Rachel Weisz has said it is still unusual to find films where women have the central story and are driving the narrative.

The actress stars opposite Olivia Colman and Emma Stone in The Favourite, about two courtiers vying for the affections of Queen Anne in the 18th century.

Arriving at the movie’s premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, she told the Press Association: “It was really enjoyable playing opposite two women, something I had never done before.

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma StoneOlivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone (David Parry/PA)

“It was a very different feeling and I enjoyed it very much. I have told a lot of heterosexual stories up until this point and I haven’t really done many films about female friendship.”

Weisz, who recently gave birth to her first child with husband Daniel Craig, said it is still rare to see complex roles for women, adding: “There are some good roles but women being central to stories and driving stories is more unusual than for men.”

She continued: “I have told a lot of heterosexual stories up until this point and I haven’t really done many films about female friendship.

Citing the Bechdel test, which measures the representation of women in fiction and asks whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man, she said: “This passes it with flying colours.

“Immediately you know that these women have appetites for each other and politics and sex and power and horse-riding and shooting guns and dancing and all sorts of things.”

Stone, who plays Weisz’s rival for the affections of Colman’s monarch, said: “I think it’s pretty rare to find a very complex, layered, interesting, funny, fully fleshed-out characters but especially three women in a film, it was a real diamond.”

She added: “It was very fun with all the physical comedy that I do but it was also, surprisingly, daily.

Emma StoneEmma Stone (David Parry/PA)

“She goes through a lot in the movie, a lot of falling and tripping and pushing and slapping so it was a lot of fun but it was also a little physically taxing in a way I didn’t necessarily expect.”

The Oscar winner flew to England to begin work on the film the day after collecting the best actress Academy Award for La La Land.

She said: “It was amazing being back in a creative experience doing my favourite part of the job, the acting part.”

The Favourite is released in UK cinemas on January 1 2019.