Did Rachel Weisz base her role in “Oz the Great and Powerful” on the original Wicked Witch?
—David Chong, Baltimore, Md.
That would be a no. Without giving away too much of the story, Weisz’s character, Evanora, isn’t directly depicted in the original film, but Weisz did think back to movies from the ‘30s—the original was released in 1939—when she was creating her witch.
“My mum used to like black and white movies—we used to watch tons of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck movies, so I grew up with female villains in my imagination,” she says. “They were just great female villains. I think it has got a little out of fashion to be a ‘bad’ dame, but I had lots of them in my memory.”
But the best part of being a witch for the London-born actress, 43, was being able to fly, throw lightning bolts and wear the cool costumes. In fact, Weisz says that never before has she done a movie where her costume was as important as this one, in which her dress was both glamorous, and also slightly militaristic with feather epaulets, a feather collar, and a feather headdress.
“I have mainly been in jeans and TV shirts and a scrubbed face, so 99 percent of my character came from putting that costume on,” she says. “Basically, I had one dress that changed from emerald green to black when I showed my true colors—so that the audience would know that I am really bad. Evanora has been ruling the citizens of the Emerald City with a cruel hand. She is a very mean lady but she also wants the throne. That is really all she really wants in life—that throne.”