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W MAGAZINE – When 34-year-old Rebecca Hall first came to Cannes in 2008 for Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (in which she played Vicky), she didn’t even bring a dress to walk the carpet. “I got to Cannes and was like ‘wow, this is a huge thing…’ but I learned from my mistake!” quips Hall, who’s saving grace was Alberta Ferretti who came to the rescue at the last minute. With that behind her, the London-born actress returned to the Grand Palais, fully equipped in Dior Couture, for her film “The BFG,” Steven Spielberg’s remake of Roald Dahl’s 1982 childhood classic. Shot in Vancouver, the film follows an orphan named Sophie who teams up with the Big Friendly Giant to defend the world against evil people-eating giants. Hall plays Mary, the Queen of England’s maid, who comes to Sophie’s rescue. Hall lovingly describes her character as “a quite rotund, fleshy maid with a feather duster,” and promises that she bears no similarities to her character besides her English origin. “I brought my own idea of how I see the world to the character,” she begins. “Perhaps our warmth maybe similar, but beyond that no. She’s frightfully British and put together – she wears tweed and this crazy ’80s, early ’90s posh British hair.”

Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates

VANITY FAIR – We’re several phases deep into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and there are still no female superheroes with their own movie and, for that matter, no female villains in a starring role. In fact, audiences will have to wait until possibly Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 2017) or definitely Thor: Ragnarok (November 2017) to see a woman in the Big Bad role. But according to Iron Man 3 writer-director Shane Black, Marvel fans could have had a female villain back in 2013 were it not for concerns over toy sales.

When asked why Rebecca Hall’s character, Maya Hansen, met such an unceremonious end in the film, when she was shot by Guy Pearce’s villainous Aldrich Killian, Black told Uproxx’s Mike Ryan:

All I’ll say is this, on the record: There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female. . . . So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making.

While Killian and his frustrated masculinity made for a compelling villain, Maya makes even more sense. It was her research—which Tony helped crack—that resulted in the Extremis serum that created super-soldiers. “New York called and said, ‘That’s money out of our bank,’” Black explained. “In the earlier draft, the woman was essentially Killian—and they didn’t want a female Killian, they wanted a male Killian. I liked the idea, like Remington Steele, you think it’s the man but at the end, the woman has been running the whole show. They just said, ‘No way.‘”

Black clarified that the Marvel that created Iron Man 3 is not the Marvel that exists today. “That’s not [Kevin] Feige,” he told Uproxx. “That’s Marvel corporate, but now you don’t have that problem anymore.” Last year, Disney wrested control of Marvel Studios away from eccentric billionaire Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter and gave it directly to Marvel Studios president Feige. Though a lot of the information on Perlmutter’s influence is speculative, many attribute controversial decisions like the lack of non-white, non-male leads in the M.C.U. to him. And some claim Perlmutter—who has a background in the toy business—was specifically responsible for the controversial decision to take a gendered approach to Avengers merchandise and for the conspicuous absence of Black Widow merchandise. “Yeah, Ike’s gone,” Black said. Bring on the female villains, superheroes, and toys.

Labels: Articles and Interviews

W MAGAZINE – When 34-year-old Rebecca Hall first came to the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 for Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (in which she played Vicky), she didn’t even bring a dress to walk the carpet. “It was the first red carpet I had ever done, and when I got to Cannes and was like ‘wow, this is a huge thing…’ but I learned from my mistake!” quips Hall, whose saving grace was Alberta Ferretti, who came to the rescue at the last minute. With that behind her, the BAFTA-winning actress returns to the Grand Palais tonight, fully equipped in Dior Couture to walk the red carpet for her film The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s remake of Roald Dahl’s 1982 childhood classic. Shot in Vancouver, the film follows an orphan named Sophie who teams up with the Big Friendly Giant to defend the world against evil people-eating giants. Hall plays Mary, the Queen of England’s maid, who comes to Sophie’s rescue. Here, Hall talks everything from magical moments with Spielberg, to bonding with her eleven-year-old co-star.

The film is part animated, and part real life. How long did you spend talking to a green screen?
None actually! Towards the end of the film the green screen stops and it takes place at Buckingham Palace with the Queen of England and real people… and I’m one of the real people. I had to look at Mark Rylance, who plays the BFG, on a platform in a monster suit. For Mark it must have been incredibly alien. He was way up there isolated on this platform. In the digital version he looks like a giant.

And had you read The BFG before you were cast for the role?
Yes, I loved it. I read it when I was 5, when I had just graduated to reading by myself in my head. I remember it was a big moment for me.

Well nearly thirty years later you’re part of its legacy! Talk about the character you play.
The character I play is Mary, a quite rotund, fleshy maid with a feather duster. It’s really cartoonish. When I first read the script, I was like, “they want me for that role?” But they changed it a bit to make her the Queen’s right hand woman, who runs her life, which is fun and quite a nice plot twist.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots

THE GUARDIAN – The actor on starring in an acclaimed Sundance drama about Christine Chubbuck – the news anchor who achieved notoriety in the 70s for killing herself on live TV – and why she’s rarely offered parts this complex.

Hi, Rebecca! How are you?
Full of a head cold, but otherwise fine.

Sundance-related?
I think so. I think it’s just travelling and generally being over-adrenalised and happily pulled in too many directions. But yes, cold!

The last time you were in Park City was with the broad comedy Lay the Favourite (1).
It’s a completely different thing to go with a film that doesn’t have distribution (2); it’s a really different animal. I had no experience of that. The two I came with before both had distribution; premiering them there was more like just having a coming-out party. There were stakes with Christine. It was also playing in the competition, which was a different thing as well. There was a lot more nerve involved. You wait for reviews, for buyers to circle it, and then you wait for the juries. It’s a nerve-racking process.

I was at the Sundance premiere of Christine: did you sit through the entire movie?
I did, yes! I saw a cut, but it wasn’t with music. And I think there is a difference when you see something with an audience, so I wanted to sit through it. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. I found it really hard.

It’s a tough watch for anyone. Watching it took me back to the space I was in when I was doing it. I wasn’t really conscious of it while I was watching, but halfway through I thought: God, I’ve got this really bad tension, and why is my shoulder seizing up? My posture was changing in my seat as I was watching.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Christine

VANITY FAIR – Rebecca Hall describes her career as “trying to keep on trucking on,” but what it looks like is a whole lot more impressive than that. At 33, the London-born actress has everything from a best-picture nominee (Frost/Nixon) and a superhero blockbuster (Iron Man 3) to a trippy Johnny Depp sci-fi drama (Transcendence) on her résumé. Her new film is yet another left turn: she stars opposite Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton in this week’s The Gift, a domestic thriller about a seemingly perfect couple whose lives are upended by a visitor from the past. Hall spoke with senior west coast editor Krista Smith about the late-night party with Edgerton that led to the role, and why she may as well just keep an American accent 24/7 these days.

In this thriller, you saw everyone’s point of view. There wasn’t necessarily a good guy or a bad guy, which I really like.

Yeah, it all seemed quite clear to me that [Joel Edgerton] wanted to make a domestic drama that was masquerading as a thriller. It appears to be about one thing, but actually it’s lots more.

And your character is initially the one who seems to have a problem, and then it changes.

Yeah, I really like that. It was an interesting thing for me to play because I have a lot to monkey around with. Playing someone who looks like she’s perfect and diligent, but is sort of submissive and has no power and is clearly lost, and sort of playing with the balance of how much of that I show. I loved that she had a past that was damaged. Otherwise, it could have really been in danger of being a sort of victimized, female role. Instead, what I think it is, is a much more valuable story of a woman who doesn’t know her own power, and because of horrible things that happened to her, ends up growing up and probably coming out of it a lot better then she’d thought at the beginning. The event in the movie forces her to realize her own strength.

How did you come to be in it and work with Joel?

We’d met in London at a random drinks thing someone had . . . which ended up in a group of people drinking into the wee hours in my flat. So, we became friends around that time. Then he sent me the script and said, “You’d be great for this. Will you have a look?,” and I was just really excited to read it. You know, part of me just instantly wants to back a first-time film director if I think they’re smart and I’m fond of them—even more if it’s an actor. Not just because I’m an actor and what if I want to do that one day; it’s more because actors have seen a lot of other directors’ work, and directors on the whole never witness another director working. . . . Actors, I think, have a first-hand experience of that in much closer proximity than any other [role on a film]. I don’t believe that all actors should end up being directors. A lot of them really shouldn’t, but [they’re] sort of talented in that arena in the first place.

Jason Bateman really surprised me in this, too.

Yeah, I know. He’s really funny about it. I said, “Oh this is perfect.” He’s just so intrinsically trustworthy and charming and funny. Everyone likes [him]. No one’s going to really second-guess [him]. That’s what makes it sort of fascinating.

You’ve been so busy, it feels like light speed; does it feel that way to you?

I had a gap. I had a big gap, love. This time last year I was on a kind of eight-month hiatus—partially self-inflicted and then not, as the months went by. Then I sort of made up for it this year. I’ve already shot three films this year. So that’s confusing to me because this is the first one of three in a row that I’ve shot back-to-back.

Are you doing American accents in these?

Yeah, I’m always American these days. I should just suck it up and speak American every day. I’ve got the American mother and, you know, now I live in New York. So, what’s the difference?

Superhero movies seem to dominate the conversation a lot of the time, but it feels like there’s this undercurrent of all these other new directors—globally, actually—and actors kind of knowing each other, just like how you knew Joel, working together and creating all this really great material.

God, I hope that’s true. We’re in this sort of strange period of transition. You know, the way that movies used to get made has really shifted in the last five years—dramatically and quickly. Even in the last six months, I feel it’s shifted toward TV because that’s where all the innovation is. But at the same time, we sort of understand how we can make these sorts of markets on the smaller films. There’s a landscape where we’re all just sort of kind of groveling around trying to find out just how to do it and get it done and whether that means doing stuff that’s going to be solely distributed on Netflix or Hulu, or whatever. There are huge opportunities out there. I think that it’s potentially quite exciting. I mean, there’s always going to be a market for another superhero movie.

Are you going to do any Netflix or HBO or anything?

Yeah, I’m about to start a limited series. [Codes of Conduct, co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Devon Terrell.] Steve McQueen is directing for HBO.

Oh, great! You’re doing great, and that’s not necessarily easy to do, and it’s so arbitrary.

Yeah, I know. There are a lot of many, many different ways to go about it these days, and I feel like my particular brand—trying to keep on trucking on,—is not necessarily the most fashionable right now, but I’m still working.

Labels: Articles and Interviews

Rebecca is featured in the latest issue of Interview–and in addition to a new interview, she looks strikingly beautiful in this black and white photoshoot taken for the magazine. If you haven’t already, you can read the full interview below–where Rebecca discusses her current role in The Gift, as well as her challenging potrayal of news reporter Christine Chubbuck, in Christine, which is due for release at some point next year. Enjoy!

INTERVIEW – If you meet Rebecca Hall, she might ask you about your family history. “It’s always something I do when I meet people,” she says with a laugh. “Alright, tell me about your family, what’s the deal?” Though she’s just one in a household full of performers (her mother is an opera singer, her father a director, and her half-siblings scattered across a variety of theater and film disciplines), she’s adamant that most families have as intriguing a story to tell as hers. (She concedes that hers is “more externally colorful.”) She mentions Sarah Polley’s recent documentary Stories We Tell by way of example—the film is premised on the idea that every family has its own story.

Her excitement about family narratives is part of a deeper cultural curiosity—she’s also a self-professed music nerd (currently deciding whether she likes Chilly Gonzales’s latest effort) and a consumer of films of all descriptions. She’s hard-pressed to pick a favorite genre, even. “I’m a fan, at the end of the day,” she says. “I’m a real geek in this department.” She tosses out a list of what she watches regularly, from Golden Age American films to French cinema, to the latest blockbusters, comedies, and drama, foreign and domestic alike. Her openness to experience also defines her choices of roles. This year alone, she appears in the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, the Antonio Campos biopic Christine about a young Floridian newscaster who committed suicide on live television, and Joel Edgerton’s The Gift, a psychological thriller in the purest sense of the term.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots

Be sure to check out this awesome new interview (it’s almost an hour long!) with Rebecca in the latest episode of Happy Sad Confused–hosted by Josh Horowitz. I’ve also added some portraits from the interview to the gallery, enjoy!

Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots

Be sure to check out this beautiful new photoshoot of Rebecca taken for The New Potato–along with the accompanying interview that can be found below. Enjoy!

THE NEW POTATO – As neurotic New Yorkers ourselves, we first fell in love with Rebecca Hall when she graced the screen in Vicky Cristina Barcelona as the newest Woody Allen heroine. She continued to be a favorite of ours as we watched her moved seamlessly through movies like The Town and Transcendence without a moment’s pause. This week, her newest movie – a thriller called The Gift – comes out and is further proof of this Brit’s Meryl-Streep-like capability to nail a wide variety of roles. But enough about show business, we sat down with Hall on all things beauty, food and various pieces of life advice. We also got a quote from Woody…obviously.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I’d wake up to the sound of fresh coffee beans being ground. The beans would be from a place called Workshop in Clerkenwell, London. It may be my favorite cup of coffee. Whenever I pass through I stockpile as many bags into a suitcase as is legal. I’d drink about a gallon of this, and then realize I’d have to eat something to prevent adrenal exhaustion. This would be German mestemacher bread toasted in olive oil, sliced avocado, a fried egg and Sriracha. Lunch would be a big salad with lots of kale (does anyone else find it peculiar that ten years ago kale was exclusively used as the decoration for sushi platters?) and maybe some grilled chicken and a bunch of exciting crunchy things that you could just as likely feed a bird. Dinner would be cooked by my friend Brian, who is an amateur chef. He does a lemon fettuccine and sous vide steak that guarantees a blissed out food coma. We’d drink a bottle of chilled Cialla Bianco, Ronchi di Cialla 1997. I’m not really as much of a wine buff as this would suggest. I discovered that one by accident at I Sodi in New York after being hypnotized by the amber color of the wine a man with a tattoo on his head was drinking at the bar. It tastes almost as exotic too.

You come from a theater/entertainment family. Is it fun all being in a similar business?
It has its moments. It can be great that we all understand what one another does, but it can be exhausting also.

When did you know you wanted to become an actress? Who were your inspirations?
My mother [Maria Ewing] was one of the greatest performers I ever saw as a kid – and I watched her all the time – so there is no question she was an inspiration. Pretty soon after that I discovered Bette Davis doing the scene when she uses cold cream to take off her stage makeup in All About Eve. Ruined.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Photo Updates, Photoshoots