Darren Aronofsky Wanted GF Rachel Weisz to Remove Hugh Jackman's Pants

Sadly, she was too shy.

Rachel Weisz in a dress and trench alongside a suited Darren Aronofsky
Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage


Oscar-nominated director, producer, and writer Darren Aronofsky, 53, and Oscar-winning actress and producer Rachel Weisz, 52.

How They Met

According to The Telegraph, Aronofsky and Weisz met backstage at the Almeida Theatre in London in 2001. The actress was starring in a play produced by the Requiem for a Dream director's friend, Neil LaBute.

By the following year, Weisz had relocated to New York to be with Aronofsky. "We're very happy," she told New York Magazine.

Rachel Weisz in a red halter dress and Darren Aronofsky in a dark gray suit
J. Vespa/WireImage

Though the couple sought to keep details of their relationship out of the press, Weisz confirmed their engagement in 2005, telling Evening Standard that they planned to wed in New York's oldest synagogue and that Narciso Rodriguez would be designing her gown.

Weisz also mentioned that she "definitely" wanted to have children.

Less than a year later, Aronofsky and Weisz welcomed a son named Henry.

Why We Loved Them

Weisz certainly enabled some questionable fashion choices on Aronofsky's part (see: every fedora), but still, they coordinated remarkably well.

Rachel Weisz in a printed dress alongside Darren Aronofsky in a gray shirt and fedora
BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky on the red carpet in coordinated white formalwear
Francois Durand/Getty Images
Rachel Weisz in a fitted dress alongside Darren Aronofsky wearing an open buttoned-down shirt and fedora
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

When They Peaked

The fog of mystery that had previously shrouded Aronofsky and Weisz's relationship parted when the director (reluctantly) cast his fiancée in The Fountain.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were initially attached to the film, bolstering the budget to blockbuster levels. The sets were being built, shooting was about to begin, and Pitt dropped out. The entire production was scrapped, but Aronofsky couldn't let go. With a revamped script and pared-down budget, The Fountain found a new lead: Hugh Jackman. According to Weisz, it was Jackman's idea that she take on the role originally meant for Blanchett.

"We just drew a line there," Weisz told The Telegraph of her and Aronofsky's previous stance on working together. "You have your real life and then you have your work."

Still adhering to that logic, Aronofsky and Weisz made an unorthodox decision: they'd live apart while filming.

"We made a decision before we started that if we were going to do it we had to have good boundaries," Weisz told The Independent — one of said "boundaries" manifesting in her moving out of their shared N.Y.C. apartment for three months.

Rachel Weisz wearing cream separates and Darren Aronofsky in an open blue shirt with white tank
Steve Finn/Getty Images

Weisz told The Daily Telegraph that Aronofsky "was so busy when he was at work, he only had time to be the director," adding, "He didn't have time to be my boyfriend."

Despite any previous misgivings, both parties acknowledged that working together was fine — beneficial, even.

"We had an intimacy that we were able to translate into work as well," Aronofsky told The Guardian.

"There are success stories and people who end up splitting up," Weisz explained in the same interview, "but we did OK."

In fact, things were so professional on set that it got … weird?

In an interview with BlackBook Magazine, Jackman reminisced about shooting a steamy scene between him and Weisz.

Rachel Weisz in a black gown and holding an Oscar alongside a suited Darren Aronofsky
Toni Anne Barson Archive/WireImage

"There was a scene that called for me falling into the bath with Rachel. I was fully clothed, and we started to kiss, which was meant to be the end of the scene. Darren, who was sitting no less than three yards from us, never called cut, but like good pros we carried on until my pants started coming off, which is when we started laughing. Darren screamed, 'Why didn't you take his pants off, Rachel?' And she yelled back, 'Because I was shy!'"


The Breakup

In November 2009, four years into their engagement, Weisz told Redbook that she and Aronofsky were "completely committed to 'until death do us part,'" and noted there was no "particular reason" they'd yet to tie the knot.

Almost exactly one year later, People reported that the couple had called off their engagement. The former couple's reps confirmed they'd "been separated for some months," adding that they "remain close friends and are committed to raising their son together in NYC."

Earlier in 2010, it was announced that Aronofsky and Weisz would collaborate once more — this time for the Jackie Kennedy Onassis biopic Jackie. Of course, both the star and director pulled out after their split, their roles ultimately going to Natalie Portman and Pablo Larraín, respectively.

Rachel Weisz in a green gown and a suited Darren Aronofsky posing in front of a beach
Nick Wall/WireImage

Soon after the split, Weisz began dating her Dream House co-star Daniel Craig. While the couple had known each other long before they got together, Weisz insisted things had remained strictly friendly between them while she was with Aronofsky. "It wasn't really like that," she reportedly said when asked if it had been love at first sight, "We'd been friends for ages."

Like Weisz, Aronofsky has dodged questions about his ex in interviews since the split. "It's a little too fresh," he told New York Magazine in the months following the breakup announcement. "Maybe if you write a book about me in ten years," he allowed (it's been exactly ten years, by the way … ).

Where They Are Now

Aronofsky's name landed in the tabloids again in September 2016, when he began dating Mother! star Jennifer Lawrence (so much for not mixing personal and professional) — they split a year later.

Next up for the celebrated director is The Whale starring Brendan Fraser. Its U.S. release, slated for December 2022, will mark the first directorial feature for Aronofsky since 2017.

Weisz and Craig wed in June 2011, less than a year after she and Aronofsky split. "I couldn't imagine doing it," she told Harper's Bazaar of marriage. "It just at that moment became the right thing." They welcomed their first child together in the latter half of 2018.

The Oscar-winner is keeping busy with a slew of upcoming projects, including starring in and producing a remake of the 1988 cult classic, Dead Ringers, as well as portraying Elizabeth Taylor in the biopic, A Special Relationship.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.

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