The Gift’s Rebecca Hall

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. Next 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.

Do you have any pre and post shoot or show routines you’ve always kept to? 

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

In terms of health and wellness, how do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Equal parts yoga, heavy lifting and meditation to laughter, silliness and cocktails.

Could you tell us your morning and nightly beauty/skincare routines?

A splash of cold water in the morning and a primal scream followed by SK-II facial treatment essence and Kate Somerville moisturizer.

How do you always like to start your day? 

Coffee and cuddles.

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with? 

It depends. How am I going to die? I like to make informed food choices.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Buy when there’s a Trader Joe’s, sell when there’s a Whole Foods. Also, “Do good work and the money will come.” Eventually that has to be true…

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Buy when there’s a Trader Joe’s, sell when there’s a Whole Foods.

What are words to both act and eat by? 

Suck it and see.

Have you done a movie like The Gift before? What was special about this project? 

Not really. I liked the triangle of characters and the way it related to Hitchcock movies that I love.

Do you have a favorite memory with Woody Allen on the set of Vicky Cristina Barcelona? What was it? 

It’s a personal one, but the one that always springs to mind involves an ex-boyfriend of mine, who is a brilliant singer/songwriter. He has a unique and um, ‘disheveled’ sense of personal style. We were in the middle of shooting an exterior scene and Woody asked “When does your boyfriend get here? Is he coming to visit set?” I said, “Yes actually he’s here already,” to which Woody responded, “What, you mean that homeless man that I thought security were going to ask to leave?” He meant it.

What advice would you give women waking up, looking in the mirror, and getting dressed in the morning?

Blimey…Avoid looking, but if you do, don’t stop until you’ve made yourself laugh. That goes for getting dressed too.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?

Places I haven’t been. Google maps.

What’s always in your bag? 

Chaos.

The book you’ve read multiple times and why…

Wuthering Heights. It’s surprising.

Your thoughts on social media…

I have never shared my thoughts on social media…

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

In London, Moro and St John’s. In New York, I Sodi, Perla, Gardenia, and Via Carota. In Provence, France, Domaine des Andeols. And in Italy, absolutely anywhere.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now in entertainment? 

“Get me a Benedict Cumberbatch type…”

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*Rebecca Hall, photographed at Gardenia in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Rebecca wears a Tome dress and Robert Clergerie shoes