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My Life in Movies: Rachel Weisz

Famous Londoners share their favourite hometown film spots

Written by
Anna Smith

What was your local cinema growing up?
‘It was the Ionic in Golders Green [which closed in 1999]. There was a balcony, popcorn and hot dogs… I remember going with my mum to see that Warren Beatty film “Reds”, and seeing “The Wizard of Oz” when I was about six. I was petrified of the green witch. My parents also used to take us to the Everyman in Hampstead to see all sorts of foreign films.’

What’s your local cinema now?
‘The Odeon in Camden is [closest]. They’ve got a big sweet shop. It’s good to have sweet things to chew when you watch a film, as long as you’re not noisy. I’m very quiet.’

Did filming ‘Disobedience’ in north London bring back childhood memories?
‘Yes, I’d go to school on the Northern line and I’d see members of the Orthodox Jewish community getting on. There’s a sequence in the film where Rachel McAdams and I are leaving north London and going to the West End. It was amazing, thinking that I used to sit on this line going to school and now I’m a grown-up, telling this story.’

You’ve shot a lot of films in London. What are your favourite memories?
‘[When] they closed Tower Bridge for the night on “The Mummy Returns”. I had to run across Westminster Bridge for “Denial”, but we could only close it for half an hour because it was a low-budget film. I love walking across the Thames bridges. The Wordsworth sonnet “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” is majestic.’

Connor Swindells as Adam Watson in ‘VS.’‘The Wizard of Oz’

Have you had any particularly moving experiences filming in London?
‘We filmed an air-raid shelter scene for “The Deep Blue Sea” in an old tube station. There were hundreds of extras and everyone sang a wartime song. That was magical.’

What have been your favourite London premieres?
‘The premiere of “The Constant Gardener” in Leicester Square was very exciting. Bond premieres? Yeah, sure – the Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful setting. It’s very glamorous watching a film in a box there.’ 

‘Disobedience’ is in cinemas on Fri Nov 30.

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