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Thesp’s ‘Constant’ effort

<I>Variety</I> screens Meirelles' latest effort

NEW YORK — Rachel Weisz isn’t ashamed to admit it took leg work to get the lead female role in Fernando Meirelles‘ latest pic, “The Constant Gardener,” which unspooled Monday at the Directors Guild of America as part of Variety‘s Gotham Screening Series.

“I brought myself to (the role),” Weisz said during a post-screening Q&A. “Fernando wasn’t familiar with my work.”

Weisz found the project appealing on many levels.

“First and foremost I really wanted to work with Fernando,” she said. “I was also drawn to the film for the political points of view; and it was a chance to work with Ralph (Fiennes). It couldn’t have been a rosier draw.”

The following evening, Variety closed the book on the eight-film series with a screening of “Must Love Dogs.”

“The glass ceiling has been lifted,” declared Diane Lane , responding with uncharacteristic optimism to the oft-asked question of whether actresses in their 40s can find good roles in Hollywood. “Look at the Oscar nominees from last year,” she added, referring to fellow gracefully aging thesps such as Annette Bening and Virginia Madsen.

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