Three Great Things: Samara Weaving

The Australian actress, whose new movie Chevalier is in theaters Friday, on her love of critters, cheese and Taskmaster.

Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. To mark the April 21 theatrical release through Searchlight Pictures of the historical biopic Chevalier, starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton and Minnie Driver, fan-favorite Weaving shared some of the things that bring her the most joy in life. — N.D.

I really love the show Taskmaster. I’ve never laughed more than when I watched Season 7, the one with James Acaster on it. My friend introduced it to me during the pandemic, and I think I watched five seasons in the course of two weeks. Now if I’m ever in a sad mood, I’ll just pop that on and feel all better.

I am very good at doing nothing, so Taskmaster really helped me through lockdown. I understand how privileged I am that I could stay in my house, that I don’t have children or too many responsibilities, so I could just lie about and watch Taskmaster. I’d never seen anything like it. Everyone just goes insane on that show and it reminded me of how silly life is, how we’re all just doing these stupid little tasks. I would love to be a contestant on the show, or a show like it. That would be amazing.

Sometimes there are really long tasks, but it usually turns out that people could have figured it out in five minutes if they’d really wanted to. People overthink it, but really it’s very logical. There are so many tasks I love, but maybe my favorite is the one where the contestants had to write and read out a 10-word story whilst running a race. One of them was having trouble writing it in time before they crossed the finish line, so they were just going in circles. It was so funny.

My Pets
This is a really obvious choice, but I love my pets. They’re insane. I have adopted two animals: a dog called Muriel and a cat called Virginia. And they get along, which is the sweetest thing in the world. Muriel is a supermutt and has a little underbite and is very needy and ridiculous and very nice. And Virginia is a really hot cat. She’s a very sexy cat and she knows it. She prowls around and shows off her face whenever she can. The two of them hold hands at night, which is really sweet. We didn’t crate train them very well, so they sleep on the bed at night. It’s the greatest. They are the best alarm clock ever.

They came to us with those names, but I like that Muriel is called Muriel because it reminds me of Muriel’s Wedding. My husband and I really struggle with names. We should be better, especially as he’s a writer. But we overthink it and get too stressed and then we just name them what they came to us as. But I do like that, because we call the cat “Ginny” and my husband’s name is Jimmy, so he gets confused about who I’m talking to, which is hilarious.

We’ve had Muriel (aka “Muzzy”) for four years and Ginny for a year. When Ginny came, she was still a kitten and Muriel didn’t really know what she was. You could see her thinking, “Is that a dog? No. What is that? It’s not a squirrel …” She was almost more frightened of Ginny than Ginny was of her. They got into a few fights and then it became an amicable relationship and now, I dare say, they might be friends.

I’m trying to think of something really profound, but all that’s coming into my head is “cheese.” I have a deep love of cheese, but it’s so sad, because I’m lactose intolerant. It’s a love-hate relationship, but I can’t stay away. Cheese is like a boyfriend who’s no good for me. I keep going back to cheese, even though it’s so cruel to me!

There are lactose intolerance pills I can take that help a little bit, but they don’t help that much. If I eat a wheel of brie, I know it’s not going to be great. I sometimes have a charcuterie board for dinner – I don’t know why that isn’t accepted as a full meal. Whatever. Sometimes I’ll have prosciutto, salami and a cheddar and a brie. Oh, and some grapes. I’ll be in pain after that, but I still love it. There are, of course, dietary alternatives, but sadly, vegan cheeses just don’t cut it for me. The people making them haven’t cracked it yet, as far as I’m concerned. So I’ll go cold turkey for a while, but then cheese sneaks back into my life and I can feel it looking at me and I’m looking at it. And then we make out and it’s over.

Featured image, showing Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Samara Weaving in Chevalier, is courtesy Searchlight Pictures.

Samara Weaving is currently starring as Marie-Josephine opposite Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucy Boynton and Minnie Driver in the Searchlight Pictures biopic Chevalier, in theaters from Friday. She was recently seen in Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle’s Babylon; Hulu’s limited series Nine Perfect Strangers, alongside Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy; Bill & Ted Face the Music, opposite Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter; Ryan Murphy’s award-winning mini-series Hollywood; and the cult horror comedy Ready or Not. Her other credits include Amazon’s miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock, Martin McDonagh’s smash hit Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, opposite Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell, and McG’s The Babysitter and its 2020 sequel, The Babysitter: Killer Queen. She currently resides in Los Angeles.