Rebecca Maria Hall (born 3 May 1982) is a British-American actress. In 2003, she won the Ian Charleson Award for her debut stage performance in a production of Mrs. Warren's Profession. She has appeared in the films The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe), The Town, Frost/Nixon, Iron Man 3, and Transcendence.
In June 2010, Hall won the Supporting Actress BAFTA for her portrayal of Paula Garland in the 2009 Channel 4 production Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974. She was also nominated for the Leading Actress BAFTA in 2013 for her role as Sylvia Tietjens in BBC Two's Parade's End.
Hall was born in London, UK, to British stage director Peter Hall, who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company, and American opera singer Maria Ewing. Her mother is of Dutch, Scottish, Sioux, and African American origin. Her parents separated when she was still young, eventually divorcing in 1990. She has a half-brother, Edward Hall, who is a theatre director, and four other half-siblings, including theatre designer Lucy Hall, veteran television drama producer Christopher Hall, and Jennifer Caron Hall, a writer and painter.
Hall attended Roedean School, where she became head girl. She studied English Literature at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, before dropping out in 2002 just before her final year. During her time at Cambridge, she was active in the student theatre scene and also set up her own theatre company. She was a member of the Marlowe Society and starred alongside housemate Dan Stevens, who was an English literature student at Emmanuel College, in several critically acclaimed productions.
Film and television
Hall's first professional role came in 1992, when she appeared as young Sophy in her father's television adaptation of Mary Wesley's The Camomile Lawn at the age of 10.
Her feature film debut came in 2006 as Rebecca Epstein in the film adaptation of David Nicholls's Starter for Ten. She got her breakthrough with the role of Sarah Borden in Christopher Nolan's film The Prestige. She then appeared in Stephen Poliakoff's Joe's Palace in 2007, as well as appearing in several other television films including Wide Sargasso Sea and Rubberheart.
Hall's Hollywood fame grew when she starred in the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, playing one of the title characters, Vicky. Critics praised her performance. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. In 2008 she appeared in Frost/Nixon as the girlfriend of Michael Sheen's David Frost. Hall was cast with Ben Barnes in the film Dorian Gray in 2009. She appeared in Please Give with Catherine Keener and Amanda Peet and The Town with Ben Affleck and Blake Lively. She is the female lead role in the British ghost film The Awakening, released in September 2011.
She played the role of Beth Raymer, in the 2012 film Lay the Favourite, in which one review commented that she "plays Raymer as an endearing force of nature who somehow manages to survive in a dangerous world through sheer force of character." She played the role of Sylvia Tietjens in the BBC/HBO/VRT production of Parade's End in 2012 opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. She replaced Jessica Chastain as Maya Hansen in the superhero film Iron Man 3 (2013). She also starred as Claudia Simmons Howe in the thriller Closed Circuit (2013), and co-starred with Johnny Depp in Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence (2014).
In October 2013, she was engaged in promoting her latest film, the espionage thriller Closed Circuit, in which one commentator described her as "good...better than [co-star] Eric Bana".
In 2015, Hall starred in the romantic comedy Tumbledown, opposite Jason Sudeikis, and the Joel Edgerton-directed thriller The Gift, opposite Jason Bateman and Edgerton.
Hall's professional stage debut came in 2002 when she starred as Vivie in her father's production of Mrs Warren's Profession at the Strand Theatre in London. Her performance, described as "admirable" and "accomplished", earned her the Ian Charleson Award in 2003.
In 2003, Hall's father celebrated fifty years as a theatre director by staging a season of five plays at the Theatre Royal in Bath, Somerset. Hall starred in two of these plays; she appeared as Rosalind in her father's production of As You Like It, which gained her a second Charleson nomination and starred in the title role of Thea Sharrock's revival of D. H. Lawrence's The Fight for Barbara. In 2004, Hall appeared in three plays for the Peter Hall Company at the Theatre Royal, two of which her father directed, namely Man and Superman in which she played Ann, and Galileo's Daughter in which she played Sister Maria Celeste. The third, Molière's Don Juan, in which she played the part of Elvira, was directed by Sharrock.
During 2003 and 2004, Hall was in a relationship with her As You Like It co-star Freddie Stevenson.
Hall is in a relationship with director Sam Mendes.