Rachel Weisz: The Beauty Down the Block

Who wouldn't want to be Rachel Weisz? Gorgeous, gifted, and charming, she's the most interesting girl-next-door you'll ever meet--if you happen to live in New York's East Village, that is.

--By Eve MacSweeney.

"Cool, bohemian, sort of edgy. Not uptown-y at all."

Rachel Weisz is sitting in her favorite Moroccan cafe, eating a lunch of eggs and hummus and describing the person she became for the photographs on these pages. "I remember someone once telling me that the definition of good styling is when you look at the picture and you want to be the woman in the photos. Well, I want to be that girl!" she declares.

To many--not least the denizens of the East Village, where she has lived for the past year--she already is. Though she may not regularly be seen dressed up in Halloween finery or punkish, cobwebby knits, with her dark beauty, enigmatic reserve, and free-spirited career choices, she appears to have carved out an enviably independent path as a major movie star, with an Oscar to her credit, who appears to do exactly what she wants.

[Video] Vogue Diaries: Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz took a break from her October shoot to chat about snooping, style, punk, and being a kid again.

For an idiosyncratic soul, what better place for British-born Weisz to put down roots with her fiance, director Darren Aronofsky, and Henry, their two-year-old son? Gazing up from the table and out through the window of the restaurant, she points to a building across the street. "Just looking over there, it says, 'Polish and Slavic Center,' " she observes, reading its low-tech sign. "Everyone talks about how New York used to be. The East Village is how I imagine New York used to be. What's happening behind that door? There are just very authentic little pockets of life going on."

For the full story and exclusive images, head over to vogue.com or check out the October issue of Vogue--on stands September 23rd.

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