course with my army of monkeys, and that was really fun, the army of monkeys. So, I really got to scream orders at them. They’re my soldiers. It was really fun with all of them.
Q : The sets, the sets were amazing. Along with the costumes, did sets kind of form your character, and did you fall into that world when you were in those amazing places?
Rachel : Yeah. Um, definitely. I was really not on that many sets. I was in the throne room… my character really loves the throne a lot, I love being there, ’cause she wants that throne for herself. She wants to sit in it.
That was a big, regal room, kind of like this so, it made me feel like I was a queen of this throne room. Yeah, I wasn’t on all the sets with all the incredible flowers and stuff like that. My character was just interested in the throne. So, that’s what I remember. Yeah, she wanted the throne.
If you haven’t had a chance, check out the rest of the cast interviews!
Disclosure: I attended this press trip as a Guest of Disney. All opinions are 100% my own.