What’s Scary for a Wicked Witch of ‘Oz’? According to Rachel Weisz: Flying!
In person, Rachel Weisz couldn't be less witchy, which makes her enjoyment of being bad to the bone in "Oz The Great and Powerful" all the more delicious. She talked to Yahoo! Movies over breakfast in Manhattan's East Village about her fear of flying, her joy in frying foes with lightning bolts — and her terror of "The Wizard of Oz."
Thelma Adams: Did you watch "The Wizard of Oz" when you were little?
Rachel Weisz: It's actually the first movie I remember seeing, and it was really traumatic and terrifying. I have a bad feeling when I think back to that. It was really, subtly … horrible, yes, horrifying.
TA: And now you're set to horrify a whole new generation of children, because don't you play the baddest witch of them all?
RW: Michelle Williams is the good witch, and I'm the bad witch, Evanora.
TA: Set the story for us, please.
RW: It begins in Kansas, and James Franco is an ordinary man. He's a con man, in fact. He performs magic tricks in tent events or what have you.
TA: Then one stormy day, a twister transports him to Oz, way before Dorothy hit town.
RW: Yes. It's the genesis story of how he became the wizard. You see, everyone in Emerald City is waiting for the wizard, because there's a prophecy that a man will come and save the Emerald City, because there's a really, really evil witch…
TA: She's like Mom on a bad day, the wicked witch, right?
RW: That's exactly right. And Mila Kunis is my sister, Theodora. And we're all — me, Michelle, and Mila — witches.
TA: What are your magic powers as Evanora?
RW: My magic power is I can zap you with my lightning bolts. I could fry you. And I can fly very well.
TA: Broom or no broom?
RW: No, I can just fly, yeah.
TA: You ask most people what superpower they want, and flying is high on the list. How was it to be actually able to do it?
RW: It was fun.
TA: Were there strings attached?
RW: Yes, strings. There was a lot of flying and it was quite scary. I had to practice a lot. You get taken up like … I want to say like 100 feet or something, attached to a zipline or whatever. You're going to fly across it, but you have to fly gracefully as you go. You have to hold your abs in and develop your own flying style. We all had different flying styles.
TA: How would you describe yours?
RW: I imagined I was in water, so there was some density around me, and I moved gracefully, I hope. I saw the monitor when we shot, so I played back the flying, and I think it looks pretty good.
TA: Any other magic powers?
RW: I have a cohort of winged — as Sam Raimi said — winged baboons. They're greenscreen, so I never saw them.
TA: What's the source of your powers?
RW: I have an amulet around my neck. Everyone has their power from something. Glinda has a magic wand.
TA: Is she really so awfully, wonderfully, adorably sweet, this younger Glinda?
RW: Yes. It's disgusting. I'm disgusted by her…
TA: But off-screen, don't you love Michelle?
RW: Yes, I love her. She's a great, great lady. But my character hates her, and I torture her. I literally torture her. My character's very bad. She loves to be bad.
TA: There's not some Freudian reason for her bad behavior, some backstory?
RW: What would be a Freudian reason?
TA: There's no "Mama didn't like me"?
RW: No, no, no! She's just evil, no conscience. She's a psychopath, or a sociopath. I don't know. It's the Emerald City. There aren't any therapists.