Weisz to star in steamy antics of 'Erotic Review'

When Rowan Pelling's husband told her Rachel Weisz had phoned, the former editor of The Erotic Review was "completely flabbergasted".

The motive for the call was still more surprising. The Oscar-winning actress had called Pelling because she was interested in making a film based on the journalist's unfinished account of her rumbustious reign at the journal.

The star is now set to recreate the heyday of The Erotic Review, which grew from a newsletter to become the titillating publication of choice for naughty old colonels and Soho intelligentsia.

Pelling is still writing the memoir on which the film will be based. The opportunity to be played by one of the world's most glamorous actresses arose when Weisz's agent sent her the proposal for the book.

The story of the nice English girl who became editor of an erotic magazine appealed to Weisz, who told Vogue she was drawn to its "sexy, comic potential".

Weisz said: "I love the distance between who she was, a sort of Home Counties girl, and the persona she had to create when she was editing the magazine."

Now a columnist for The Independent on Sunday, Pelling worked at Private Eye and GQ, before joining the Erotic Print Society in 1995, initially to answer the phone. Her flirtatious telephone manner proved a hit and she was soon running the Society's newsletter. In 1997, Jamie Maclean who ran the Society turned the newsletter into The Erotic Review.

When she took over two years later Pelling oversaw a title that combined eroticism with humour and literary merit, sending subscriptions up to 30,000 a month.

Contributors included Auberon Waugh, the Booker prize winner DBC Pierre, Alain de Botton, Kathy Lette, Sarah Waters and Michel Faber.

The Erotic Review was famed for its long lunches, held at the Academy Club in Soho, where staff and guests would indulge in steamy antics - Pelling's assistant was once handcuffed to a chair by a contributor brandishing a cat-o'-nine-tails.

In 2001, the title parted company with the Society and Pelling and her staff were left trying to raise funds, at one point stripping off to pose for a nude editorial photo shoot. Pelling bought the magazine for a nominal £1, selling it to Dennis Publishing two years later.

But despite Felix Dennis's initial enthusiasm, in 2004 The Erotic Review was sold to the publishers of Penthouse UK and has since dwindled into obscurity as a quarterly.

Pelling said she was "extremely flattered" at the prospect of being played by Weisz, who recently won an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in The Constant Gardener.

"She's obviously far too beautiful and sophisticated and glorious to be linked even to a fictionalised version of The Erotic Review thing. I'm not in her class," said Pelling, who has met Weisz to discuss the project.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

Guru Careers: Product Design Engineer / UX Designer

£20 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a tech savvy Product Design Engineer /...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: German speaking Account Manager / ...

Guru Careers: System Administrator / Sys Admin

£23 - 30K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a System Ad...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor