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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

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

Labels: Projects, The Dinner, Videos

Great news! And ICYMI, we’d like to point out that Rebecca is nominated for not one, but four awards at the upcoming Women Film Critics Circle (Dec 19) for her amazing performance in Christine. Pretty impressive, right?

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – The Dinner from U.S. director Oren Moverman (The Messenger) and starring Richard Gere, Rebecca Hall, Laura Linney and Steve Coogan, and The Party, the latest star-studded effort from U.K. helmer Sally Potter (Orlando), will have their world premieres in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival next year.

Organizers on Thursday announced the first handful of competition films for the 2017 fest, which is set to run Feb. 9-19.

The Dinner, which The Orchard picked up for North America at Marche du Film in Cannes this year, is the story of two families who, over the course of a single meal, struggle with the most difficult decisions of their lives. Chloe Sevigny and Adepero Oduye co-star in the drama adapted from Herman Koch’s best-seller.

Potter’s dramedy The Party is set during a celebration at a London home that unfolds in real-time onscreen. The veteran U.K. director has lined up an impressive ensemble cast for the feature, including Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Bruno Ganz, Timothy Spall, Emily Mortimer and Cherry Jones.

Other Berlin 2017 entries include The Other Side of Hope, from acclaimed Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki (Le Havre), which will have its international premiere in Berlin, and Spoor from Oscar-nominated Polish helmer Agnieszka Holland (In Darkness).

Also in the running for Berlin’s Gold and Silver Bears next year will be On Body and Soul, from Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi; Ana mon amour from Romanian helmer Calin Pater Netzer, winner of the Berlin Golden Bear in 2013 for Child’s Pose; and Beuys, a documentary on controversial German artist Joseph Beuys by acclaimed nonfiction filmmaker Andres Veiel (Black Box Germany).

Colo, from Portugese filmmaker Teresa Villaverde; Alain Gomis’ Felicite and Una Mujer Fantastica from Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio also made the Berlin competition cut.

In addition to the competition titles, Berlin confirmed four films that will get special, out-of-competition gala screenings at the 2017 fest. These include Fernando Trueba’s period comedy The Queen of Spain, the sequel to 1988’s The Girl of Your Dreams, starring Penelope Cruz and Mandy Patinkin; Raoul Peck’s biopic The Young Karl Marx featuring German star August Diehl as the founder of communism; and Last Days in Havana from director Fernando Perez.

Berlin also will hold a special screening of a newly restored version of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, a 1972 German TV series written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Hanna Schygulla, Gottfried John, Luise Ullrich, Werner Finck and Irm Hermann.

Labels: Projects, The Dinner

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

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.

Labels: Christine, Projects, The Gift, Videos