Saturday morning kick-starts with a brisk interview with Rachel Weisz, who tears up the screen in The Brothers Bloom. It seems worth talking to her just to be able to say to a beautiful actress: “We met once before, in Budapest. . .”, then to watch her dark eyes search for some hint recognition. I explain we did another brief interview in Hungary on the set of Sunshine, produced by Hungarian-Canadian Robert Lantos. That was a decade ago, long before she won an Oscar for The Constant Gardener. Weisz tells me she had just run into Ralph Fiennes, her co-star in Sunshine, and is a bit taken aback that he didn’t seemed as pixilated by this chance encounter as she was. It must be tough being a star, running into other stars you’ve known in another life, neither of you knowing quite how to act.
It’s not easy to interview a lovely actress early in the morning, before coffee, without carefully prepared questions, and worried about making it to your next celebrity engagement. My briefcase is lodged on a chair in a room on another floor of the hotel, saving a seat for Burn After Reading press conference with the Coen brothers and Brad Pitt, which is starting minutes later. I try to wing the interview, counting on chemistry, and hoping it will work. Everything’s too rushed. Somehow I forget to ask Rachel the obvious question, about being at TIFF with her beau, filmmaker Darren Arnovsky, who’s got a heavily buzzed movie here called The Wrestler. Not sure what we talked about, but the time zipped by.
I’ve just Googled Weisz to check her credits and stumbled across a news flash that she has just topped of Hollywood’s hottest women in a lesbian poll: “Rachel, 36, beat off competition from actress Nicole Kidman, who took second place. Voters said it was the 41-year-old’s stockings and suspenders in the hit musical movie Moulin Rouge that turned them on.” If only I’d known that before we talked.