How Does Rachel Weisz Prepare for a Role?

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“It’s just like a constant process. So that when I begin to film or do it, I really don’t have any idea how I’m going to do it. ” – Rachel Weisz on Memorizing Lines

Oscar and BAFTA-winning actress Rachel Weisz has appeared in a number of acclaimed roles on both screen and stage and, frankly, often makes it look easy with the way she performs. Not surprisingly, she admits that it takes a ton preparation work. In an excerpt from a SAG-AFTRA Conversation (above), Weisz spoke about why she puts so much effort into learning her lines — and yet still walks into a scene not knowing how exactly she’ll say them.

Weisz recommends rehearsing over and over again — and never being too confident that you have it all figured out. She explains, “I would say reading the script over and over and over and over and over again, out loud. So, taking the lines off the page. So looking at the line and taking them off the page and, you know, saying it alone, walking around your bedroom. And every time you say it, let it play on you. And every time you say it, it might mean something different. Never try and do it again the same way or think, ‘Oh, I found the way to do it.'”

While some actors might find that confusing, Weisz reveals that the process helps her consider her options. She says, “So, it’s just like a constant process. So that when I begin to film or do it, I really don’t have any idea how I’m going to do it. Because I’ve done it so many ways that I’m confused in a good way.”

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