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Rebecca Hall Craved an ‘Olympic Triathlon’ of Acting, Sought Primal Role After Directing ‘Passing’

Hall was drawn to mystery thriller "Resurrection" starring Tim Roth after her award-winning feature directorial debut to gain a "full, extreme sports" rush.

Rebecca Hall poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Elvis' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Rebecca Hall

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Rebecca Hall wanted a shock to the system after making her feature directorial debut with “Passing.”

Being behind the camera for the Independent Film Spirit Award-winning period piece inspired Hall to seek out a “really genuinely, very challenging” acting role. Enter: shocking stalker drama “Resurrection.”

“I think I’m attracted to films where the audience is going to have an experience,” Hall told Screen Rant. “That doesn’t mean it has to be genre, it really doesn’t. It just so happens that some of the best roles I have seen are in genre. And I would rather play something that is very challenging and complicated and big than do something that’s less that and I’ll be bored.”

She added, “And, frankly, I’d rather be directing. But I think certainly, at this point in my life when this film came along, I had just finished directing. I felt so fulfilled [and] I really felt that it sort of had to be, if I was going to do some acting it felt, in that moment, that it had to be like an Olympic triathlon of acting. It had to be like the full, extreme sports version for me to be satisfied with it.”

Hall didn’t know whether she “could pull it off” playing single mother Margaret whose life is thrown into disarray after she sees a man (Tim Roth) from her past. “Resurrection” is written and directed by Andrew Semans and had its premiere at 2022 Sundance before debuting in theaters August 5 ahead of a Shudder streaming premiere.

The “Vicky Christina Barcelona” actress was especially drawn into the “primal and mythical in the sense of Greek mythology” behind “Resurrection.”

“It felt big and I thought that was so interesting to apply that level of storytelling onto a world that otherwise looks very much like the world that we experience now,” Hall explained. “I think we’re in an unprecedented time of anxiety and panic. There’s real, palpable anxiety around how much control any of us have over the world right now because it’s been offended in various different ways consistently. I think this gets under your skin. I think that it’s kind of the film that sort of holds a level of rage and anxiety that is existentially huge. In a way, you can’t really interrogate that emotional panic unless you take it to the enormous conclusion.”

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich compared Hall’s “magnetic” performance as Margaret to Christian Bale’s iconic turn as Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.”

“After watching so many movies mine a woman’s trauma for cheap thrills — often using mental anguish as an excuse for empty jolts from things that aren’t there — it’s satisfying to see one so eager to move beyond that,” Ehlrich penned. “By the time ‘Resurrection’ arrives at its inevitably ambiguous final shot, the absolute reality of Margaret’s trauma will no longer be denied.”

Actress Hall reflected on the “absolutely batshit crazy, but also astonishing and brave” finale that made her at first say, “[It could] really be a disaster, like, it might really not work. I did think that. I was like, there’s every chance that this could be a complete, god awful mess. But also, there’s a chance that it could be one of those movies that’s jaw-dropping.”

Overall, Hall mused to Screen Rant, “I like things that are going to challenge an audience and put them through something. And in the case of ‘Resurrection,’ I like something that feels like it has the opportunity to leave people with the sense of ‘what the [pause] just happened’?!”

She added, “Some people gonna like it, some people are not going to like it, but no one’s going to forget about it.”

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