September 4, 2006

Partners Weisz, Aronofsky brave film collaboration

By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - Film collaborations between real-life
partners are not always happy affairs, but Rachel Weisz and
Darren Aronofsky say it is 'so far, so good' after making "The
Fountain" together.

Weisz, who won an Oscar for her role in "The Constant
Gardener," plays Izzi in her fiance's new film about a man in
three different eras seeking to save the one he loves.

Australian Hugh Jackman plays the lead in a fantasy film
about love and coming to terms with loss and death.

"I'd be honored if she'd work with me again," U.S. film
maker Aronofsky told a news conference on Monday, when asked if
the fact that he was engaged to the female lead might work
against him.

"Who knows? I've got to call her agent and see if we can
get a deal," he joked.

Director and actor Peter Bogdanovich had an unhappy career
slump when he cast his then partner Cybill Shepherd in films
like the 1975 flop "At Long Last Love."

Director Guy Ritchie was widely derided for film projects
starring his wife Madonna, particularly "Swept Away" in 2002.


Asked about his reaction to filming an intimate scene
between Weisz and Jackman, Aronofsky replied:

"I'm a pervert, so I had no issue with it. I enjoy shooting
sex scenes very much. She's an actress, he's an actor ... when
you call 'cut', it's over."

Briton Weisz, who has a young son with Aronofsky, added:
"Actually, Darren was shouting to me: 'Take his trousers off!"'
during a scene in which a clothed Jackman gets into the bath
with her.

Aronofsky has little experience to date of bad reviews,
with his 1998 movie "Pi" and 2000 follow-up "Requiem for a
Dream" widely praised. The Fountain is his first film since

Critics' reaction to his latest movie, however, could be
more mixed after the film was booed by some in the audience
during a press screening in Venice, where it is one of 21 films
in the main festival competition.

The project was delayed for several years after Brad Pitt,
originally cast in the leading role, pulled out, according to
Hollywood trade publications.

Aronofsky used unusual filming techniques to conjure up a
clear "bubble" craft drifting through space in the futuristic
storyline set in the 26th century.

Rather than using only computer-generated images, his
visual effects team enlisted a photographer who shoots
photographs of tiny chemical reactions on a laboratory Petri

"We didn't want anything to be from the inside of a
computer," Aronofsky said, adding that science fiction movies
had become "super-dependent" on special effects. "You don't
know if you're watching a cartoon or live action."

The Fountain is due for release in November in the United