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Quotes

Below is a list of memorable quotes from Rebecca compiled by the staff of Rebecca Hall Online from magazine transcripts and online interviews throughout her career so far. If you’ve got any you’d like to share with us that you cannot find here, or if you would like to know the the source for any of the quotes found below, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy Rebecca’s wise words!

Quotes from 2016

  • — I don’t know how you make a living without a few personal compromises. You don’t have the opportunity to make the indie film you give a shit about without making a few of the bigger ones too.

    — Singing is scary, because of my mum. But singing means a lot to me. And when I’m on my own, and no one is listening, pretty much all I do is sing. But it’s getting easier; I’m getting there. I’ve got a musician friend in New York and occasionally he asks me to go and sing with him.

    — I’m fascinated by accents. And I think it’s sort of daft the way we talk about it because I don’t think there really are that many general accents anywhere. I think everyone sounds like themselves, if you really, really study it. Everyone’s got their own idiosyncrasies.

    — I want a career in movies forever and a career in theater forever. They both have a very important place in my heart.

  • Quotes from 2015

  • — I loved Please Give that Nicole Holofcener directed, because, those two categories of film that I like to be involved with—that’s both. The character was fascinating to me because she was quiet and internal, and that’s a real challenge on screen and a challenge that I find really interesting. It just shows someone who wants to be invisible and make them visible on screen. It’s a really interesting contradiction and one that I really enjoyed playing. I like everything about it. I thought it came out brilliantly. It’s probably my favorite film of anything that I’ve done. Probably. I feel that way about Christine, too.

    — There are a bunch of tricks and rituals that I’ve developed job-to-job to quell the nerves. They never work.

    — My mother 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.

  • Quotes from 2014

  • — People worry about being typecast all the time, but I personally don’t think I have been yet. People do tend to ask me to play similar roles if they think that I’ve done it well in the past, but I tend not to go for them again. It has to be something different and there has to be a new avenue to explore. I think of myself as a character actress, I ultimately pick characters that stretch me.

    — If you had asked me 10 years ago if I was going to be in Iron Man, I would have answered ‘no, I would never do such a thing,’. When I started acting I was very much about ‘I’m going to be an artist. I’m not going to do anything mainstream.’ But I wanted to face up to my 20-year-old self and say ‘stop being such a snob.’

    — You know, I’ve never been that shy or nervous when acting. I get nerves like everyone else gets nerves. But I get out of myself when acting, because it’s about the text, or the play, or the film, or the other actor—if you concentrate on that, it’s way bigger than you. And then you have a focus.

    — My mom, Maria Ewing, is an American opera singer. She sang at the Met and in opera houses all over the world. There was an artistry to everything she did, an utter dedication [to finding] the truth to the role. Growing up, a sense of “don’t ever make compromises” was instilled in me; always maintain truth and stick to the integrity of the piece. Be bold—otherwise, what’s the point?

    — Movies, particularly black-and-white movies, were a big part of my growing up. My mom had a sort of Golden Age of Hollywood obsession. My heroes were film actresses like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn.

  • Quotes from 2013

  • — People around me seem to think my career is a video game with so many levels. But I don’t—I’m carrying on my life exactly the same. I think celebrity and fame are only apparent to everyone looking at you.I’m beginning to realize that I am drawn to characters I’m unsure about—that the ones I don’t relate to are the ones that really pull me. Something that interests me is the difference between introverted and extroverted characters.

    — My fastidious, perfectionist side is entirely from my mother. She was so dedicated to every detail when she went into a role, and although she was a singer, she was the greatest actress I’ve ever, ever met.

    On Woody Allen: I grew up watching his movies; I know everyone did, but I really feel that a lot of my formative years were informed by Woody Allen films. I was a sort of New York intellectual when I was 16. I wanted to dress like Annie Hall when I was 18. It was such a big part of my life that when it came time to actually work with him, it felt like a joke. He trusted me to improvise. He was always saying ‘Put it in your own words’ and I’d be like ‘You’re Woody Allen. I’m really not going to improve on your dialogue. I’ll say what you’ve written, you fool!’

  • Quotes from 2012

  • — My most defining characteristic probably is that I am very curious about people and things. I like to travel; I love all those things my job makes me do. I love going to alien places and finding out about new things. And I love reading and am very studious and probably very nerdy.

    — This is how much of a music geek I am; if I have a day with nothing to do, one of my favourite things is to just sit at my computer and make playlists of pretty much anything. If I could be a musician, I’d do it. I love singing.

    — I think there should be a female powerhouse Bond villain. I don’t think I should do it, by the way. It should be an iconic villain, not just a femme fatale, but someone really wackjob. Grace Jones-style. Someone frightening and crazy but female.

    — I know I’m introverted, for sure, but with strongly extroverted tendencies.

  • Quotes from 2011

  • — I quite enjoy cooking but I’m not consistent. I can’t follow the recipe book. If something goes well, I’ll never make it again, which is completely stupid. It’s a one-shot kind of deal.

    On strange fan encounters: I’ve had the whole nine yards. All the weird things you can imagine. I’ve had more than one letter written by someone’s pet with little paw prints. There are people all over the world who like to write fan letters in the voice of their pet: “Hello, my name is Fifi and I’m a labrador and I think you’re great. Paw paw!”

    On nudity: If it’s right for the material, I think it’s right. I’m strangely un-prudish about it. It’s probably lack of vanity. I’ve done quite a lot now, for some reason or another – it usually ends up being just little glimpses. You just have to have a sense of humour about it.

    On working with Will Ferrell: I was actually hysterical. I wept on a daily basis. A lot of it was general excitement that I was making Will Ferrell laugh, which was really sad. It’s very difficult to avoid quoting him when you’re in his company.

  • Quotes from 2010

  • — My closest friends get at me for being overly private with them. I keep myself to myself and I don’t force my business on anyone else. I like to be able to disappear into situations.

    — I’m not so naïve as to think that my upbringing wasn’t eccentric or idiosyncratic. I grew up in an environment where everyone was talking about the theater. And for a good chunk of my childhood, I spent evenings watching my mom as Salome, singing love songs to the decapitated head of John the Baptist. After that, she was crushed to death by spears.

    — I was a really pretentious teenager. I was quite into my politics. I didn’t really want to be in a posh school, I didn’t want to be posh – that was a lot to do with it.

    — I’ll watch everything. I really will. I’ll go to the DVD store and get the worst horror film that’s ever been made and sit through it. I am a strange movie fan that’s interested in all films, good and bad.

    — I’ve always got a book on the go and I’m really nerdy about it, I get through books and don’t remember anything about them afterwards. But I read all sorts, from classic to contemporary.

    — There’s a part of me that doesn’t mind the most far-fetched things printed about me, because I’m actually keeping the reality shielded.