The Rachel Weisz Experiment
SO I TOLD THE reservation lady at Avis that I used to be happening a date with an attractive actress and that I wanted a automobile that might assist me seduce her. Maybe I ought to have been extra particular. I am not precisely positive which actress the rental lady was guessing I used to be making an attempt to impress (Tara Reid?), however I used to be now pulling into Rachel Weisz’s driveway in a cherry-red Oldsmobile Alero. True, it does have a kind of rear air spoilers. However would that be sufficient to lure a well-known actress into its slightly cramped backseat? I had doubts.
Regardless of what my buddies and anybody who hears my outgoing message is perhaps led to imagine, this date didn’t come about after Rachel admiringly slipped me her digits at Jamba Juice. Esquire was the matchmaker. And like an overbearing grandmother, the journal appeared to really imagine that if I simply adopted its recommendation, I may get this fashionable, good thirty-two-year-old British lady, this star of The Mummy and A couple of Boy, to fall for me. Or perhaps my editor simply needed to see me horribly humiliated. In any case, I used to be given an advance copy of “187 Issues You Do not Know About ladys” and positively assured that I’d haven’t any bother securing Rachel’s coronary heart, thoughts, and physique so long as I caught to such diligently researched nuggets of knowledge as Trite however true: Chicks dig scorching vehicles and Calluses, sure. Manicures, no. I made a decision to disregard The world can be a a lot better place if extra males wore eyeliner à la Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s solely a lot a person will do for his job.
After I choose up Ms. Weisz (pronounced “Vice”), I introduce myself, although, fact be advised, we really met a couple of years again, after I had fourth-row seats to the New York stage manufacturing of Neil LaBute’s The Form of Issues. I made what I believed was some glorious eye contact together with her. Nonetheless, it appears she will’t place me. Within the play, she starred as Evelyn, an alluringly sadistic artwork pupil who seduces after which eviscerates a hapless Paul Rudd. Since then, she’s portrayed equally intense, formidable ladies (Confidence, Runaway Jury) whose frequent attribute is that they eat males for breakfast. This doesn’t put me comfy.
I nervously hand her a bouquet of monochromatic tulips (as really helpful by Esquire). “Oh, flowers. For me? Are you severe?” she says, clearly a bit startled. I’m, she tells me, the primary non-Japanese journalist to ever current her with a present. I flip her consideration to the tulips themselves. “Simply beautiful,” she declares. And she or he appears to genuinely respect them, although I do understand that she’s an actress. And a very good one.
I lead her to my cherry-red Olds. If ever there have been a chance for severe mocking, this is able to be it. Worse, she’s no stranger to chill vehicles: In London, she owned a seventies Jaguar Sovereign. “I like a automobile with some muscle as a result of I like driving quick,” she says. “I have been advised I drive like a person. I suppose that sounds fairly sexist, does not it? Do you suppose ladies are good drivers?”
“Uh, properly.” Up to now, the guidebook has been doing okay, so I heed its recommendation right here: By no means query how we drive. “A few of my finest buddies are feminine drivers,” I inform her.
“This automobile has a sort of coolness,” she says.
“Actually?” I say.
“Sure, properly, a sort of inverted coolness…”
Inverted coolness. I needed to push it.
I drive to the restaurant and drop Rachel off on the curb. As I begin to flip into the lot, I realize–shit!–this is not the place. It seems to be some type of funeral dwelling. I downgrade my expectations for the night from wild intercourse to the avoidance of litigation. Rachel will get again within the automobile and smiles the entire thing off. Nonetheless, I must get well. So, once more following the edicts, I bust out a mixture CD I’ve made her.
As instructed, I didn’t embody Journey. As a substitute, I attempted to mix my very own tastes with what I knew about her previous: She was born and raised in London within the seventies (I threw on the Who and the Buzzcocks); her dad and mom divorced when she was an adolescent (the Smiths), at which level she rebelled (Wire); she later went to Cambridge (Billy Bragg), majored in English lit (Pavement), and based a theater firm (Impartial Milk Resort). And, after all, I threw in a little bit Jay-Z–because when doubtful, that is what you do.
“It is a actually lovely present,” she says. I assume she’s referring to the sentiment, not the shiny disc itself. “Your instinct was excellent. I like Billy Bragg. I like Sleater-Kinney; I believe they’re simply wonderful. And the Smiths are in all probability one in all my favourite bands of all time.” Morrissey once more will get the woman.
“Impartial Milk Resort? Hmm, I believe Paul Rudd launched me to them. He is actually into music. He would convey his guitar and sing backstage each evening.”
“Wasn’t that annoying?” I ask.
“Not at all. You and him would actually get on.”
Now, in “187 Issues You Do not Know About ladys,” it states: If a lady says you’ll get alongside together with her boyfriend, which means she needs to sleep with you. Nowhere, nonetheless, does it clarify what it means when a woman compares you to Paul Rudd. I am unsure what to suppose.
We arrive at L’Orangerie, a gilded French restaurant so aggressively romantic, it appears just like the Hollywood set of a gilded French restaurant. It has large murals of chteaus and a flower association the dimensions of my New York house. Or as Rachel places it, “It is extremely posh.” We’re guided to a candlelit desk.
Up to now, Rachel hasn’t emasculated me. The truth is, she’s been extremely gracious. So the place’d all these bitch roles come from? “It simply sort of occurred,” she says. “In Envy [a new movie with Jack Black and Ben Stiller that comes out this month], I play somebody very gentle and dizzy and candy, and I actually wish to do it once more. Taking part in powerful is an actual stretch for me, however by some means I have been solid as all these powerful American ladies.”
And what does she consider us strapping American guys? “American males are actually extra direct than British males.” Okay, level taken. “Right here, there’s a lot much less ritual to get via, a lot much less weird courtship. We really do not date in England. You exit with a man, and also you by no means know whether or not it is a date or not. Additionally, I believe American males hear higher than English males.”
Hear. A very good suggestion. I hear intently as she goes via the menu. Seeing that she’s an actress, I am positive she’ll request no less than one tofu substitution. I am unsuitable. “I have been craving crimson meat in the present day,” she says, although ultimately we determine to share the buttery sole for 2. This ordering chemistry has me giddy.
Below regular circumstances, Rachel and I’d slowly proceed to study one another’s hopes, fears, and goals in a trickle of first-date small discuss. However the reality is, I’ve solely bought a couple of hours to seduce the lady, so we’re gonna must speed up the sharing. I whip out a replica of Esquire’s survey of American ladies, which asks the powerful (however essential) questions. They are a bit crass for a primary date, sure, however I am going to simply blame my editor.
Me: If there have been no males, would you continue to put on a bra?
Rachel: Sure. It is extra comfy, particularly if it’s important to run for a bus or one thing. In London, it looks as if you are at all times working for the bus.
Me: Below what circumstances would you flash your breasts for the digital camera? The alternatives are: for those who simply felt prefer it, for those who had been drunk, for those who had been drunk at Mardi Gras, or for those who bought factors on the again finish.
Rachel: I assume if it had been any, it might be Mardi Gras. I like the South.
Me: Not in a film?
Rachel: Properly, I’ve as soon as, in Stealing Magnificence. Change topic.
Me: From one to 10, price your degree of curiosity in a little bit gentle bondage.
Rachel: I am not gonna inform you that.
Me: Okay, however can I remind you that you just did pose bare with a reside snake this weekend? The most typical reply was a ten.
Rachel: Okay, properly, that is a good reply.
Me: Do you discover male genitalia enticing?
Rachel: Sure, it is lovely.
Me: Through which state?
Rachel: Each. I am a giant fan.
Me: Good reply. Are you extra seemingly to take a look at the our bodies of different males or ladies?
A reduction. In any case, it is a lady who has labored with among the best-looking main males in Hollywood: Jude Legislation, each Fiennes brothers, and the annoyingly irresistible John Cusack. As a lot as I wish to know whom I am up towards, I do not essentially wish to solid myself in such enticing shadows. So I convey up Dustin Hoffman, whom she’s labored with in each Confidence and Runaway Jury.
“It is wonderful that somebody of his caliber appears to care as a lot as he did when he was eighteen,” she says. “It is a actually enticing high quality to be round. I had this scene with him in Confidence, and he simply got here up and, completely unscripted, touched my breast. It was nice.” Wait, is that this some sort of a refined invitation? However I shake off the thought; improvisational groping solely flies for those who’ve bought Oscars. I stick with feeling out the competitors: Is she nonetheless shut with any of her former costars?
“I am pleasant with a number of, particularly Jude,” she says, “however I are usually nearer with the administrators.”
Now, for these of us who, aesthetically no less than, skew extra towards Peter Jackson than Jude Legislation, this looks as if excellent news. Sadly, I’ve a sense she’s alluding to her closeness with one director particularly: Darren Aronofsky, the director of Pi and Requiem for a Dream. Sure, she tells me, they’re nonetheless collectively and have been for about three years. It is a important impediment. However no less than I do know she digs Jewish males.
I am left no alternative however to attempt to purchase her affections with among the presents Esquire has supplied me. The primary one she unwraps is a Pucci scarf.
“That is so stylish. I believe ladies actually wish to be given issues that they see within the retailer and admire however would by no means purchase for themselves. Issues which can be lovely however completely pointless.”
I inform her I’ve additionally written her a poem.
“Actually, did you? Oh, that is very, uh…did you actually?”
I hand her a card with my verse. Not like the CD or the flowers or the Pucci scarf, nonetheless, this gesture seems to alarm her. She reads the traces: “When He created you mendacity in mattress / He knew what He was doing / He was drunk and He was excessive / And He created the mountains and the ocean and hearth / On the similar time.”
All Rachel can say is, “You’ve got bought very unorthodox handwriting.” Not a giant success. Possibly it would be higher if I fess up: I did not really write the poem; it is Bukowski.
“Oh,” she says. “I simply learn Hollywood, his guide concerning the making of Barfly. Mickey Rourke, now there is a man with charisma.”
Mickey Rourke? Now I am confused. What sort of man does she like? Harley-riding, chipmunk-cheeked film stars or anxious writers? I hope that my subsequent present will sway her towards the latter. Sadly, somebody at Esquire has some critically freaky style. As a substitute of the goodies or watch or any of the opposite romantic presents included within the present information, Rachel is now holding one Magic Cone, a paper gadget that claims to permit ladies to pee standing up. Determined, I attempt to promote her on it: “Uh, I believe it is disposable.”
“It is sort of like having a penis for a bit, is not it?” she says, which by some means sounds good when she says it. “Hmm, I would not essentially suggest this one as a first-date present, although.”
Honest sufficient. I’ve just one present left, and she or he begins to unwrap it. As quickly as she glimpses what’s beneath the paper, she stops quick and lets out a pant. An precise gasp. “Oh my gosh, the blue Tiffany’s field!” I am unable to assist questioning if it is not a bit drained. “We are able to by no means tire of the blue field,” she explains. I warn her to not get too excited; it is not like a hoop or a aircraft or something, only a bottle of fragrance. “It does not matter if it is a forty-dollar key chain,” she says. “Let me clarify: My mom is that this insanely gracious present receiver, and every time she opens a gift–every gift–she says, ‘Oh, simply the wrapping would have been sufficient! Simply the ribbon, simply the bow alone!’ Now, that is dramatic. However within the case of the blue field, it is true.”
I appear to be driving excessive, and since we have simply completed up dessert, I threat all of it with a closing query from Esquire. True or false: You usually tend to have adventurous intercourse after receiving a present of jewellery.
“Okay, what about after receiving a perfume from Tiffany’s?”
She might not be superficial, however I am not giving up but. For instance a dolly had collapsed on Darren, taking him out of the image. Would I–enhanced by “187 Issues You Do not Know About ladys”–have landed her within the sack?
“First I’ve bought to hearken to your combine,” she says. “However in all probability.”
Heartened, I am going in for the goodnight kiss. I get two of them, one on both cheek, nearer to the lips than the ears.