It was a brisk November night in #20GayTeen when Rachel Weisz and I locked eyes for the first (and only) time. We were in West Hollywood at an event celebrating her new movie, The Favourite, of which my friend had asked me to attend, with the shared objective of staring at Weisz in the flesh. I was standing at the bar when I felt a warm breeze of lesbian energy graze my skin. Wearing a white lace dress, she turned her head in slow motion at the exact moment I turned mine, our eyes meeting for the most inconsequential yet serendipitous beat. She flashed me a kind smile and then forgot about me forever. But I would never forget, because I am a gay woman who was alive and breathing in 2018, the year Weisz emerged as a lesbian icon, the year I emerged as a Rachel Weisz stan.
Until last year, Weisz seemed like one of those actresses who had always just been around; I was aware of her for nearly two decades but was too busy adolescently obsessing over Lindsay Lohan to notice or care. Today, uttering that sentence feels like committing a carnal sin. Ever since her 2018 queer roles in Disobedience and The Favourite, the latter of which she may win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for on Sunday, I’ve realized that I want Weisz to carve our initials into a tree, or my face, whichever. Still, I can’t help but feel disrespectful and undeserving, given how many years I’ve been blessed with Weisz content and overlooked it.
People used to love her for her charming and magnetic romance roles. But that was before the rabid queer internet community and I got a hold of her. It was also before I fully understood trickle-down theory—which, of course, is the desire for Weisz’s saliva to trickle down her chin and into the back of your throat, like in Disobedience.
Weisz is an accomplished actress and is already an Oscar winner. In 2006, she nabbed the Best Actress trophy for her role in The Constant Gardener. This year, many critics are portending a win for Regina King in Weisz’s category, who gave a moving performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. But there are so many reasons that Weisz should win as well.
Of course, there’s her performance, the actual thing that should merit a win. In The Favourite, Weisz plays a conniving and sharp-tongued advisor and lover to Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), competing with Abigail (Emma Stone) for their queen’s affection. Watching Weisz scheme and plot and desecrate her male counterparts with savage takedowns was blissful. And to see her grab Olivia Colman by the throat and seductively shove her against a bedpost was a treat so sweet, we barely deserved it.
Then there’s all the other fun stuff, like the way her peachy skin plunges across her cheekbones to create a work of art more breathtaking than anything da Vinci could’ve created, that hack. And the way Weisz looked at Rachel McAdams in Disobedience while kissing her with the fury of a thousand lesbian suns. Or the way she and Olivia Colman squinted at a fan’s iPhone camera and ebulliently said, “Gay rights!” into a fan's camera phone at the BAFTAs.
Weisz is quick on her feet in interviews, brimming with life on-screen, and is married to James Bond—which like, weird flex, but OK. She’s also ushered in a wave of standom that I’ve never quite seen in the queer female community. Every day, it seems we find new and innovative ways that we want Weisz to harm us—like, I want Rachel Weisz to shoot and explode a bird on my face, just to feel something (just spitballing here).
It’s only been about a year since this illustrious actress became the unofficial Straight Ambassador of the LGBTQ community. But Disobedience wasn’t even Weisz’s first queer role. In fact, she played a bisexual woman in the 2008 rom-com Definitely, Maybe. Yes, reader, Rachel Weisz has been a bullheaded ally for over a decade.
If Weisz wins on Sunday, it’ll be a major victory for the queer female community—Cate Blanchett lost at the 2015 Oscars for her role as the titular Carol, a loss so gutting and unforgivable, it created a tear in the gay-time continuum. We, as a people, cannot let that happen again. And furthermore, we can’t let Weisz go back to playing straight. We must funnel our time and energy into manifesting a lesbian reboot of The Mummy, which is already a pretty queer franchise, as it features Weisz and curses, two things that are canonically queer.
On Sunday, it’d be brilliant if Regina King won. But just know that I’ll be in Weisz's corner, pushing my gay agenda to its limits.