At A Glance
Prepare to be bewitched as Rachel Weisz delivers an intoxicating performance in My Cousin Rachel adapted from the Daphne Du Maurier novel of the same name.
Directed by Roger Michell
Written by Roger Michell
Based on the book by Daphne Du Maurier
Released by Fox Searchlight
2017, 106 minutes
In UK Cinemas 9th June
Rachel Weisz as Rachel Ashley
Sam Claflin as Philip
Holliday Grainger as Louise
Iain Glen as Kendall
My Cousin Rachel - World Premiere
As the Daphne Du Maurier novel, My Cousin Rachel leaps from page to screen, Premiere Scene’s Claire Bueno and Mike Jonas interview the actors responsible for bringing these characters to life Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen and Director Roger Michell. Join us as we ask the My Cousin Rachel stars Rachel Weisz about the resourcefulness of her character, Sam Claflin about the rashness of his, Holliday Grainger about the minimalist makeup and costumes, Iain Glen about the period piece with a universal theme and Roger Michell about his process of adapting a book into a screenplay.
My Cousin Rachel Red Carpet Interviews
By Claire Bueno
Wednesday 8th June, the Picturehouse Central hosted the World Premiere of My Cousin Rachel. The film’s actors, Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen and director Roger Michell were all in attendance as they enthusiastically walked the red carpet to promote the release of the new film.
One of my favourite films ever is Rebecca. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontane, and written by the novelist Daphne Du Maurier.
So when I heard that another of Du Mauriers books had been adapted into a screenplay, I jumped at the chance to see it, and jumped even higher to interview the film talent responsible for bringing to the big screen.
I can't at this point remember a film where I have not been captivated by a performance by Rachel Weisz. She is in life, as on screen, breathtakingly beautiful. And for My Cousin Rachel, you need an actress who has the natural beauty to pull off the minimalism required of the part, but also the talent to pull off the nuanced performance demanded of the part.
“She’s in mourning for her dead husband, so she dresses very modestly,” says Weisz.
“It could be that she’s a very decent, modest woman in mourning, or it could be a fantastic front.” And keep you guessing she does, so skilfully.
For Holliday Grainger too, the costumes were much more comfortable than usual.
“The costumes, although it’s a period (piece), were much more easier to move in. Because Dinah (Collin), Roger and I, the costume designer were talking about, needing to make sure that Louise could physically do everything she physically does in her costume. Like running through barns, getting on horses, and paddling in the ocean.”
And for the leading man Sam Caflin, he was presented with a challenge not often pursued by actor.
“He's so simple, direct and two dimensional almost," says Caflin of Philip. “He says what he thinks, and I think there was something quite refreshing about just simply playing it as it is.”
Game of Thrones star, Iain Glenn had his worked cut out for him being guardian of the foolhardy, rash Philip. “He falls passionately in love, very, very quickly. So I suppose I’m a calming influence on him, I try and rein him back a little bit.”
Roger Michell directed one of my favourite films, Notting Hill. The film for me that captures the essence of what makes London so unique.
And in My Cousin Rachel, we are once again whisked away and immersed in the film’s location. So I wanted to know, how does he transport his audience.
“Mike Eley (DOP) is a wonderful guy, we’ve worked on three or four things together now. He’s a hugely important collaborator for me,” says the director.
“I think all filmmaking aspires to eavesdropping. And I think that you want the audience to believe that only they are in the room, as individuals, with these people having these weird emotional experiences.”
And as we eavesdrop on My Cousin Rachel you’ll find it may be a period drama, but its themes are universal. Passion, obsession, desire, the impetuousness of youth.
Love may be blind, but when Philip encounters Rachel, he is utterly eclipsed.