The interviews will go live throughout the day, but to start with, here’s Rebecca Hall talking about the pull of the Iron Man franchise, the affect being in a blockbuster has on her ‘brand’, and Maya Hansen’s playlist. Check it out below:
Biggest draw: working with Shane Black, or the Iron Man franchise
I’m not allowed to both? That is very, very dictatorial of you. What if the truth is both? I’m not going to say it was Shane Black, actually, I think it was the franchise. Shane Black is – I was excited when I heard he was doing it, but I thought of all the franchises that are out there, the Iron Man one is one of them that’s always appealed to me because of the wit and the humour and getting to work with someone as smart as Robert Downey. That was the kind of, ‘ooh, that would be fun’ catch, and then I found out it was Shane Black – he’s written all those films, he wrote Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which I love. He obviously has a great relationship with Downey, he understands pulp in a way that’s quite unique and could lend itself well to these sort of movies, so that was exciting.
The quality of the cast
I think it just raises the bar. It sets a precedent where it says: this is an action film where we’re not going to slack on the other components that make great films great films, i.e.: acting, script, whatever. It’s saying, we’re going to keep the level high across the board, not just in one area, which is what makes a film a good film, if you’re committed to bringing the best talent in every department.
Working with Guy Pearce
He’s incredibly detailed, he’s incredibly meticulous. He’s a worker, he comes up with a character, and he pays attention to every possible minutiae of that, whether it’s to the look, or the voice, and he had a lot of distance to go with this one, so he was committed to making that all work. Also, he understood the tone of the film he was in, which I think is a very important thing with something like this.
Having Jon Favreau on set:
He was just Happy – Quite. Considerably less stressed. I think he had a ball. I think it was great for him to be able to sit back in a way and not have to deal with the stress of being asked 14,000 questions a day.
He knew he was there to be an actor. That was the job he’d been asked to do, and he was doing it, and he just had a good time.
The appeal of Maya Hansen
She had a kind of brand of American, dry sassiness, coupled with being a genius, that I thought was interesting. And there’s something interesting about playing geniuses and being slightly counterintuitive, and not saying, ‘she’s really smart, she’s really serious’, but kind of make her a little bit ‘on a spectrum’, like a little bit. There was something a little bit about her that she’ll just say it exactly how she wants to say it, and has no real sense of social mores or politeness, which I thought was sort of interesting. It’s not even on her radar, she’s just doing what she has to do, driven like that, which I thought was a fun kind of thing to play.
I had a conversation where I said, I assume by the cadences and the way it’s written – just the way Shane – I think so much of his voice is in it, I said it makes more sense for her to be American. And I really do fall on either. I am British, but I’m also half-American, so I’ve got a foot directly in the mid-Atlantic area, so it’s not difficult for me to be either.
Putting together a playlist for Maya
I’ve probably still got it on my phone. It was – what can I remember being on Maya’s playlist? There was quite a lot of nineties rock. There was quite a lot of things like Green Day, and a lot of Radiohead. It was quite random, but quite hard and anarchic, not that they’re hard and anarchic, that wasn’t a good example; it was more on that spectrum, which was quite a departure for a lot of them
How much of the character was on the page, how much in the direction and how much in the performance?
It was all Shane. His tone informed, his personality informed the script, and informed the way we shot it, even if it wasn’t his words that I was saying, it was still being influenced by him. And his way of chatting off-camera as well was definitely an influence. But I’d say that the base was always there on the page, but essentially it was kind of a combination of improv, what was there, stuff that worked, repetition, whatever.
Being in a blockbuster affecting her ‘edge, indie movie’ brand
I’m not kissing that brand goodbye, if that’s what you’re saying. I’m still an edgy, independent person, thank you very much, I’m just happy to do a bit of this as well. You’ve got to do everything these days, a little bit.
Does this mean we might see you toting a gun around one day and kicking some bottom?
Holding a gun and kicking bottom is not something I’d chase down, unless there was a character tied to the person holding the gun, who was particularly interesting to me. Then of course I would chase it down, but that’s first and foremost, I’ve got not interest in doing action for action’s sake.
Iron Man 3 is out today, read our review here.