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Together We Will Live Forever
Aronofsky's search for someone to embody the object of Tom's unrelenting love ended with Rachel Weisz, an Academy Award winner for her role in 2005's "The Constant Gardener.” Weisz portrays both Isabel, Queen of Spain, and Tommy Creo's ailing wife, Izzi, in the present-day story.

"The script was one of the most exhilarating pieces of writing I've ever read,” declares the actress. "It was so emotional and thought-provoking—I sobbed like a baby after I finished it.”

Weisz was especially inspired by her character's journey in the present. "Izzi is a regular person. She's being confronted by the fact that she is going to die much sooner than she wants, but she ultimately accepts her fate and makes peace with it. I think she's very brave.”

Aronofsky concurs, "We all wish we could face death the way Izzi faces it. She's in the prime of her life and she's going to have to leave everyone she loves behind, yet she manages to do so with grace.”

"If I were in her position, I hope I would have the courage to behave the way Izzi does,” says Weisz. "So many people go out kicking and screaming.”

To create a character with the emotional fortitude to make the transition from life to death, Aronofsky and collaborator Handel talked to nurses who regularly deal with the terminally ill. Handel reveals, "For the most part they suggested that people come to some kind of acceptance of their death, even if it's just a breath before it happens.”

Aronofsky confirms, "They said that it's often the families of terminally ill patients who have more difficulty letting go.”

Such is the case with Tommy who would rather run from Izzi's death than face the reality that she is going to succumb to her disease. Says Weisz, "When Izzi gives Tommy her manuscript and asks him to ‘finish it,' it's her way of ultimately saying, ‘Learn to be with yourself. Don't feel guilty about not being able to save me. Learn to accept your own mortality and you'll find this peace, too. For the first time, you won't be afraid.'”

"Izzi wants Tommy to experience her passing with her,” adds Handel. "She wants to share this very significant thing with the person she's spent her life with. She wants to die with Tommy present, not absent.”

"Right from the start, Izzi is saying to Tommy, ‘Okay, I know I'm going to die and I'm okay with it, but will you just be with me during these moments? Will you look at the stars with me, and read my book and take a walk in the first snow?'” Watson says. "But Tommy can't do that because he feels like he will be failing Izzi if he accepts her death, so he keeps fighting.”

"For Tommy, this is about hope versus acceptance,” clarifies Jackman. "If someone's sick, you make them get better. Tommy needs to be optimistic for Izzi; he has to believe he can save her.”

In fact, it may be the only way Tommy can save himself.

Weisz sums up the relationship. "Tommy and Izzi have a very strong and very mature relationship. She's found her understanding and now she's there patiently, lovingly saying to Tommy, ‘Let it go, live life—live fully and die fully. All the courage you're putting into fighting death and protecting me, use that courage to face death because that is the greatest liberation.”

Also starring in the film is Oscar, Golden Globe, and Tony Award-winning actress Ellyn Burstyn, who received her sixth Academy Award nomination for her performance in Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream.” In "The Fountain,” she portrays Tommy's mentor, Dr. Lillian Guzetti, who also shares a special kinship with Weisz' Izzi. "Ellen told me that I'd better have a part in this film for her, which was fine because I'd written Lilly with her in mind,” says Aronofsky. "She's a great connector for Tommy and Izzi.”

"Lilly has been a mentor to Tommy and a friend to Iz

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