As a fan of the “Bourne” series, British actress Rachel Weisz says she needed little convincing to sign on for “The Bourne Legacy,” which sees Jeremy Renner take over for Matt Damon as a special agent going up against the secret government program that trained him. But one thing Weisz didn’t count on was the amount of running that would be involved.
Your character, a government scientist who becomes an ac-complice of Jeremy Renner’s character, may have a more interesting character arc than his.
She’s got a great arc, yeah. [She starts] as someone who’s kind of morally blinkered about what she’s doing and is told not to ask questions, which suits her just fine, because if she started thinking about what she was doing, I think she would know that she’s very morally compromised. So to go from this morally comprised, really f—ed up scientist living in this big house without a man, and then, as Tony says, to see her become a warrior — she decides that she wants to live, and she rises to the occasion, which is kind of cool.
When you first read the script, did you realize exactly how much running was involved?
No. I kind of skimmed through the action pages and was reading the character stuff and story stuff. Because actually action sequences don’t read that interesting on the page, and a lot of that was kind of choreographed later. No, I didn’t realize that was going to be that much running. It’s a lot of running, a lot. I’ve never done anything that’s this realistic, so something like “The Mummy,” for instance, is a completely different tone and genre. It’s like a spoof-y, B-movie, funny, horror, send-up kind of thing. So this required something completely different.
Working in film can be a great way to see the world, it seems.
Definitely. I mean, it’s very different being somewhere and working there than being somewhere as a tourist and just being on holiday, because you’re hopefully relaxed when you’re on holiday. But yeah, I’ve seen a lot more of the world. Manila was a fascinating city.
Are there any locations you’ve filmed that you’ve then gone back to for holiday?
Um … hmm. No. I was trying to think if there was, but no. I’ve been to Kenya — and then Queens for this for a bit (laughs).
Did you enjoy the stunt work?
I did, yeah. I mean, some were terrifying. We really did almost all our own stunts, and there was no green screen, so it was real. We were shooting in real locations, so they’re shutting down the freeways of Manila, and it’s me on the back [of a motorcycle] holding on to Jeremy and there’s 200 stunt cars driving. There’s just so many elements, so many things that could go wrong. It wasn’t just my ability to hold on. I wasn’t acting in those scenes, I was just terrified.