+ panel and Q&A with Rachel Weisz, Alice Birch and Britne Oldford. Chaired by Edith Bowman.
A modern take on David Cronenberg’s 1988 thriller starring Jeremy Irons, Dead Ringers will feature Rachel Weisz playing the double-lead role of Elliot and Beverly Mantle, twins who share everything: drugs, lovers, and an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes – including pushing the boundaries on medical ethics – in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women’s healthcare to the forefront. The series’ ensemble cast also includes Britne Oldford as Genevieve, Poppy Liu as Greta, Michael Chernus as Tom, Jennifer Ehle as Rebecca, and Emily Meade as Susan.
Academy Award®-winning actress Rachel Weisz is well known for portraying complex women, often combining vulnerability and strength in equal measure. Driven by great storytelling and a desire to work with visionary filmmakers, Weisz has added producer to her credits as she seeks out and develops engaging material with bold characters and authentic voices.
In her first major foray into television, Weisz headlines and executive produces Dead Ringers, a reimagining of David Cronenberg’s cult classic 1980s film with a gender swap. She plays twin gynecologists, Beverly and Elliot Mantle, who hope to change the way that women give birth. Amazon gave a straight-to-series order to the project from Weisz, Alice Birch, lead writer of Hulu’s acclaimed Normal People series, Annapurna Television and Morgan Creek Entertainment. It will premiere in April 21.
Weisz is also set to star as Elizabeth Taylor in A Special Relationship. The story will be told through the lens of Taylor’s friendship with her assistant Roger Wall, exploring Taylor’s journey from actress to activist. Most recently, Weisz starred alongside Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, and Florence Pugh in Marvel’s Black Widow directed by Cate Shortland.
In 2018, Weisz produced and starred in Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience alongside Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola. The film, which is based on the novel by Naomi Alderman, premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim and was released by Bleecker Street. Also that year, Weisz starred in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, alongside Emma Stone and Olivia Colman. The film received wide acclaim earning Weisz a BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her performance. In 2014 Weisz executive produced Radiator, Tom Browne’s directorial debut starring Richard Johnson, Gemma Jones and Daniel Cerqueira. The film debuted at the London Film Festival and received several festival awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival.
In 2005 Weisz earned a Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for her performance in Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardner. In 2012 she received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea. Her performance also earned her Best Actress awards from The New York Film Critics Circle, and the Toronto Film Critics Association.
Weisz’s diverse film work includes The Mercy, My Cousin Rachel, Denial, Complete Unknown, The Light Between the Oceans, Youth, The Lobster, Agora, The Brothers Bloom, My Blueberry Nights, The Lovely Bones, Definitely Maybe, The Whistleblower, The Bourne Legacy, Oz: The Great and Powerful, The Shape of Things, The Fountain, Runaway Jury, About a Boy, Enemy at the Gates, Constantine, Stealing Beauty, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
Weisz starred in the off-Broadway production of The Public Theater’s Plenty and on Broadway in Mike Nichols’ Betrayal. She won the Laurence Olivier Award in the category of Best Actress for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the West End revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
Alice Birch is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose recent credits include The Wonder (Netflix / Element Pictures / House Productions); Conversations with Friends (Element Pictures / BBC / Hulu); Mothering Sunday (Number 9 Films / Film 4) and Normal People (Element Pictures / BBC) for which she and Sally Rooney were nominated for an Emmy.
Most recently, Alice created, wrote, executive produced and served as showrunner of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series Dead Ringers.
Alice worked as Story Editor on Season Two of Succession for HBO and her first feature Lady Macbeth won five British Independent Film Awards in 2017, including Best Screenplay.
Recent plays include [Blank] (Donmar Warehouse); La Maladie de la mort (Bouffes du Nord); Orlando (Schaubühne, Berlin); Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court Theatre / Atlantic) and Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (RSC / Soho Rep).
Alice currently has projects in development with House Productions, Heyday Productions, the National Theatre, Plan B and A24.
Alice’s adaption of The End We Start From by Megan Hunter, finished shooting last year, starring Jodie Comer, produced by Sunnymarch and BBC Films.
Britne Oldford is a stage, film, and television actress on the rise. Next up for her is a starring role opposite Rachel Weisz in the upcoming Amazon limited series Dead Ringers.
She can currently be seen starring as Fei in Season 3 of Netflix’s hit series The Umbrella Academy.
Oldford recently joined BCDF Pictures’ romantic comedy Which Brings Me to You opposite Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff. The film tells the story of a freelance journalist and a photographer who are immediately drawn to each other and spend 24 hours becoming acquainted through candid, hilarious, and sometimes tragic tales.
Oldford has recently appeared opposite Ryan Reynolds in 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy and is best known to audiences for her portrayal as Regan in Hunters, Cadie in Skins, Alma Walker in American Horror Story: Asylum, Peek-a-boo in The Flash, and Noa in The Path.
Having presented shows across MTV, Capital FM, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC 5 Live, 6 Music and Virgin Radio Breakfast Show, Edith Bowman is the industry’s trusted music and film specialist, respected reviewer and tastemaker in the entertainment industry for over 20 years.
It’s no wonder she has presented the Scottish BAFTA’s for seven consecutive years as well as BBC Four’s Life Cinematic which explores filmmaking with guests such as Sam Mendes and Sofia Coppola.
Edith Bowman’s critically acclaimed weekly Soundtracking podcast is the film industry’s go to with the biggest actors and composers choosing talking to Edith about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films, from their current release to key moments in their career. Guests on the podcast include Nick Frost, Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Burton, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Hugh Grant, Richard Curtis, Bradley Cooper, Guy Ritchie, Greta Gerwig and more.
She also hosts Netflix’s The Crown: The Official Podcast diving deep into the stories of each episode interviewing the likes of Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter.
Created by: Alice Birch
Co-produced by: Amazon Studios, Annapurna Television
Executive Producers: Alice Birch, Rachel Weisz
Executive Producers (for Astral Projection): Stacy O’Neil, Sue Naegle, Sean Durkin
Executive Producer (for Annapurna Television): Ali Krug
Executive Producers: Erica Kay, Anne Carey, Polly Stokes
Executive Producers (for Morgan Creek): James G. Robinson, David Robinson, Barbara Wall
Written by: Alice Birch (eps. 1, 6), Ming Peiffer (ep. 2), Rachel De-Lahay (ep. 3), Susan Soon He Stanton (ep. 5), Miriam Battye (ep. 4)
Directed by: Sean Durkin (eps. 1, 2, 6), Karena Evans (ep. 3), Lauren Wolkstein (eps. 4, 6), Karyn Kusama (ep. 5)
Photography: Jody Lee Lipes
Editing: Lisa Lassek, Daniel Valverde
Music Supervisor: Lucy Bright
Composer: Nathan Halpern
Music Editor: Nick Kmet
Rachel Weisz (Beverly Mantle/Elliot Mantle)
Britne Oldford (Genevieve)
Poppy Liu (Greta)
Michael Chernus (Tom)
Jennifer Ehle (Rebecca)
Emily Meade (Susan)
Eps 1 and 2: total running time 110 mins
Total running time of event 170 mins
IN PERSON & PREVIEWS
Storm Damage + panel discussion and Q&A with Ashley Walters, Adrian Lester and Ashley Madekwe (work permitting)
Thu 13 Apr 18:00
Alan Bennett in Conversation + Objects of Affection: A Woman of no Importance +Talking Heads 2: Waiting for the Telegram
Mon 17 April 18:10
BFI Flipside UHD/Blu-ray launch: Full Circle: The Haunting of Julia + Q&A with director Richard Loncraine and film historian Simon Fitzjohn
Wed 19 Apr 18:10
The Duellists + Q&A with composer Howard Blake
Mon 24 Apr 18:10
Theorem (Teorema) + intro and talk with Bruce LaBruce, and Doesn’t Exist magazine launch
Thu 27 Apr 18:00
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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email