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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

Labels: Videos

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

I have updated the gallery with three missing outtakes from Rebecca’s shoot for NUVO magazine last year. Enjoy!

Labels: Photo Updates, Photoshoots

Labels: Videos

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Rebecca Hall, Michael Shannon and Ben Foster are set to star in the mystery State Like Sleep, written by and to be helmed by visual artist/director Meredith Danluck (North of South, West of East).

Eddie Vaisman (Big Sur, In a World …) is producing the film, which will start shooting in July.

Fortitude International is introducing the project to foreign buyers at the Cannes film market. ICM Partners, which represents Danluck, packaged the film and will handle domestic rights.

When her celebrity husband commits suicide, a woman (Hall) struggles with the truth to unanswered questions surrounding his double life.

“Meredith has written a powerful and mesmerizing script, filled with rich and complex characters and Eddie has brought together an impressive all-star cast to bring this story alive. We are elated to share this project with our buyers,” Fortitude International co-founder Nadine de Barros said.

De Barros will be shopping the project with her sales team, which includes vp international Katie Irwin and director international sales and marketing Samantha Peel. The company already has a full Cannes slate, with such titles as the soccer-themed Robin Friday; the Nicolas Cage starrer The Runner; the Penelope Cruz-Diane Kruger vehicle This Man, This Woman; and Barton & Charlie, which will be directed by and star Rupert Friend.

Hall, whose credits include Ben Affleck’s The Town, Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon and Iron Man 3, is about to begin shooting Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.

Shannon (Man of Steel, Take Shelter) was an Oscar nominee for his supporting role in Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road.

Foster, who tackles fallen sports hero Lance Armstrong in the upcoming biopic Icon, also has appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, The Messenger and Lone Survivor.

Hall is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage Associates in the U.K. Shannon is handled by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment and attorney David Krintzman of Morris Yorn. UTA represents Foster.

Labels: Projects, State Like Sleep