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Why Dr. Thurston From The Simpsons Sounds So Familiar

The comedy of "The Simpsons" can be attributed to its memorable cast of characters and the show's unique approach to humor. So when you have a character who can tastefully make a satirical jab at current society, there's probably no better show to place them in. This was the case for Dr. Thurston, who appears on Season 22, Episode 7 of "The Simpsons." The episode, entitled "How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window?," sees Bart (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) bond with an injured pigeon who is eventually devoured by the family's dog, Santa's Little Helper. The sudden loss understandably upsets Bart, leading to his disdain. To try solving the issue, Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) and Marge (voiced by Julie Kavner) take Bart to Dr. Thurston, who doubles as both a child and animal psychiatrist. 

Although Hurston doesn't do too much in the episode, she nonetheless makes for a memorable highlight. Her most memorable moment is when Marge expresses her curiosity about Thurston's ability to treat children and animals. The doctor responds, "Hey, in this economy, I'll even remove tattoos." With the episode airing in 2010, the little joke was more than likely worth a chuckle or two from audiences still healing from the Great Recession of the late 2000s. 

Voicing the multi-talented Dr. Thurston is the equally multi-talented actress Rachel Weisz, whose face you'll likely recognize just as much as her voice. 

The Mummy put Weizsz on the map

Although Rachel Weisz would star in several movies throughout the 1990s, such as "Death Machine," "Stealing Beauty," and "Chain Reaction," the latter of which saw her star alongside Keanu Reeves, it would arguably be the end of the decade that the actress saw her breakthrough with the 1999 adventure film "The Mummy." Starring alongside Brendan Fraser, the film acts as a remake of the classic 1932 Universal horror film of the same name starring Boris Karloff and tells the story of explorer Rick O'Connell (Fraser), who travels to the City of the Dead and accidentally awakens the cursed high priest Imhotep, who goes on a rampage as he searches for his long-lost love. Evelyn O'Connell, played by Rachel Weisz, is right by Rick's side. 

The high-spirited librarian is initially uninterested in romance, instead caring more about expanding her knowledge in various fields. Evelyn constantly displays her remarkable intelligence and passion for exploration, especially with her understanding of ancient Egyptian texts and languages that become useful during their daring adventures. As her time with Rick progresses, she showcases an equally solid showcase of her brawn, engaging in hard-hitting sword fights, gun brawls, and saving Rick and others from a scrap or two. 

Weisz would star in the film's sequel, "The Mummy Returns," in 2002 but did not return to the 2008 sequel, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," instead being replaced by "Prisoners" star Maria Bello.

Weisz became an Oscar-winner with The Constant Gardener

The same year that Rachel Weisz starred in the DC Comics film "Constantine," she would hit another high point in her career with the drama thriller "The Constant Gardener." Based on the 2001 John le Carré novel of the same name and helmed by "City of God" director Fernando Meirelles, the film follows a widowed British diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) who tries to hunt down the secret that led to the death of his wife (Weisz), leading to some grander discoveries along the way. 

Earning over $82 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo) and sporting an 83% Fresh Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film became among the most acclaimed films of 2005. It would receive several notable accolades, including four Academy Award nominations for best adapted screenplay, best original score, and best film editing, with its one win being for Weisz's fantastic supporting performance as the ill-fated Tessa Quayle. Weisz would also go on to win a Golden Globe, a British Independent Film Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance (via IMDb).

Weisz had a tall task with the film, as her character is killed off early on in the movie, and much of what we learn about her is through fragmented flashback sequences. Through these snippets, Weisz sells the chemistry between her and Fiennes and endears herself to the audience simultaneously, resulting in another standout career highlight.

Yorgos Lanthimos directed some of her most acclaimed performances

Rachel Weisz is no stranger to the world of indie cinema, with some of her most revered performances coming from such films as "Denial," "The Deep Blue Sea," and "Disobedience." However, amongst the best work within her catalog can be found in the two films she worked on with Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos. Their first collaboration came in 2015 with the offbeat black comedy "The Lobster." The film takes place in a dystopian future where a hotel is full of single people who must find someone to love within a short amount of time, or they will be turned into animals. Weisz plays the short-sighted woman who grows a relationship with the film's protagonist, David (Colin Farrell). The film went on to win the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (via IMDb). 

Weisz and Lanthimos made an even bigger splash in 2018 with the Oscar-winning period drama "The Favourite." In it, Weisz portrays Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who must compete against Baroness Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) to be deemed the court favorite of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). The film saw Weisz balance a self-aware playfulness in her performance with complex emotion, leading to some standout sequences, most notably a quirky dance she performs in front of the queen. Weisz would earn her second Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, and she would win a BAFTA and her second British Independent Film Award for the performance. 

She recently made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jumping from indie darling to blockbuster hero, Rachel Weisz's next film following "The Favourite" would be Marvel's "Black Widow." Following the events of "Captain America: Civil War," the film follows the famous Marvel heroine (Scarlett Johansson) as she must confront her dark past to end a dangerous force that aims to take her down for good. The first film to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4, "Black Widow," received a more mixed reception than some of Marvel's previous outings (via Rotten Tomatoes). 

In the film, Weisz portrays Melina Vostokoff, a scientist and Red Room spy who also acts as an adoptive mother to Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Although she had a hand in developing the mind-washing technology used on Black Widows, she redeems herself by teaming up with our heroes to take down the Red Rooms and free all those affected. Unlike her more cold comic book counterpart, who eventually becomes the villainous Iron Maiden, Weisz sought to bring a warm yet deadpan energy to the character. As she described in an interview with Harper's Bazaar, "Melina is not a cliché – she's ambiguous. You can't tell if she's got a heart or doesn't have a heart; she's definitely layered."