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Another day, another great interview with Rebecca – this time with online magazine The Laterals. The article also comes accompanied by a stunning photoshoot, which has been uploaded to the gallery.

THE LATERALS – Many of the films Rebecca Hall is famous for involves fiercely resolute women: Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, Christine, and The Town. It is obvious she is beautiful. But what you might miss is her steely opulence, which has nothing to do with good looks. It’s about captivating you, which she brilliantly uses as theatrical leverage. However, what we find most remarkable is her skill at creating a mixture of imperfections, masterfully blending her role and herself. Characters are simply strangers she aims to figure out. Rebecca delves in and finds their light, their madness, what keeps them charged—and then composes a finite presentation that propels itself off screen. Her goal isn’t to win your affections, she wants you to question them.

Although Rebecca Hall has deep familial roots in the arts, it never defined her. Instead, it instilled a grounded sense of independence. Her unusual upbringing—a renowned English director for a father, an American opera singer for a mother, life in the countryside of Sussex, and a private girl’s school—all provided her insight. Perhaps that is why she seamlessly connects with her roles, and with you. Rebecca was only 10 years old when she made her professional debut on a UK television show. Some of her more notable work thereafter was in the theatre, where her performances earned her a number of accomplishments including the Ian Charleson Award and a role on Broadway. Her dossier spans a variety of genres that’s as complex as her skillset. With plenty more scripts on the horizon, we have much more to look for in Rebecca Hall—Holmes and Watson with Will Ferrell and A Rainy Day In New York with Jude Law—just to name a few. Regardless of what role she’s in, you won’t want to look away.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots

THE NEW YORKER – Rebecca Hall made her New York stage début, in 2005, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, playing Rosalind in “As You Like It,” and if you were lucky enough to see her in the role it is unlikely that you have forgotten the experience. Hall, who was twenty-three at the time, exquisitely conveyed the sometimes tremulous combination of knowingness and naïveté that characterizes Rosalind, Shakespeare’s most winning comic heroine. Hall’s performance felt perfectly naturalistic—her Rosalind was absolutely real and present—and, at the same time, her delivery showed an adept grasp of Shakespearean verse: if you knew and loved Rosalind’s lines, it was thrilling to hear the subtlety with which Hall delivered them. It also did not hurt that Hall looked perfect for the part: like Rosalind, Hall is “more than common tall,” which meant that she was able to stand eye to eye and equal to equal with Orlando, her eventual beloved, played by a promising newcomer named Dan Stevens.

The production also showed the mastery of its director, Sir Peter Hall, the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the former head of London’s National Theatre, and Rebecca Hall’s father. Given Shakespeare’s dramatic fascination with the relations between fathers and their offspring, and with the complicated questions of lineage and inheritance, the casting choice looked less like nepotism and more like a fruitful artistic convergence. “My father was a real Shakespearean fascist, in that he had a view about how it should be done, in terms of how you speak the verse,” Hall recalled recently. “But, at the same time, he taught me that, instead of being restrictive, understanding how to play the verse gives up the meaning. Like, if you have a breath at the end of a line and the sentence isn’t complete, then you’ve got to find a reason why there’s a pause for thought there. And your reason is what gives you interpretation. So within those parameters, he gave me complete freedom.” Hall’s key to unlocking the character of Rosalind was in identifying the character’s trepidation—the fear experienced by someone who is cognizant of the demands entailed by the complexity of adult love, and finds herself on the brink of it for the first time. “Isn’t that, on some level, the experience of first love, and isn’t that what the whole play is about—how terrifying it all is?” Hall said.

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Labels: Animal, Articles and Interviews, Projects

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

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

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.”

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Christine, Photo Updates, Photoshoots, Projects

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.”

Labels: Articles and Interviews, Christine, Photo Updates, Photoshoots, Projects

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.”

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Christine, Projects

I’ve updated the gallery with outtakes and scans of Rebecca’s striking cover photoshoot for AMAZING–a quarterly fashion and culture magazine. She looks incredible, right? I’ve managed to transcribe part of the interview, which can be read below. In it Rebecca discusses her role in Christine, her favorite books and authors, and her childhood.

Born in London to Sir Peter Hall, the British stage director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and to American opera singer Maria Ewing, it comes as no surprise that Hall has pursued an accomplished acting career across film and stage.

There is one prismatic quality to Hall’s eclectic body of work, one where openness and curious instinct has led to roles which traverse a wide and colorful spectrum of emotion and genre. In 2010, Hall won the BAFTA TV Award for her work in Paul Garland’s miniseries Red Riding, and her turn in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona saw her nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She has inhabited an array of characters – having played a jet-set girlfriend in Frost/Nixon, an author proving supernatural hoaxes in the ghost story The Awakening, and a scientist in the blockbuster Iron Man 3.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Magazine Scans, Photo Updates, Photoshoots