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My Cousin Rachel is a novel by British author Daphne du Maurier, published in 1951. Like the earlier Rebecca, it is a mystery-romance, set primarily on a large estate in Cornwall. The story has its origins in a portrait of Rachel Carew at Antony House in Cornwall, which du Maurier saw and took as inspiration.
The first film adaptation My Cousin Rachel, starring Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland, was released in 1952. Du Maurier and original director George Cukor reviewed a screenplay draft and found it unfaithful to the novel, with du Maurier declaring it "Quite desperate." Cukor was afterwards replaced with Henry Koster. The latest adaptation directed by Roger Michell, stars Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Iain Glen and Holliday Granger and was shot on location in the beautiful English Countryside of Surrey.
The story centres around a young Englishman (Sam Claflin) seeks who revenge against his beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), but soon finds himself falling under the spell of her mysterious charm.
The plot is mysterious and clever, taking the audience on a journey and letting us decide if Rachel is indeed an evil murderer and money grubber or perhaps not at all. Rachel Weisz is wonderful in the lead role and plays mean and manipulative perfectly.
Sam Claflin (Me Before You, The Hunger Games) plays Philip, a rather moody young man of means in the 19th century, always complaining about the place with his dogs and his horses, pretty short-tempered with the estate workers. He is, moreover, disagreeable about women, whom he regards as an alien race, despite the fact that the lovely young Louise (Holliday Grainger), daughter of family lawyer Mr Kendall (Iain Glen - Game of Thrones), is plainly in love with him.
I spoke with star Rachel Weisz in London about working on this film and how she knows when she can trust someone or not.