Rachel Weisz Will Play Elizabeth Taylor in New Film Documenting Late Star's AIDS Activism
Rachel Weisz is stepping into some very iconic shoes.
On Monday, it was announced that the Academy Award-winning actress, 49, has been cast as Elizabeth Taylor in the upcoming biopic A Special Relationship.
The film will document the late star’s work advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness, which began in the 1980s, when Taylor hired Roger Wall, a gay man who grew up in the South, as her personal assistant, Variety reports.
The film, written by Simon Beaufoy, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, is based on hours of interviews and conversations with those who knew the star, and has been described as a “never-before-seen portrait of the real woman behind the violet eyes,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A Special Relationship will be directed by the female directing duo Bert & Bertie, and produced by See-Saw Films as well as Barbara Berkowitz, Tim Mendelson and Quinn Tivey, trustees of the Elizabeth Taylor Estate/House of Taylor Trust.
“Audiences are clearly fascinated by the private lives of iconic Hollywood stars,” said See-Saw Film’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “There is no one more iconic than Elizabeth Taylor, and Simon Beaufoy has written a role that shines a light on Elizabeth’s humor and humanity which will be beautifully brought to life through the extraordinary talents of Rachel Weisz.
“At its heart, A Special Relationship is a story of friendship,” the statement continued. “A Special Relationship is a celebration of how friendships can change people’s lives, and how Elizabeth helped change the world.”
The three-time Oscar winner left behind a lasting legacy of AIDS/HIV activism, and first went to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the cause in 1986.
“She was one of the first celebrities to get up and not only do things like start a foundation, but to be so outspoken,” Taylor’s granddaughter Naomi deLuce Wilding told PEOPLE earlier this year.
“She spoke of it as being something that finally gave her a sense of purpose,” she added of Taylor’s enthusiasm for activism. “She spoke of being relatively ambivalent about her fame and her acting career. She loved it, but when she found activism, it really made sense of her passion.”