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PLAYBILL – The New York premiere of Clare Lizzimore’s play Animal begins performances May 24 at Atlantic Theater Company Off-Broadway. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs a cast led Machinal star and Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Hall.

Animal will officially open June 6, and is scheduled to play through June 25 at Atlantic Stage 2, located at 330 West 16th Street, New York.

In Lizzimore’s dark comedy, Hall plays Rachel, a woman who has it all: marriage, a house, and her career. Until she suddenly has a creeping feeling, and then the visions begin. Animal is about “the underside of domesticity, the complexity of the brain in chaos, and the thin line between sinking and survival,” read production notes from the Atlantic.

Rounding out the cast are Kristin Griffith (Bottom of the World), Greg Keller (Our Mother’s Brief Affair), David Pegram (War Horse), Morgan Spector (A View from the Bridge), and Fina Strazza (Matilda the Musical).

Playwright Lizzimore’s first play Mint was produced at the Royal Court in London and long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize. As a director, her production of Mike Bartlett’s Bull at The Young Vic received the 2015 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, and transferred Off-Broadway to 59E59 Theaters.

Animal features scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Sarah J. Holden, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Stowe Nelson, original music by Daniel Kluger, and casting by Caparelliotis Casting: David Caparelliotis, CSA and Lauren Port, CSA and Joseph Gery.

Labels: Animal, Projects

Labels: Permission, Projects, Videos

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – In Permission, Rebecca Hall stars opposite Dan Stevens as a woman who, though content with her long-term beau, tries out an open relationship. The Brian Crano dramedy — premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, where WME and Film Constellation are handling sales — tackles the predicaments of marriage, starting a family and staying together amid disruptions. It also marks Hall’s debut as a producer.

It’s all part of the long game for the Christine and The Dinner actress, who has been penning scripts and steadily readying for her directorial debut. Hall chats with The Hollywood Reporter about acting in a movie with her husband, Morgan Spector, filming her upcoming short and finally jumping behind the camera herself.

What drew you to Permission?

I’ve been good friends with Brian since I was 20. He was a brilliant 19-year-old who wrote a play and randomly asked me to do a reading. It’s just been a matter of time until he wrote something with a part for me. He wanted to write a story about the complexity of female agency within a long-term relationship when everything is basically just nice. They’re two people who’ve known nothing but each other their whole lives, and somewhere along the lines they’ve stopped growing together. They have an honest discussion about how they’re going to try and grow while staying together and it leads them down this unconventional but interesting path.

In many ways, it’s just a standard rom-com situation — is this guy the one or is he not and all that kind of cliché ideas. But it’s also the idea of the push on women to stay in relationships because to not be in one would be considered a failure, and you’re successful if you keep a relationship and you have to have a good reason to end one. Even though the characters are in their 30s, it’s a coming-of-age story, of realizing who they are. I think it’ll force people to have conversations with their significant other that they’d probably bury otherwise.

How was it to be in a film about relationships that’s also cast your real-life husband?

It was great. He plays part of another couple with David Craig, who is Brian’s real-life husband. Why not? (Laughs.) We’re all people who are quite rigorous about discussions of emotional honesty. And I think you get to a point professionally in life where not only are your spouses talented people that you want to work with, but you can create an environment to make that happen. That’s very rewarding and wonderful. We’re all friends, so it was nice to all be part of something together.

What was your role in producing the movie?

I think that I helped bring it into being — I guess that’s what a producer does, isn’t it? It was a very straightforward process because the more we sent the script around, the more people wanted to come on board. It was reassuring and fun, and came together organically and essentially. I loved being part of preproduction — thinking about location scouts and being able to get in touch with crew that I’ve worked with before. I loved it primarily because, as years go by, I think more and more about directing, and these are just baby steps in understanding what that process would be.

What kind of films do you hope to direct?

The stuff that I gravitate toward is going to be the time-bomb, ticking-clock type. But I’m actually about to make a short about 80-year-old women taking a synchronized swimming class. I wrote it and we were gonna shoot, but we put it on hiatus until our lead actress, who is suffering a bit now, is strong enough to do it. We’ll have things going in July.

Who are some of your directorial influences?

I have a lot. My taste in film is quite a bit of strange cross-section. When I was a kid, I spent a lot, a lot of time watching American moviemaking in the 1930s and ’40s, because my mother had videos of Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn. I was an only child and that was like television for me. Then when I hit adolescence, I got fascinated with films by Brian De Palma and Sidney Lumet and all those guys. And I think of someone now like Michael Haneke — everything he touches is just breathtaking and extraordinary to me. I suppose I’m interested in making films that are a little bit observational but in a warm and emotional way.

You’ve played quite complex female characters onscreen. Are you eyeing that type of directorial project?

Absolutely, but not exclusively. Those limits might be a bit reductive. I’ve gravitated toward films that have female storylines because that’s what I relate to most, but [to direct], well, I don’t know. I’ve written three scripts now, and in two of them the leads are women. And my short doesn’t have a man in it at all.

Labels: Articles and Interviews, Other Projects, Permission, Projects

I have finally updated the gallery with screen captures from the Blu-ray edition of Christine–including deleted scenes. Words cannot quite express just how perfect Rebecca is in this role–every critical rave during the film’s release was much deserved. Many of you will likely know the film’s premise by now, and also the real life tragedy that “inspired” it. Unfortunately, Christine flew largely under-the-radar and therefore Rebecca missed out on what could have been a highly successful awards season. If nothing else, the project humanizes and brings a new dimension to what has often been a sensationalized piece of television history–and given the strength of Rebecca’s performance, it should hopefully open the doors to many more leading roles.


Labels: Movies, Photo Updates

I’ve added some great new photos of Rebecca attending tonight’s premiere of The Dinner at the 67th Berlinale Film Festival. I’ll do my best to make further additions for the event as soon as they become available. For now, enjoy the first batch of additions.

Labels: Appearances, Photo Updates

Labels: Projects, The Dinner, Videos

Rebecca wrapped up her promotion of Christine yesterday with a special screening and Q&A for the film in London’s Curzon Soho cinema. She looked beautiful–as always, and was joined by her husband Morgan Spector for some great photos. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, be sure to watch Christine on iTunes–Rebecca’s performance is exceptional. Enjoy the photos!

Labels: Appearances, Photo Updates

Happy New Year everyone! (I know it’s a little late to say that, but given that this the first news update of 2017, I figured why not). Rebecca was featured in yesterday’s edition of The Times–promoting the upcoming UK release of Christine and sharing some insight on dementia, which her father, Sir Peter Hall, was diagnosed with several years ago.

THE TIMES – ‘I have melancholy resting face,” the actress Rebecca Hall, 34, says, apologising. It’s true that her angular face — which has been compared to a Modigliani painting — can look severe in repose. However, when larking about, she looks like a beautiful tomboy.

There’s also a new glow of happiness, which she puts down to life with her new husband, the American actor Morgan Spector (whom viewers of Boardwalk Empire will know as Frank Capone). Hall never thought she would get married and swore she would never date an actor. After years of a peripatetic actor’s life, though, she has finally put down roots. They married in New York in September 2015. Home is now Brooklyn with Spector and their two cats, Max and Viv. “It’s so unfair when people talk about crazy cat ladies. I know plenty of men who have cats. My husband got me into cats and I love them so much.”

The marriage took everybody by surprise. Many people seemed to think that Hall was still with the British director Sam Mendes. After Mendes’s six-year marriage to Kate Winslet broke up in 2010, Hall was forced to deny that she and Mendes, a close friend, were in a relationship.

They had worked together intensively on the Bridge Project for which Mendes took Shakespeare and Chekhov around the globe using a British/American company that included Ethan Hawke and Simon Russell Beale (with Hall cast as Varya in The Cherry Orchard and Hermione in The Winter’s Tale). The rumours went away, but quietly, a year after his divorce, they got together.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots