‘The Mummy’s’ Rachel Weisz Reveals the ‘Funniest Line’ She Ever Had to Say

Rachel Weisz has revealed the funniest line “she ever had to say” ahead of The Mummy’s 25th anniversary.

The English actress starred as librarian Evelyn “Eevee” Carnahan in the 1999 adventure-horror movie, which returns to theaters on Friday.

Early in the film, Eevee attempts to return a library book to a high shelf while standing on a ladder. However, she stumbles, knocking the bookcases down like a stack of Dominos.

Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, The Mummy
Main: Rachel Weisz (left) and Brendan Fraser in “The Mummy” (1999). Inset: Rachel Weisz attends the screening of “Dead Ringers” at BFI Southbank on April 11, 2023 in London, England. The film is returning to…
“The books,” she whispers, surveying the carnage around her.

Recounting the scene, Weisz told Newsweek: “I got given the funniest line I probably ever had to say—’The books,’ after all these bookshelves crashed into each other.”

Although it makes up less than two minutes of the movie, the library scene was difficult to film. The falling bookshelves were captured in one continuous take, using a 360-degree camera rig.

If they’d failed to get the shot, it would have taken a day to set the shelves—including 12,000 books—back up again.

“Lucky we did get it in one take,” Weisz said. “We had some brilliant technicians [and] my ladder seemed pretty safe.”

A remake of the 1933 Boris Karloff movie, The Mummy follows adventurer Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), aspiring Egyptologist Eevee, and her good-for-nothing brother Jonathan (John Hannah) as they travel to Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead.

The trio accidentally awakens Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), an invincible mummy cursed to wreak havoc across the world, while also attempting to resurrect his dead girlfriend Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velaquez).

Rachel Weisz  and Brendon Fraser, The MummyRachel Weisz (right) and Brendon Fraser in “The Mummy,” 1999. The film was a surprise hit and made Weisz and Fraser mega stars. FRANK TRAPPER/CORBIS ENTERTAINMENT
The Mummy was a surprise hit that transformed Weisz and co-star Brendan Fraser into household names. The Oscar nominee remembers the film and its 2021 sequel, The Mummy Returns, fondly, describing the experience as “very, very joyful.”

“It was not a heavy going set,” Weisz said. “Brendon and John are both just really gorgeous and open-hearted people.

“I think we had really good chemistry. We really got on and everyone threw their heart and soul into it.”

Although the 54-year-old was not a fan of horror films, Weisz was immediately drawn to the role of Eevee.

“It was the 90s and a lot of the women’s parts were not very interesting,” she said.

“[Eevee] was just a very unusual female character. She was a librarian, and she was in the middle of this action movie. She was funny and kind of mischievous and honest.”

However, perhaps the biggest challenge for Weisz was learning to ride a camel for the race scene.

After finding the hidden location of Hamunaptra, Eevee, Rick and Jonathan rush to the city on camel-back before their American archaeologist rivals—played by Stephen Dunham, Tuc Watkins and Corey Johnson—can reach it.

“I knew how to ride a horse, but that didn’t help at all,” Weisz said. “They’re quite different creatures to ride and their gait is very different.

“It’s extraordinarily not comfortable and they don’t really like to run in the hot desert, but it was very exciting to learn to learn to ride them and to get to know them.”

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