One of the best actresses of this generation, and in my opinion, one of the best ever, is Rachel Weisz. Born in London in 1981 to an English father and a Hungarian mother, she grew up in Buckinghamshire and soon developed a passion for acting. Weisz is best known for her supporting roles in the films The Mummy and its sequel, as well as the TV series House of Gucci. Though she won an Academy Award for her supporting role in the 2005 film The Duchess, she is perhaps most famous for her role as the mysterious enchantress in the Twilight films. I consider these films to be some of the best movies of all time, and I’m sure that most people agree with me.

The Transformation Of An English Rose

From my limited experience, I have found that most English girls are very sweet and pretty, but a little bit reserved and timid. Sure, they’ll throw their chest out and say, “I’m sooo very beautiful,” but if you ask them about their feelings, they’ll blush and stutter, “Oh, I don’t want to talk about my feelings.” When I first encountered Weisz, I thought she was just another shy English girl, but soon realized that she was anything but. She is an amazingly bold and strong young woman who was just hiding it from the world.

In 2002, Weisz decided to make a major change to her appearance. She became obsessed with plastic surgery and decided to undergo a massive transformation. First, she had her breasts enlarged. Then she had her chin and lips fixed in a permanent scowl. Finally, she had her stomach removed and attached to her pelvis. Though I feel bad for saying this, I wouldn’t want to be her friend anyway, you know what they say, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

After the transformation, Weisz’s appearance was so gruesome that she decided to nickname herself “The Gorilla.” People would often confuse her for a gorilla because of her imposing stature and hunched over appearance. Even her closest friends and family couldn’t recognize her anymore. One of them told me, “I didn’t think I’d ever see her again.”

From The Duchess To The Twilight Saga

Weisz’s breakthrough role was in the 2005 film, The Duchess. Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, the film is set in 1940s England and follows the story of an American heiress married to an English aristocrat. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, it became something of a cult classic. One of the best things about The Duchess is that it wasn’t predictable. Weisz’s character, Mary, is not a typical English rose. She is independent, feisty, and doesn’t hold back when it comes to expressing her feelings. The audience learns to love Mary, and in the end, they even cheered for her when she was arrested for her political protest.

The Duchess was a turning point for Weisz. She decided that she didn’t want to be defined by her role anymore. She wanted to show the world who she really was and what she could really do. So, she reached out to her friend, Roma Whitaker, and asked her to help her find the right parts for her. Whitaker introduced her to the agent who would later become her manager. After she finished filming The Duchess, Weisz set out to find more challenging roles. Whitaker told me, “She’s been searching for her own personal essence ever since.”

To me, Weisz is at her best in ambiguous and difficult roles. Take 2005’s Sex Lies and Heartbreak for example. In this film, she plays a seductive woman who is both a wife and a mother. The audience never knows if she’s telling the truth or lying, since she is superb at keeping her emotions hidden. Another fantastic performance from Weisz can be seen in the 2006 film, House of Gucci. In this film, she portrays the wild, free-spirited Saffron, whose escapades with Jack Norton (played by Ben Kingsley) result in a lawsuit and a media circus. Though this film deals with really dark themes, Weisz’s portrayal of Saffron is so realistic and dynamic that it feels more like reality television than something from a movie. This is especially impressive since she was only 16 at the time she was filming this movie.

The Perfectionist

Though she has worked with some fantastic directors in her time, Weisz has mostly stayed away from large-scale, studio filmmaking. She has preferred to work on independent productions and have complete creative control. This has worked out very well for her, because she has managed to avoid the many pitfalls that come with working for large corporations. Weisz has been quoted as saying, “Independency is the only way we can really challenge ourselves.”

Since she began her acting career, Weisz has never been concerned with fitting in or being accepted by other actors, co-stars, or directors. Though she has worked with some fantastic people over the years, she has always stood out for me. Even when we worked together, I couldn’t help but notice her. The other day, I was talking to my friend Gene about how brilliant Weisz is, and he asked me, “Do you think she’s ever been in a relationship?” I had to answer honestly, “No, I don’t think she has.” He said, “That’s probably the reason she’s been so successful. She hasn’t needed anyone to lean on, to support her, or to help her become the best possible version of herself.” I think he’s right. Though she has had a lot of love and support from her family, and had some good fortune in her life, Weisz has never needed anyone else to complete her. She is driven by a need to constantly improve herself and push beyond what anyone thought she was capable of.

The Independent Woman

From my experience, I think that most men don’t like strong, independent women. Especially when they’re as beautiful as Weisz is. Though she had a fairly traditional upbringing, she didn’t let it get in the way of her education or her career. She went to Nottingham University and then started working immediately after she graduated. As a result, she has never had trouble finding work. Though she has had to take on a few low-paying jobs to keep the wolf from the door, she always finds a way to make it work. If you’re looking for a role that will define her, she’s probably not the one you want to go with.

As I’ve mentioned, Weisz became interested in plastic surgery after she transformed herself for the role of Mary in The Duchess. Ever since then, she has been on a surgery binge, trying to change her appearance as much as possible. She has had liposuction, gastric sleeve surgery, and, soon, she will have a full face-lift. Though she has tried very hard to achieve perfection, she has already made the decision to go under the knife yet again. She has been quoted as saying, “My perfectionism drives me to want to change things about myself that I don’t like. I am driven by a constant desire to evolve and to challenge myself.” She feels that if she doesn’t try new things, she’ll eventually stop wanting to improve herself and will stagnate. Thanks to her unrelenting ambition, she has been able to stay at the top of her game for so long. I guess when you’re as good as she is, you don’t have to settle for less than perfection.