I don’t think enough people talk about Samara Weaving. That’s the cut and thrust of this blog. Basically, I think she should be in the same kinds of conversations as Margot Robbie, but thus far she’s flown a little under the radar and I’m not sure why.
Let’s look at the evidence. Namely, her filmography. I’d say she broke through in 2017 — in that people began to know who she was and she started to get lead roles. That year she had both Mayhem (2017) and The Babysitter (2017). In the former she starred opposite Steven Yuen (another up-and-comer at the time), in a movie where a virus turns a bunch of office workers murderous.
Her character, along with Yuen’s, have to make their way up through the building for a final showdown with the big brass. It’s a fairly silly albeit violent movie, and overall it’s quite fun. Plus it introduced many of us to the strange and unusual type of twisted comedy Samara brings to the screen, and what she will come to be known for.
That same year, in black comedy horror The Babysitter (2017) she does more of the same, but adds a bit more sex and allure to the mix playing the titular babysitter, a woman who also happens to be the head of a devil-worshipping cult.
Sexy, and crazy. What a combination, I’m sold.
Two years later, in 2019, she had another double whammy with Ready Or Not (2019), where she plays a gun-toting and blood-spattered bride who attempts to stay alive while the mad family she’s marrying into try to kill her. She’s no damsel in distress though, and arguably the most bad ass bride since Kill Bill’s Beatrix Kiddo. Which is no doubt another reason why people love her.
That same year she does Guns Akimbo (2019), although, due to weird distribution reasons and then covid, this movie didn’t come out in the UK until 2021. It’s a blast though. In this one she plays a stone-cold psycho called Nix, who hunts Daniel Radcliffe’s character for the majority of the movie.
She doesn’t have a lot to work with in terms of character, but she still gives her part depth. Something I suspect was lacking in the script.
As ever, I’m left wanting to see more of her.
Moving a little away from the violence but sticking with the comedy, she then does Bill and Ted Face The Music (2020), playing Bill’s daughter. I’ve yet to see this movie, but I was a big Bill and Ted fan growing up, so it’s on my list. Part of me worries it’s a movie that didn’t really need to exist, but you could make that argument for lots of sequels.
I hope we haven’t seen the last of her doing the dark and violent comedies, and the horror, because she’s great in these parts, and she can do what few other actresses can in these sorts of stories: namely, both the comedy, violence and drama, all in one delightful package.
Speaking of drama…
She seems to be moving in that direction with her recent choices. For example she plays an influencer with body dysmorphia in mini series Nine Perfect Strangers (2021), which stars Nicole Kidman and Michael Shannon, and is adapted from Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name (one of her other books, Big Little Lies, was also turned into a successful mini series with Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep – I recommend it).
She’s also top billing in Damien Chizelle’s upcoming movie Babylon (2022), alongside Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt. This film looks at the golden age of Hollywood which, given Chizelle’s last movie was La La Land (2016), is no huge surprise. Still, he’s a very good director, and the cast for this movie across the board is impressive.
So, to sum up…
I guess I just want to put it out there that I’m a huge fan of Weaving and always here for what she does next, particularly if it happens to be dark comedy horror. She needs a bigger stage, although it does look like she’s beginning to get those parts and work with those directors. I imagine after working with Chizelle her career is going to go through the roof. Well deserved, I say.