Rachel Weisz and Hedy Lamarr

I’m not sure there’s a bad time to be Rachel Weisz, but the last few weeks seem like especially good ones because her name keeps turning up everywhere.

She’ll be seen later this year in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones; Alejandro Amenábar’s Agora with Weisz as fourth century mathematician, philosopher and astronomer Hypatia of Alexandria is set to premiere at Cannes in the coming days; Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom in which she stars alongside Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo is finally opening on May 29; she’s recently been attached to star in a film called Whistleblower based on the true story of a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia who exposes the cover-up of a sex trafficking scandal; and now she’s being considered for the role of Hedy Lamarr (once associated with Charlize Theron) in Face Value directed by Robert Redford’s daughter, Amy.

Lamarr is best remembered for her controversial 1933 Hungarian film Ecstasy (wherein she was seen briefly nude and a close-up of her face was shown in…ecstasy) and for a couple of her 1940s Hollywood films including the Pepe le Moko remake Algiers starring Charles Boyer and Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah starring Victor Mature. Her Hollywood career fizzled in the 1950s, but she led quite an interesting life off the big screen.

In the ’30s she escaped her marriage to a fascist Austrian industrialist before coming to the United States and in the ’40s she helped develop a technology that would later be used in WiFi networks and wireless telephone communications. Face Value supposedly focuses on this portion of her life.

23 Responses to “Weisz in Bloom: From Hypatia to Hedy”

  1. Oh, please…

    Charlize as HEDY? NOT A CHANCE.

    HEDY was almost impossibly glamorous. She was a big favourite of my mom’s. Sort of a more wildly exotic ubersensual Europeanized version of VIVIEN LEIGH. HEDY was also more of the megawatt movie star type. She did have talent. But I don’t think she was ever considered as a serious actor by most, whereas VIVIEN was.

    I laugh sometimes when I think about HEDY. Read a quote attributed to her when I was a teenager. It was all about how stardom brought her nothing but grief and how her beauty and intense sex appeal attracted all the wrong men. Most of the sex she had (and apparently there were many men and an overwhelming amount of it…no big surprise) brought her no happiness.

    I understand. I’m not attempting to make light of anyone’s very real pain.

    But since when did glamour and sex appeal make anyone TRULY happy?


    Or stardom for that matter?

    You have to make the most of what you’ve got. This is the world….and these are the people in it. One thing’s for sure. HEDY had a life that almost anyone would have given her right arm for. What she had was a damn sight better than being an impoverished unattractive nobody.

    No secret to many that I admire RACHEL a great deal. She is very talented. She also possesses the otherworldly glamour and charisma that stars from another era had.

    I can’t think of anyone offhand who would make a beter HEDY. (Except maybe for CATHERINE ZETA JONES.)

    So RACHEL’S definiitely a very interesting choice. If not an inspired one.

  2. The resemblance between Weisz and Hedy is pretty good, so I don’t have much of a problem with this.

    One question though: who’s going to play Hedley now that Harvey Korman is gone?

  3. A friend of mine who knew Hedy Lamarr said Lamarr was so beautiful she could make a straight girl have lesbian thoughts — and then some.

    As for Hedley, Meryl Streep is on such a roll she could probably do it in drag.

  4. I’m really happy to see an actress like Weisz continue to get loads of work even though her films haven’t been hits for a while (ignoring the critical success of The Constant Gardener). Here’s hoping Hollywood doesn’t leave her hanging as she enters her 40’s, as they are so wont to do with talented women.

    I know ziltch about Hedy Lamarr so I appreciate the crash course in all things Hedy.

  5. Damn, I was going to say “That’s Hedley!” but Paul C. already beat me to the punch.

  6. Pierre, let’s just say I used to be a straight woman until I saw Hedy.

    This is one of those “nothing is definite” stories that I’m trying to avoid lately, but damn if Rachel’s name just hasn’t been cropping up a lot lately.

    Good one, Paul :) Harvey’s gone, Madeline’s gone, Dom is gone…who’s left from Blazzing Saddles?

  7. Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. Even Cleavon Little is gone.

  8. Even though Mongo only pawn in game of life, that’s no reason for us to forget that he’s still around. Or Alex Karras is, anyway.

  9. I forgot that Alex Karras played Mongo. Yes, he is still around.

  10. I can’t help but associate him with Webster.

  11. Is Webster still alive?

  12. I haven’t seen Webster. Actually I don’t remember what that show is about. I remember Gary Coleman as Arnold and I know that he’s still around. I forget the name of his show.

  13. It was essentially a carbon copy of Different Strokes, but with a cuter kid and no trouble-making older brother…set in the burbs. I never watched it either but I can’t get past it when I think of Alex Karras.

  14. Was “tiny black kids” the weirdest sitcom trend ever?

    Odder than talking cars or flying nuns if you ask me.

  15. Only outdone by “super nerdy tiny black kid,” although the robotic little girl from Small Wonder is probably weirdest, creepiest concept for a sitcom ever.

  16. Manimal

  17. It’s been awhile since Weisz was less than outstanding.

  18. She’s been in some un-outstanding movies, but she’s always been good in them. To me anyway….not that I’ve seen them all, but still.

  19. I used to be a straight woman until I saw Hedy.

    She turned me into a dyke.

    I never watched it either but I can’t get past it when I think of Alex Karras.

    Joel, might it possibly help you to remember Alex as he appeared in Victor/Victoria — the character “Squash” Bernstein?

  20. Alas, Pierre, I’ve never seen Victor/Victoria. Guess I need to see that now.

  21. VICTOR/VICTORIA is the living end…and lots of other equally awesome things besides.


  22. I love Victor/Victoria. All I’m saying.

  23. Me too.

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