Actress Rachel blooms at gala screening

Rachel Weisz dazzled on the red carpet at the gala screening of 'The Brothers Bloom' tonight.

Weisz, who plays the naive Penelope in the con man movie, appeared at London’s Leicester Square wearing a tight fitting black dress exposing a large triangle of bare flesh on her back.

The brothers in the film are Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody), who swindle their way through life. Stephen concocts the stories that the pair live out, while Bloom wants to break free, but not before doing one last scam.

They target eccentric heiress Penelope, but Bloom becomes attracted to her, leaving him in a tricky situation.

Weisz, 37, described her character’s unusual personality. “She’s very off the wall, she’s an oddball. She hasn’t been out for about 15 years so she’s unsocialised to say the least,” she said.

She said she had no problems filming a nude scene in the film: “My character is unaware that she’s showing her bum, but her bum is showing. She’s in a hospital gown, and we were trying for naturalism, and you’re naked in a hospital gown and it was slightly gaping at the back.”

Weisz went on to say she initially had difficulty combining acting and being a mother.

“I think every working mum finds it a little bit of a struggle at first, learning to balance your work with being a mum. I figured it out. I’m not the first working mum to do it,” she said.

“You mess it up a bit and then you get better at it. I take my hat off to all the working mums out there who have been managing all these years.”

The writer-director Rian Johnson was responsible for multi-award winning film Brick in 2005.

He said his latest offering was a combination of genres. “It’s a con man movie, but it’s a love story in a con man movie, and it’s also kind of a comedy,” he said.

“It’s about the characters in a love story, and that’s rare for a con man story because usually in a con man story you don’t trust anybody so you don’t care about anybody. You’re just waiting to see who’s going to stab you in the back.

“In this it’s Adrien and Rachel’s characters falling in love during the course of it, and so we try and do a little bit more of an emotional payoff at the end rather than just who’s going to end up with the money.”

He was surprised with the quality of the cast he was able to attract, saying: “They are some of my favourite actors in the world. I was kind of amazed and baffled that I could get them in this project. It’s just my second film and it was kind of incredible for me to get to work with that calibre of talent.”

Robbie Coltrane, who plays a Belgian con man, said: “Rian Johnson’s a big hero of mine because of Brick. Although I hadn’t seen it, everyone told me Brick was the best film made for about 10 years and he was the new Orson Welles, and if he sent me a script I’d have to do it for nothing if necessary. I got the script, and I just thought yes, I would do it for nothing.”

The screening was part of The Times BFI London Film Festival 2008.

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