news Rachel Weisz Says ‘Dead Ringers’ Was a ‘Mindf*ck’ to Film

Rachel Weisz at first had a hard time seeing double.

The Oscar winner plays identical twins in the Prime Video series “Dead Ringers,” reimagined from David Cronenberg’s 1988 body horror psychological thriller of the same name.

“Day one, it was a mindfuck,” Weisz told Porter magazine of playing both roles. “But by the end, it just became like breathing…I just imagined two people were going to play them.”

Weisz noted that she would shoot entire scenes as one character, acting opposite a stand-in, and then redo the same scene after transforming into the other twin. Weisz would wear an earpiece so she could hear her own lines and, in theory, act alongside herself.

“The idea of having these two women at the pinnacle of their professional lives, but their private lives are so dysfunctional, and so aberrant, and so bizarre,” the “Constant Gardener” actress added. “That contrast – it doesn’t get any better.”

Weisz, who suggested “Dead Ringers” be adapted into a TV series instead of a film remake, collaborated with showrunner Alice Birch (“Normal People,” “Succession”) in the writers’ room over six weeks in early 2020 lockdown.

“It was a straight-to-series order [from Prime Video], which is a really big deal, and I was just learning as I went,” she said. “It’s been a long journey for me. It wasn’t the same as being offered a job with the script written — Alice and I developed the idea together and then she wrote an incredible script.”

Weisz added, “Alice and I were really interested in seeing women be massively successful and, equally, messed up. The characters are complicated, and it’s not just like, good twin/evil twin – yawn, yawn – because people are very, very complicated. We are never just one thing.”

Speaking to Hollywood as a whole, Weisz said that “women pursuing pleasure” onscreen is underrepresented.

“Female desire is really interesting, and I think we don’t get enough of that,” Weisz said. “Oftentimes, with roles for women in the past, I’ve found them very oversimplified, and I think that’s changing, which is really good. The thing I’m looking for is complicated characters. It’s interesting, complex writing.”