Rachel Weisz is currently promoting her new movie, Denial, and she recently revealed her own family's horrific experience with the Holocaust.
The actress is the daughter of two Jewish refugees, and she explained to PEOPLE how her mother escaped the Holocaust.
“Both of my parents were [Jewish] refugees from Eastern Europe. My mom, she got out of Austria, the first country to fall to Hitler, in 1939. Anti-Semitic laws had been passed already, so it was a very anti-Semitic climate,” she says. “My mom’s dad had a friend in England named Rev. James Parkes who was a scholar on anti-Semitism. He got my mom and her family out — he saved their lives.”
Denial is about the famous case of Holocaust denier David Irving, and Rachel Weisz is playing professor Deborah Lipstadt, who won the 2000 court case against him.
“I had heard about the trial, but I didn’t know about it in any great detail,” she told PEOPLE. “About a month before we began filming, Deborah and I sat in my kitchen for a couple of days and talked. The deniers called it the Holohoax.”
Watch the trailer here: