THE WRAP – “Christine” chronicles the mental struggles of television reporter Christine Chubbuck, who shot herself during a live broadcast in 1974. But actress Rebecca Hall, who is riveting as Chubbuck in the dark drama from director Antonio Campos, says that’s not all the film has to offer — it also highlights the overall issue of mental health.
“I think that the film does something really good for society,” Hall told TheWrap. “People have come up to me and said, “Thank you for making this film,’ or in tears about the effect it’s had on them, which makes me proud that it exists.”
“I want people to go see it because there is a misunderstanding that this will be a horribly depressing movie about someone who can’t get out of bed — that’s a misconception about depression. Often, people with depression are engaged in a very active fight to live. And that’s what you are witnessing. It’s disturbing, yes, but it doesn’t make you flatline.”
Hall only had about 15 minutes of footage of Chubbuck to study during her preparation for the film, but she said the lack of first-hand material didn’t hamper her. “The truth is, there isn’t really anyone who doesn’t have someone in their circle who is affected by mental health issues,” she said.
“So it’s not like I didn’t have things to draw on.”
If you have some time to spare (the interview is almost an hour!), then please do make sure to watch this brilliant video of Rebecca from SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Career Retrospective from a couple of weeks ago. Rebecca discusses her roles in The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, Please Give, The Gift and of course, her most recent work as Christine Chubbuck.
Rebecca is featured as part of the Best Movies and Performances of 2016 feature for DuJour–and I’ve uploaded the gorgeous new photoshoot to the gallery. In case you can’t tell, I’m kind of in love with these photos.
DUJOUR – “I think that if anyone looks at Christine from a distance and goes, ‘Oh how fascinating, how macabre,’ it’s dangerous. Even though she is an unusual character who did a shocking thing [the newscaster shot herself on air], it was a statement that came out of deep pain and suffering. It’s unthinkable in the abstract, but I think the film allows you access to try and understand how she could have gotten to that point. It walks alongside her and observes her, but also allows space for everything that can never be known about anyone. To me, Christine feels like a sort of harbinger of a lot of things we talk about now, whether it’s mental health issues or suicide. And the biggest tragedy for me is that, for all of her constant self-monitoring and her performance of how she thinks she will be acceptable in the world, she is actually loved by the people around her. But she can’t see that, and doesn’t feel like she will ever be understood by anyone.”
Photoshoots and Portraits > Sessions > Photoshoots and Portraits from 2016 > Session 009 – DuJour
DEADLINE – Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald and Rebecca Hall are set to star with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Holmes & Watson, the Sony Pictures comedy about the sleuthing duo. Last seen in The Huntsman 2, Cinderella and The Trip, Brydon will play Scotland Yard head Inspector Lestrade. Boardwalk Empire and No Country For Old Men star Macdonald will play Mrs. Hudson, the housekeeper of Holmes & Watson’s famous home at 221B Baker Street. The Scottish actress recently wrapped Simon Curtis’ untitled film on A.A. Milne, opposite Dohmnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie for Fox Searchlight, and she’s starring in the “Hated In The Nation” episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror second season.
Hall will play Dr. Grace Hart, the first female doctor to practice in London. She is currently in the awards-season chatter for her daring work as the tragic local newswoman title character in the indie Christine. Ferrell plays Holmes and Reilly is Watson in the Sony comedy, which is being produced by Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Adam McKay at Gary Sanchez, and Clayton Townsend. Etan Cohen is directing. It reunites the stars of Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.
Jonathan Kadin is overseeing for Columbia. Chris Henchy and Jessica Elbaum are overseeing for Gary Sanchez.
VARIETY – In “Christine,” Rebecca Hall stars as journalist Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide on live television. Hall and director Antonio Campos talked about Chubbuck’s life and portraying depression in the biographical film during the Variety and AARP Movies for Grownups Screening Series.
“It’s ironic. There’s a common misconception about depression, actually,” Hall said, explaining that many think “people with depression don’t laugh or don’t crack jokes or don’t do things that are energetic.”
“For me, the basis of my characterization was that she is active,” she went on. “She’s not passive. She’s actually desperately trying to survive.”
Believe it or not, award season is right around the corner and on Thursday night Rebecca attended HFPA and InStyle’s Miss Golden Globe Party at Catch LA in West Hollywood. Rebecca is being named on several contenders lists as a possible outsider for an Academy Award nomination for her role in Christine–so we can no doubt expect to see plenty more of her in coming weeks and months as part of the lead-up to the 2017 Oscars. Nomination or not, I’m so happy to see her receive the recognition she truly deserves for this film.
Public Appearances > Appearances in 2016 > HFPA and InStyle Celebrate Golden Globe Award Season
Last night both Rebecca and Christine director Antonio Campos attended a special screening and Q&A as part of Variety and AARP’s Movies for Grownups series. Usually there is video coverage from these events so hopefully we’ll be able to see that footage very soon. For now, enjoy the new photos.
Public Appearances > Appearances in 2016 > Variety and AARP Screening Series Presents ‘Christine’
THE INDEPENDENT – After Rebecca Hall finished shooting the final scene of Christine, her new film about the American newsreader Christine Chubbuck – who blew her brains out on live television in 1974 – she got into a car. The movie, a small, independent production financed with money Hall helped raise, couldn’t afford on-set trailers and, still caked in fake blood, Hall couldn’t shower till she got home. “I just remember really shaking for a long time as I washed the blood off,” she says. “Being rigged to a machine that pumps blood, and holding a gun and putting it to your head – it’s like your body doesn’t actually know it’s fake. Because, if I’m doing my job correctly, I’ve convinced my brain that it’s real. The adrenaline response is sort of nuts. You sit under the shower for a bit going ‘What the hell is going on?’”
She laughs as we sit eating salad in a cafe in Brooklyn Heights in New York, not far from where she lives. Hall doesn’t want to seem melodramatic, but there’s no doubting her commitment to Chubbuck’s story. “I want to champion this film more than I’ve ever wanted to champion anything,” she says. Tall, beautiful, with sad eyes and a Modigliani face, Hall has a manner that combines boldness with introspection – a mixture key to all her performances, particularly the rawness and fragility she displays in Christine, which is on in selected cinemas now.
Chubbuck’s death has become a gruesome internet meme – the holy grail of online snuff ghouls. But contrary to rumour, there are no videos of her broadcast on 15 July, 1974, when, a few weeks before her 30th birthday, she read a statement on air. “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color”, she said, “you are going to see another first: attempted suicide”. Then she pulled a revolver from below the desk, placed it behind her right ear and pulled the trigger. Why would she describe it as an ‘attempted’ suicide, I ask – was it a sign that she didn’t want it to succeed?
“I don’t know. I was curious about that too, ” says Hall. “I will never know. No one will. But my hunch is that she was just being a good journalist – because she might not have been successful.”