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9 Things you didn’t know about Rachel Weisz

Just don't call her Mrs James Bond...

By now we’re very well acquainted with the fact that, yes, Rachel Weisz is married to James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. But that’s hardly the most interesting thing to note about the multi-talented actress: we’re talking about an Oscar-winning, Cambridge degree-wielding star whose CV boasts everything from action franchises (remember The Mummy?) to arthouse indie (2015’s pitch black comedy The Lobster and this year’s upcoming Disobedience) and a handful of lucrative fashion contracts, after all.

With 2018 shaping up to be a major year for the 48-year-old, who’ll welcome her second child and star in The Favourite alongside Emma Stone and Olivia Colman, here’s your need-to-know (just don’t call her Mrs James Bond…)

1. She turned down her first film offer aged 14

A young Rachel Weisz.

A year after she won a modelling competition aged 13 (having, as she later told Vogue, lied about her height, pretending she was a more catwalk-friendly 5ft7in” rather than 5ft5in”), she was spotted by producers, and asked to star with Richard Gere in the film King David. Her father reportedly wasn’t keen on her taking the part, which she eventually rejected, preferring to concentrate on her studies. “I was a child. I wanted to go to school, go down the pub, or whatever it was you did,” she told The Telegraph.

2. She has a degree from Cambridge

Another British star with impeccable academic credentials: Rachel studied English Literature at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, eventually graduating with a 2:1. During her time at university, she co-founded a drama group called Talking Tongues, eventually winning a Guardian award at the Edinburgh Festival for one of the troupe’s improvised pieces. Oh, to be an over-achiever… Later, one of her Cambridge classmates, Chris Weitz, directed her in the Hugh Grant rom-com About A Boy.

3. She has an ex-boyfriend in common with Jennifer Lawrence

Rachel and Darren Aronofsky at the Black Swan premiere in 2010/

Rachel met director Darren Aronofsky backstage at the Almeida Theatre in 2001, when she was starring in The Shape of Things, a play by his friend Neil LaBute. After one year together, she relocated to New York, where they got engaged in 2005 and then welcomed a son, Henry, in 2006. The following year, the actress went on to star in Aronofsky’s high-concept fantasy epic The Fountain, playing three versions of the same character across different historical eras.

However, the pair never tied the knot: in November 2010, they released a statement confirming that they’d been separated for “some months,” though they remained “committed to raising their son together in NYC.” Aronofsky went on to date Jennifer Lawrence, star of his critically divisive film Mother!, while Rachel is now married to a very famous face indeed, none other than Daniel Craig.

4. She first met husband Daniel Craig when they starred in a play as students

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig.

It took starring as a couple in the 2010 film Dream House to bring them together, but Rachel and Daniel go way back. They first met in their early twenties, when Talking Tongues put on a play called Les Grandes Horizontales at the National Theatre Studio, and were friends for years before finally getting together in 2011. Their wedding, which took place in June of that year, was a low key affair with only four guests: their two children (Henry, and Daniel’s daughter from a previous relationship) and two close friends to act as witnesses. Earlier this year, Rachel and Daniel confirmed that they were expecting their first child together.

5. They’ve since starred together on Broadway

The couple went on to appear in a Broadway revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, with Rachel playing an adulterous wife and Daniel as her husband. The 14 week run proved a major hit, with the second highest box office takings for a non-musical on Broadway that year, with reports speculating that the couple stayed in character between performances by keeping to “separate bedrooms” during the production.

6. She’s a big heavy metal fan

Somewhat unexpectedly, the star counts reportedly heavy metal among her favourite musical genres. “I’m definitely an old rocker,” she told Vogue back in 2012. “I go and see music all the time.”

7. Her surname is pronounced ‘Vice’

“In America everyone says it wrong. It’s V-I-C-E. I learned to be polite. I have been here for eight years, but now I am going to start correcting people.,” she told New York magazine back in 2009. Her surname originates from Hungary: her father and mother fled the country in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution.

8. She’s one of six actresses who were pregnant when they won their Oscar

Rachel pregnant with her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

When Rachel received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the big screen adaptation of John Le Carré’s The Constant Gardener, she was seven months pregnant with her son, Henry. She’s joined in this particular niche of Oscar history Eva Marie Saint, Patricia Neal, Meryl Streep, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Natalie Portman. (She’s also one of six actresses who have won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing a character who is pregnant during the film…)

9. She’s actually a US citizen

It’s rare you’ll read a piece about Rachel without spotting the phrase ‘English rose,’ but the actress officially became a naturalised US citizen in 2011. “I did it because I thought I would go back to England for a while and lose my green card,” she told Stylist. “I’m not going back now, but being a citizen means I can vote here, which is exciting, not just being an outsider.” She still, however, often spends part of the year in London’s Primrose Hill, where she and her husband still have a home, and where, most recently, she filmed My Cousin Rachel and Disobedience.

This article originally appeared on Grazia.

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