“Her whole life was her dad. He’s the center of her universe,” says Rachel Weisz about her role as Lena Ballinger in the new film “Youth.” Her character is not only the daughter of famed composer/conductor Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) but also his assistant. In our recent interview (watch below), she adds, “She still sleeps in the same bed as him. She hasn’t flown the coop, shall we say. She’s regressed and childish and hasn’t become a grown-up. For her, she has to leave her youth. She’s been in her youth way too long.”
The two characters are on a vacation in the Swiss Alps along with Fred’s best friend, director Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel). She has been married to Boyle’s son, but he is now leaving Lena for another woman. Over the course of the movie, she realizes how frustrating her life has become, and she blames much of it on how often her father has disappointed her. Weisz has a long scene in a mud bath as she tells him off.
Of that scene, she reveals, “That was a three-page monologue that was actually the first scene that we shot. It was 3 a.m. and a night shoot. I didn’t know we were going to do it in one shot… For actors that’s kind of a big deal. I didn’t have to do a ton of research about what it feels like to have a dad, who I love but who can anger me, too.”
Weisz is a past Oscar champ as Best Supporting Actress for “The Constant Gardener,” a 2005 movie which also brought her a Golden Globe and SAG Award. Other films in her career have included “The Mummy,” “Beautiful Creatures,” “Enemy at the Gates,” “About a Boy,” “The Fountain,” “The Lovely Bones,” “The Deep Blue Sea,” and “The Bourne Legacy.”
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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight