Rachel Weisz turns action star for new "Bourne" film

Thu Aug 9, 2012 2:55pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Rachel Weisz, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2006 for her role as Tessa Quayle in "The Constant Gardener," takes on her most action-packed part to date when she stars opposite Jeremy Renner in "The Bourne Legacy," opening on Friday

Weisz plays scientist Dr. Marta Shearing, who goes on the run with Renner's character. But the British actress is better known for her dramatic roles.

Weisz, 42, talked with Reuters about shooting her motorcycle action sequence in the "The Bourne Legacy" and also about playing Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East in Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful," due out next year.

Q: In "The Bourne Legacy," Dr. Shearing starts off as a victim and then ends up kicking some serious butt by the end of the movie. How did you like partaking in all that action?

A: "I didn't think of myself as being bad-ass. I was just thinking of my character fighting for her life. If I was in that situation, I think I would do the same thing."

Q: Did you have to go through any extensive fight training?

A: "I didn't have to go through any training. My character is not a superhero so I didn't need any special skills or muscles. My character had to run, so I did a lot of interval training on the treadmill to make sure my lungs were okay."

Q: There is a quite an intense motorcycle sequence that was shot in Manila with you and Jeremy Renner on a single motorbike. Was that you or a stunt double?   Continued...

Rachel Weisz in a scene from "The Bourne Legacy" REUTERS/Universal Pictures