Thursday, May 21, 2020

Blogger: I Guess Rebecca Hall Is My Favorite Actress

The title might confuse you: I am very happy about this realization, but it was a slow one. And I want to talk about one of the best and most underrated actresses of the 21st century, who just happens to be my favorite actress as well: Rebecca Hall.

I have seen over fifteen of her movies (and here I am not counting all the other ones I saw where she had small roles, including terrible A Rainy Day In New York, where she had one scene... ) and I had to realize, that even if I hated the movie with all of me, she was still the best part in it. The first time I came across her was in Frost/Nixon, which was followed by my discovery of the short series Parade's End, where she played a flawed but powerful wife, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch (which is obviously how I found the series...). After that came Starter for 10, and wow that movie... I do not know if it encapsulates all the feelings that I had at university or the ones that I wished I had, but it is one of those movies that uses cliches but in the best way possible. You do want the guy to learn from his mistake, you want him to get the girl, you understand why she likes him and why she still cares for him. It was just a smart little movie, and you can read my review on it, but I just knew that the character she portrayed was someone that I wanted to be friends with. And every character she has portrayed since has been someone that I just wanted to get to know. She either does auditions for the best and most interesting characters or she is offered, but she chooses well, needless to say.

"I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be an actor. It has just always been an inevitability on some level."

Before I actually went to seek out her movies, I was happy to have seen her again and again, showing up in different movies that I had gotten interested in despite the cast, as I have found her to be a very talented actress. So for years I did not actually look for her movies in particular. This all changed when one certain movie came out, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. I waited for months for this movie only to then discover that they were not gonna show it in theaters here and you just cannot imagine my rage... this was one of those movies where all of my expectations were met and the trailer gave me just enough to be on the edge of my seat but then be rewarded for all the time I spent with it. You can read my review, I wont't get lost into it, but ... I am left to wonder if there is anything this woman cannot do! And I am also scared to finish her filmography (even though I only have 3-4 missing as I cannot physically find them, or they are horror movies and I just can't deal with those), because she is also not one of those actresses who has seventeen projects in one year, which also accounts for the quality in her work. I do not want to run out, but keep some for rainy days. (This is a pun on the terrible Woodie Allen movie she was in, that I mentioned before. I am just checking if you are paying attention!).

She played along - and honestly often surpassing - such great actors as Richard GereLuke Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Jason Batemen, Jason Sudeikis, Ben Affleck, Paul Bettany, David Tennant, Morgan Freeman, Jason Ritter, Will Ferrell, Eric Bana, Johnny Depp, Joshua Jackson, Dominc West, Frank Grillo, Micheal C. Hall, Richard Madden, Alan Rickman, and Dan Stevens. Not to mention such wonderful actresses as Laura Prepon, Catherine Zeta Jones, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Imelda Staunton, Amanda Peet, Catherine Tate, Catherine Keener, Laura Linney, and even Bella Heathcote. Can you name anyone else with such an extensive list of A-listers and famous directors in their arsenal? (Besides Meryl Streep, but she doesn't count, really, that woman breaks every law known to man. And in my opinion, Rebecca is the second after her! Where are the nominations Mr. Academy???).

"There's always going to be a separate version of you that people will create, and you have no control over it."

The reason for the title of my blog post is also that she is probably one of the only actresses whose interviews I have not sought out. When I care for an actor I want to get to know them, I want to know them personally, but not with her. The reason I do believe that I have come to the realization of her being my favorite actress, is that that is all she is to me, an actress: I care for her art, for her performance, for her presence on stage and on film. When I get a new favorite actor, I will admit, that the fan culture got a hold of me too and I have collected photos, articles, cut outs in my youth, and sometimes I will still buy movie magazines, when I know that they are part of history (one good example would be the last time Paul Walker was featured on one of the Fast & Furious posters. See, that will never happen again, and I miss him dearly, I want that memory). But strangely, Rebecca Hall remains the person on the other end of the screen and that is enough for me. I won't avert my eyes, of course, if she is in any of the talk shows that I generally watch, but as I was not seeking out her movies in the beginning, I am also not looking for "Rebecca the person". This might either make perfect sense to you or none at all, but I know that it is the reason why I was so slow to pick up on the fact that I love to see no one on screen as much as her.

"To read a character I'm not sympathizing with is generally quite a good, attractive proposition because I've got somewhere to go, I've got work to do, to try to understand why they behave like they behave, to relate entirely and understand them and to be completely emotionally connected. That is much more fun 99 percent of the time."

I do believe that when we like an actor, there are different degrees, and I have noticed over the passing years that I prefer to not know the person behind the art anymore because I just... I disagree with soooo many people and their political views and I don't want it to ruin the art, whatever it is, from music to paintings, through books and movies. She might have come into my life at a time when I want to distance myself from the toxic part of fandoms (they are not the way they were when I was growing up), but I am also certain that she is in a special place to me despite the times.

So what should we take away from this post? You should be watching Rebecca Hall movies, the more the better. Not one is like the other, and to see so many faces of this incredibly talented person is just a treat that you need while you are at home and looking for something to watch. Most of her movies are actually on Netflix! And even if you do come across a bad movie, you will see this one actor giving it 10/10 and blowing you away and making you happy that you did stick around until the end of it. That person for me will always be Rebecca Hall.

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