Hall opens up to big flicks

Hall opens up to big flicks
British actress Rebecca Hall, whose latest role is that of a lawyer opposite Eric Bana (left) in Closed Circuit.

For much of her Hollywood career, it has been difficult to picture actress Rebecca Hall doing anything quite so vulgar as a big action blockbuster.

Maybe it is the 31-year-old's sterling pedigree as an award-winning stage actress as well as the daughter of the influential British theatre impresario Peter Hall.

Or it could be that her foray into Tinseltown has involved mostly small studio films or indies, including the offbeat 2008 Woody Allen comedy-drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona, where her performance as the uptight Vicky earned a Golden Globe nomination.

Thus, fans of the willowy English actress might have been startled to see her pop up in Iron Man 3, the box-office juggernaut that cost US$200 million to make and earned six times as much at the global box office earlier this year.

After completing work on the superhero flick, Hall - who played a shadowy scientist from Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Tony Stark's past - tells Life! it was a relief to return to the more intimate dramas she has been known for.

That includes the new low-budget British crime thriller Closed Circuit, which opened in Singapore this week.

She and co-star Eric Bana play lawyers who must represent the prime suspect in the high-profile trial of an alleged terrorist bomber.

They soon realise there is more to the case than meets the eye, and to get to the bottom of it, they must navigate Britain's arcane closed-court procedures, a possible government conspiracy, and their own troubled romantic past.

Speaking to reporters in New York earlier this year, Hall says the film's commentary on contemporary surveillance culture should resonate in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about unauthorised snooping by the United States government.

And while the plot seems to be inspired by a sceptical, even paranoid take on these issues, the actress feels that a bit of scepticism is healthy in a democracy.

"I think it's healthy to have a discourse. And when a society feels unsafe, it generates this sort of thinking."

She was also drawn to the story by the intellect and eloquence of her character, a brilliant young barrister.

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