Around the world with Rebecca Hall

Around the world with Rebecca Hall

She has theatre in her blood, but the English actress has been busy upstaging Hollywood stars with roles in Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, Ben Affleck’s ‘The Town’ and ‘Iron Man 3’.

Where have you just come back from?
Albuquerque in New Mexico, where I was filming a movie called Transcendence. It’s just like it is in Breaking Bad. No, not really! I actually thought it was vibrant and fun. I was staying in quite a cool part of town, the student district, where there are endless tattoo parlours and record shops.

Where in the world have you felt happiest?
In a flower meadow in Gloucestershire. I also love London Fields in Hackney – strangely, they’ve been trying to grow a wild-flower field there, too.

Name a place that most lived up to the hype
New Orleans. I expected it to be exciting and full of amazing music and adventures, and it was. And also Rio, where I went on a whim to visit a friend – I think I booked the flight and left the same day – and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

And somewhere that least lived up to the hype
Although I loved Rio, Copacabana beach was much more down and dirty and bizarre than I thought it was going to be. Lots of people flexing their muscles.

Which is your road most travelled?
Probably the walk between Clerkenwell and either Columbia Road or Covent Garden. I walk everywhere in London.

Sightseeing or sun-lounger?
I don’t think I could do either for long without feeling the need to do the other. I had a few days off work in Albuquerque and decided to go to Mexico, so I found the flight that would get me there most efficiently, which turned out to be one to Cabo.

What do you pack first?
I’m completely impractical, and will pack my Kindle before a pair of pants. In fact, I usually forget the pants, but I always have my Kindle.

Describe a memory from a childhood holiday
I remember being 12 and on holiday with my dad [the director Sir Peter Hall], my step-mum Nikki and my little half-sister Emma, who was about two at the time. We were sharing a bed, and you’d think she would be catnip to mosquitos because she was young and squishy and lovely, but not at all. Annoyingly, she was just learning to count, and took great glee in totting up the number of bites I had each morning.

Describe your favourite view
Whatever’s outside the nearest window.

‘I would never, ever go back to…’
Nieuwpoort in Belgium, where we filmed the TV series Parade’s End. It felt very far away and rather desolate, and I worked too hard.

Confess to one thing you’ve taken from a hotel room
Oh god, lots of things! I apologise to every hotel I’ve ever taken dishes, cutlery, towels, dressing gowns or slippers from. A couple of times I’ve even thought about taking a blanket or two. Why do I do this? Maybe it’s some strange compulsion to do with getting my money’s worth.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels?
A long time ago I backpacked around Egypt and met an incredibly interesting Bedouin who took me and my friend Caroline into the desert for a couple of nights. He was very resourceful and ended up being the only one who could get reception on a mobile phone. For some reason I found that hilarious.

Do you have a guilty pleasure when travelling?
Being incredibly lazy. I’m not very lazy generally, but when I get into that mindset, it’s like I’ve never been allowed to sit still in my life, and I’m never going to move again.

What would you most like to find in your minibar?
Marcona almonds and tequila.

Most regrettable holiday souvenir?
The shisha pipe I brought back from Egypt in a backpack. It took forever to wrap in various items of clothing and then it broke. I went to great expense to get it fixed, and then couldn’t find any of the right tobacco to go in it anyway.

How do you relax?
I read books. I’m currently reading My Face for the World to See by Alfred Hayes. It was first published in 1958 and has just been reprinted. He was a British writer who co-wrote Bicycle Thieves and ended up living in Hollywood scripting Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I’m about three quarters of the way through, and it’s brilliant. A real gem.

Rebecca Hall was speaking to Francesca Babb. ‘Closed Circuit’ starring Rebecca Hall is released on 1 November

Published in Conde Nast Traveller November 2013

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply