By Tim Stack
January 22, 2019 at 01:12 PM EST

The Favourite

11/23/18
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  • Movie
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On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at EW.com this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.

Rachel Weisz
Starring in: The Favourite
Age: 48
Oscar Past: 1 Nom, 1 Win
Role call: Lady Sarah, who struggles to maintain her top position near the throne of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).

Queen Anne may sit on the throne, but her childhood bestie (and secret lover) Lady Sarah is the true power player in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite. With Anne not at her best physically or emotionally, Sarah becomes the de facto ruler.

“She’s so many things: cool and cruel and vulnerable,” says Rachel Weisz of her character.

Sarah loves Anne dearly but will also bring the claws out if someone comes between her and her love of country. She eventually finds her match in the surprisingly cunning new arrival Abigail (Emma Stone).

“My character is a serious chess player,” says Weisz. “She sees every move — 10 moves forward, 10 moves back. She does not see it coming with Abigail. She is totally blindsided. That makes fabulous drama, doesn’t it?”

And some award-worthy acting. On Tuesday, Weisz’s portrayal of Lady Sarah earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

“Thank you to The Academy for recognizing The Favourite in so many categories,” she said in a statement. “I’m immensely proud to be part of it and to be nominated in the company of such talented women. Congratulations to my incredible fellow actors Emma and Olivia, our brilliant director Yorgos, and to everyone who participated in the making of this extraordinary film. Thank you to Fox Searchlight for their unwavering support and for having the guts to make a film with three complex female protagonists.”

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The Favourite

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