“There are many ways to make this film,” admits Rebecca Hall during our recent video chat (watch above) about her new movie “Christine.” The Golden Globe nominated star of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008) plays Florida news reporter Christine Chubbuck who, in 1974, shocked the world by committing suicide on live television after battling years of depression. “I think what’s true and honest,” she adds, “is the version where you see someone who’s desperately trying to live.”
Since very little footage exists of Chubbuck, Hall says she relied primarily on Craig Shilowich’s screenplay to create the character. “The script became a sort of distilled version of the research that he did from talking to friends and co-workers,” she reveals, “and also his personal relationship with the story, because he is someone who has went through an extended period of depression.” The actress, “felt like my responsibility was to the script, given that it was an artistic rendering of a true story that also involved these elements of someone’s personal experience.”
Despite its grim subject matter, the film, directed by Antonio Campos, is darkly funny in moments. “One of the things that always came up about Christine was that she was incredibly witty,” divulges Hall. “She’s doing this performance always of being normal and getting away with it. Sometimes she’s really bad at that acting, and that is often funny and ridiculous, but charming. It’s not at her expense. To see someone struggling and in pain, but also see the humanity and what’s bittersweet about it at the same time, is a real feat of the film.”
“Christine” opens in New York on Oct. 14 and in Los Angeles and other select cities on Oct. 21.
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