Rachel Weisz embarks on A Special Relationship
by David Katz
- The British actress will play Elizabeth Taylor in a biopic examining her AIDS activism in the 1980s
Rachel Weisz will play Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor in UK-Australian production outfit See-Saw Films’ A Special Relationship, helmed by directors Bert & Bertie, and written by Simon Beaufoy.
Aiming to give a new perspective on Taylor’s glamorous and scandal-ridden life, the story will be told through the lens of her friendship with her assistant Roger Wall, a gay man who grew up in poverty in the homophobic Deep South. Wall inspired her move into AIDS activism, where she famously persuaded then-US president Ronald Reagan to take the disease seriously, and set up a Dallas Buyers’ Club-style underground HIV drug network.
“Audiences are clearly fascinated by the private lives of iconic Hollywood stars,” producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman said. “There is no one more iconic than Elizabeth Taylor, and Simon Beaufoy has written a role that shines a light on Elizabeth’s humour and humanity, which will be beautifully brought to life through the extraordinary talents of Rachel Weisz.”
Regarding rising filmmakers Bert & Bertie (who premiered Troop Zero, produced by Amazon, at Sundance this year), Canning and Sherman remarked that, as real-life best friends and creative partners, they “were the perfect directors to tell the story at the heart of A Special Relationship, a celebration of how friendships can change people’s lives, and how Elizabeth helped change the world”.
Weisz won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2006 for her role in Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener [+see also:
film profile]. See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, will kick off international sales on A Special Relationship at the impending American Film Market.
Notable past work for See-Saw includes the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech [+see also:
interview: Tom Hooper
film profile] and Lion [+see also:
film profile]. Their upcoming projects include Ammonite [+see also:
film profile], Francis Lee’s follow-up to God’s Own Country [+see also:
interview: Francis Lee
film profile], and Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog (see the news).
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