Aussie beauty Samara Weaving started gaining fame with American audiences with a handful of take-notice roles in TV’s Ash vs Evil Dead, the lively Monster Trucks, and indie horror Mayhem. Although it took Weaving a little while to break into Hollywood properly, back home she was already a star thanks to her four-year stint on the hugely popular soap Home and Away.
Of course, with a surname like Weaving, she was always destined to be somebody. The niece of a famous Lord of the Rings actor has worked hard to forge her own path, finding her niche in the horror world, which is as far away from Middle Earth as you can possibly get. After turning to drama initially because of her shyness, Weaving has grown gradually more comfortable in the public eye. But she still gets anxious about all eyes being on her.
This is the untold truth of Samara Weaving.
Samara Weaving was drawn to performance as a coping mechanism
Although Uncle Hugo was in the biz, young Samara Weaving didn’t have big dreams of being in front of the camera — quite the opposite, in fact. As she explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, her family moved around a lot, which led to a sense of instability for the youngster. Although Weaving admitted she was “always performing” for them, it was her parents who encouraged her to start acting to help ease the transition into new environments.
“When I started school, I was sort of shy, so my parents put me in drama school to help with that. There was never a lightbulb moment of ‘Oh, this is what I want to do,'” she explained. In fact, although Weaving never consciously decided it was what she wanted to do, performing ended up helping more than she could’ve anticipated, with the actress admitting, “It was almost a coping mechanism; it’s kind of like therapy for me.”
Samara Weaving chose acting over college
Samara Weaving may have initially begun acting to help with moving between schools and even countries as a child, but, as time progressed, it became clear the budding performer was headed for a life less ordinary. The Aussie told Collider, when Home and Away came knocking, she “had a big decision whether I go to university because I was working during high school.” She continued, “And then, yeah, Home and Away offered me the three-year gig, and it was straight out of high school.”
Most parents would balk at the mere suggestion of their child foregoing college for a soap opera, but Weaving is the daughter of a prolific filmmaker and film professor, as well as the niece of a successful actor, so she had the ideal people to advise her. “They were really supportive and were like, ‘Well, what do you really want to do?’ And I thought about it and, ‘Yeah, I want to be an actor,'” she shared. “And they’re like, ‘Well, you can go to school for that or just learn on the job.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, yeah.’ Because they would say, if that’s your end result and you’ve got an opportunity, then take it.”
Samara Weaving has no interest in playing damsels in distress
Taking even a cursory glance at Samara Weaving’s IMDb page, it’s clear she’s choosy about roles. When discussing playing Grace, a spurned bride hunted by her new husband’s family on her wedding day, in horror-comedy Ready Or Not, she explained to Den of Geek that playing damsels in distress is not in her repertoire. In fact, if the filmmakers hadn’t been open to making Grace the strongest possible version of herself, Weaving wouldn’t have taken her on.
The Aussie actress is intent on reflecting real life in her work. “I really wanted to avoid playing the very typical, illogical, distressed protagonist. I argued for her to make fast, logical decisions in moments of extreme confusion and panic. The women I know, they’re absolute heroes in stressful situations,” she stated. “Women go through a lot, they can think on their feet, and rarely do they make — you know, they wouldn’t run up the stairs, they’d run down the stairs; they would try to escape.”
Samara Weaving was confused by her introduction to her famous uncle’s work
Growing up the niece of a massive star like Hugo Weaving wasn’t actually that weird because, by her own admission, young Samara Weaving didn’t become aware of his fame until she was nearly a teenager. As she admitted to Birth.Movies.Death, the first movie Weaving caught her uncle in wasn’t exactly the clearest exposure to his work. “It was The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, an Australian classic, and he’s in drag for most of it. I think I was 12 when I saw it, and I was like, ‘Why is Uncle Hugo wearing a dress?’ [Laughs] ‘He’s an actor, that’s what he does!’ That was very funny,” she explained.
At least she didn’t feel like she was in his shadow for most of her life. Weaving made it clear, however, that she’s a massive fan of Uncle Hugo’s work, noting, “I love seeing him in the theater, on stage, and of course The Matrix is amazing.”
Samara Weaving’s still a scaredy cat when it comes to horror movies
She’s made a name for herself as a bit of a scream queen in training, following roles in Ash vs Evil Dead, Mayhem, Ready or Not, and Netflix’s The Babysitter, but in spite of appearing in horror movies, Samara Weaving still has a hard time actually watching them herself. A hilarious video on Twitter, shared by her fiancé, showed the actress struggling to watch It, curled up in a chair, eyes wide, and evidently it wasn’t an isolated incident.
Speaking to Film School Rejects, Weaving admitted, “I’m such a scaredy cat. I couldn’t watch 101 Dalmatians when I was like nine because Cruella was too scary.” However, she’s since “grown really fond of the genre.” Reiterating that It was “too scary” for her, she name-checked classics A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Scream as her go-to choices. Weaving explained to Bloody Disgusting that she like classics “because you can kind of see the strings being pulled.” However, modern horror is simply “too real” for her.
Samara Weaving’s bucket list role is as the ultimate Hollywood starlet
Film School Rejects pressured Samara Weaving to choose a favorite role, but she diplomatically stated, “I think I’ve been really lucky in the versatility of the roles I’ve played. … There have been golden moments in all the projects over the last couple years. I’m a very lucky lady.” When asked about how she chooses roles, Weaving explained, “It’s usually a gut feeling. If I’m afraid of the role and know it’s going to be a challenge that excites me. I love figuring out the layers of a character. It’s like a puzzle and hopefully, I get all the pieces in place before the cameras roll.”
She may already feel blessed by the roles she’s offered, but there’s still one character Weaving would love to play at some stage in her career. As she revealed to Women’s Wear Daily, she’s “had a passion to play Marilyn Monroe for a really long time,” adding, “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list.”
People crossed the street to avoid Samara Weaving while she was in character
Guns Akimbo, the follow-up to Kiwi filmmaker Jason Lei Howden’s fan favorite heavy metal horror Deathgasm, finds Samara Weaving occupying another strong female character, albeit one who’s completely different to any other she’s played. Starring as Nix, the unhinged ex-girlfriend of Daniel Radcliffe’s slacker antihero, required a “wild” transformation on the actress’ part.
As she told Bloody Disgusting, “I had tattoos all over my hands and face and I had a black and silver mullet and no eyebrows. Fangs.” As a result, regular people didn’t react too kindly to her out in public. “It was like a social experiment. People would cross the street to get away from me. Because most of the time, because the turnaround is different in Australia, because we filmed it in New Zealand and I was under Equity, not SAG, so most of the time because it took like four or five hours to get into makeup, so I’d just go home with it on,” she explained.
Sometimes, people would outright avoid her in the street. “Yeah, people would run away. I’d try and buy groceries and they would look very concerned,” Weaving recalled.
Australia taught Samara Weaving to be more relaxed about Hollywood
She’s been settled in Los Angeles for a while now but, as Samara Weaving told Refinery29, it was her Australian heritage that prepared her to stay cool about Hollywood. “In Australia, everything is much smaller, and there are less actors. There definitely is that allure to going over to [Hollywood] because everything seems to be happening over there. You assume that if you can make it in Hollywood, you will be okay and be able to work as an actor,” she shared. “It can be really daunting, but the Australian culture can teach you to have a sense of humor about [the business] and making movies.”
Still, there are certain things about Oz that she misses, as Weaving admitted to Qantas. If she could take transport one thing from home to L.A., it’d be “the beaches.” She explained, “I live in West Hollywood, which is about an hour away from the nearest beach when you take traffic into account. The trick is to make friends with people who have pools.”
Samara Weaving is embracing the cultural divide with her fiance
Cultural divides are naturally a big part of Samara Weaving’s life, as a transplant to America. However, she’s embracing them with fiancé Jimmy Warden, with whom she worked on The Babysitter. The two got engaged in March 2019, with Weaving writing on Instagram, “You know you’re loved when you can eat a ham and cheese toastie in bed and your fiancé says that’s beautiful.”
The couple has been together a long time, but Weaving is eager to learn more about Warden’s family’s culture, telling Noovie, “He’s Jewish, so I loved learning about that side of the culture, because my family, we’re not that religious at all. And neither is Jimmy’s family, but I loved the tradition, because it’s not just a religion. It’s your race and the culture, and it’s really fun.”
Weaving even revealed the two had joined forces for a very special celebration, stating, “We celebrated Hanukkah this year. My parents came to America and we celebrated that with them, laying the candles and reading the hymns. It was really beautiful to learn that.”
Samara Weaving thought she’d be fired for hitting Andie MacDowell for real
Over the course of her career, Samara Weaving has worked with the likes of Steven Yeun (on Mayhem), Bruce Campbell (on Ash vs Evil Dead), and Frances McDormand (on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). But, for Ready or Not, she tussled with an icon for real when the Aussie actor mistakenly hit a very famous co-star full in the face.
Appearing on The Big Ticket, the Variety film podcast, as reported by the publication, Weaving admitted, “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident. It was horrible. It was the first day I met her.” It was during rehearsals when Weaving hit MacDowell with a prop brick “real bad” in the head. Weaving recalled, “Everyone freaked out because we didn’t know she was so cool at the time. We were like, ‘Is she going to quit the movie? Is she doing to yell at me. Am I going to be fired?'” But thankfully, the legendary actress “was great.” Weaving added, “She was like, ‘I just need some ice and it’s fine, everyone. Let’s go again.'”
Samara Weaving won’t be getting married in a white dress
Ready Or Not puts Samara Weaving’s Grace in a stunning lace wedding dress, then spends the following 90 minutes completely destroying it, which is strangely cathartic as a female viewer. As The Hollywood Reporter noted in an interview with her, the production had 17 dresses for Weaving, 17 for her body double, and another 17 for her stunt performer. The Aussie wore all 17 over the course of the movie, with the actress sharing, “It was quite cool seeing them on the rack in the wardrobe department. You could see the story in the dresses … and it just gets crazier and crazier and grosser and grosser.”
With her own nuptials on the cards, THR wondered whether she’d stashed any away for the big day. Unfortunately, you won’t find them in her closet. “I don’t know where they are. I know [co-director] Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] took my shoes, but I’m definitely gonna need memorabilia,” she admitted. In reality, Weaving doesn’t intend to wear a white dress at all, so Ready or Not didn’t put her off. She explained, “I always imagined I’d get married in a red dress. So, the white dress was already off the table.”
Samara Weaving loves the taste of fake blood
Given the amount of fake blood Samara Weaving is covered in on movie sets, it stands to reason she’d be a bit sick of the red stuff. She acknowledged to Birth.Movies.Death that, by the end of filming Mayhem and The Babysitter, her “bathtub was pink,” noting, “My hair was pink, everything was pink.” It wasn’t all bad, though, as Weaving admitted she loved the taste, revealing that fake blood is “actually delicious” and “made of some kind of syrup.”
Getting rid of the stuff can be a problem, however, as she explained to Noovie. “When you’re wearing it all day every day, it can get quite irritating because your hair’s all stuck to you and your clothes are all sticky … It’s really hard to get off!” she admitted. It puts her in dodgy situations too, as Weaving revealed, “My fiancé was staying with me in Toronto … I forgot my key, and I was tapping on the glass door. And the man at the lobby saw this woman wearing pajamas covered in blood and didn’t want to let me in.” She noted that “they were too terrified,” adding, “They didn’t trust me!”
Samara Weaving has crippling social anxiety
Playing tough-as-nails ladies onscreen might come relatively easily to Samara Weaving, but, in real life, she’s battling her inner voice pretty much constantly. She revealed in an interview with Vulture, “I’m totally taking a vacation with these women [characters]. It’s very therapeutic, because I am the most anxious introvert ever. I have terrible social anxiety.” Weaving admitted she hates doing press, too, describing it as “truly terrifying.”
She also noted, “I can’t confront anyone. I can’t remember the last time I got mad at someone. It’s way too scary, and I’m in such awe of people who can. It seems like such a nice thing to do. I’d just be filled with regret, like, immediately after.” She went on, “I’d probably say the wrong thing, and I’m one of the people who stands in the shower after talking to an annoying person and goes ‘Oh, I should’ve said that!'” The actress doesn’t even want to drive a car, as she’s so terrified about getting distracted and accidentally killing “like seven civilians.”
Samara Weaving doesn’t mind the Margot Robbie comparisons
Blonde. Australian. Born in the early ’90s. Star of a super popular soap opera. Margot Robbie and Samara Weaving have a lot in common, not least the fact they look strikingly similar — at least, according to certain people. Although actors may find such comparisons limiting, especially female actors, Weaving welcomes it, telling The Daily Beast, “I hang out with Margot, and I mean, it’s so flattering that people think I look like her. And it’s great if it makes people go see the movie [Ready or Not].”
Weaving also gushed to Marie Claire Australia about Robbie, saying, “She’s just delightful. She’s so talented and so funny, she’s amazing.” The actress noted she’d had meetings with Robbie’s production company, so they may be teaming up on a project in the future. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph’s Stellar Magazine (via the Daily Mail), again acknowledging the flattering comparison, Weaving noted, “I hope that people realize pitting two women against each other is just silly. It’s bizarre, really.”