Rebecca Hall – Actress of the 2012 film The Awakening


AR: What was your main reason for wanting to do this film?

RH: My main reason was…. I don’t know if there was one main reason. I thought it was smart, it was interesting; I thought it be the kind of film that I’d like to see and I wanted to play the character. She’s an attractive heroine to me and I thought it would be fun to play.

AR: I conducted an interview with Nick Murphy (Director) & he was very high on you, stating he wrote this role with you mind. What were your experiences working with Nick?

RH: Well maybe he’s just high (jokingly) He’s great, he is great, he is so nice about me in the press that I feel the need to be really mean about him. No, I don’t (jokingly) It could’ve been a disaster. He made a great film. There is nothing to say that to helm, organize and write. All the things that he decided to be when he took on this project. I was so into that residence that necessarily he wasn’t going to be capable but then I went and had brunch with him. Within five minutes I thought, I want to work with this person, because he had that kind of passion and exuberance about the material that was really refreshing.

 AR: Florence is a strong, independent female character. From reading the script to shooting the film, were there any differences in how you portrayed the character?

RH: That’s a very open question, there are always differences, I’m not sure I can list them. What you read on the page and what you imagine in your head when you read it as an actor then what you end up doing, don’t necessarily all go together. I might imagine that I’m doing one thing and actually I end up doing something quite different, or I think I’m being terribly different and specific. Your unconscious just comes out anyway but I don’t know about the outcome between the actor and the script, there’s always stuff that happens. It’s not what is laid out on the page but it’s a process.

 AR: It seems that after talking with Nick, you were very involved with the project; especially with the development of Florence as a character. He also mentioned you spent time with him in the editing room. How much time did you take out to concentrate on this film, in particular just the character itself?

RH: No more or less time that I take on anything. If the director will let me in to say hello when they’re editing I’m really, really happy. An actor always has to go in for ADR, sound stuff, post production stuff. I feel very privileged when a director allows you in a little bit more. What you think about this, how things change, includes you a bit, I love that.

 AR: Are you a fan of the genre, not horror per se, but more along the thriller or ghost stories? Daniel Radcliffe just starred in “The Woman in Black”, both films are different but share similarities in theme and story telling opposed to the popular shock and awe.

RH: Yea I’m not a fan of the shock and awe, that random violent approach of making horror movies, that’s sort of nonsensical. I am a big fan of intelligent ghost stories, intelligent thrillers, intelligent horrors, any intelligent rendering of a genre. It does something that’s not about the genre itself but about something much more human and fundamental. What I felt about this was, ok it’s a ghost story but it’s not really about the paranormal. What it is about is something much more concrete, which is grief and mortality and people understanding themselves. It’s psychological really, when you chip it all away that’s what it’s really about.

 AR: Last five to six years your career has really begun to pick up; next year you’re slated to be in the big summer movie Iron Man 3. Have you noticed any extreme life changes that you accommodate yourself with now?

RH: No, I’ve seen enough people get famous that have some perspective. It tends to be the people around the famous person that feels like everything is changing because they’re looking at it. For the person going through it, everything carries on the same. I hope that nothing is gonna change. I might be blind, I might be in denial but I don’t think of things as picking up. I just think that I’m working the same amount that I’ve pretty much always worked except things might be more high profile than other things. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better or worse.

 AR: Is there any film of yours that you can watch over and over again?

RH: of mine, oh crikey no! I hate myself in anything but if I had to watch one film that I’ve been in again and again, which would be some form of punishment for me. The one that would be less like punishment would be, Please Give. It’s probably my favorite film that I’ve done, it’s a brilliant film.  **Please Give was a comedy released in 2010 starring Catherine Keener & Oliver Platt**

AR: What is your Killer Film? Something you remember watching before you started your career that can bring you back to your love of cinema and/or acting.

RH: All About Eve comes to mind right away. If I had to think, there are so many… I’ll just go with that.

AR: The film just opened in limited release this past Friday, have you kept up on any reviews or press releases about the film?

RH: No I try to avoid all of that. Not because I want to avoid my own narcissism or anything like that. I just feel like it’s out of my hands so what’s the point either way. I think something that’s really important as an actor is to separate the experience of making a film to what happens to it. You may have the best time in the world making a film and have it be creatively rewarding and brilliant and then you never know what happens in the edit. It’s out of your hands and what the final product will be. If you get swayed by the opinion of what it is then it starts to taint that original experience you had and that’s depressing. I prefer to keep them separate, the experience I had with the shooting of it and everything after that is whatever happens.

 AR: I asked Nick this same question, with the ending having a few twists, is there any thought that viewers might get lost in the shuffle?

RH: Yea but I don’t think it matters. The places you get lost in are a very dramatic experience in itself. There are lots of little keys and secrets that get unlocked. It is a challenging plot but I don’t think it’s so challenging that you’re left in the dark and it’s frustrating. I think you’re left in the dark and it’s scary and exciting.



6.5 / 10 – IMDB

61% – Rotten Tomatoes

53% – Metacritic

Purchase The Awakening on DVD

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