Rebecca Hall Iron Man 3 2013

‘Iron Man 3′ pits the brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, ‘Iron Man 3′ returns Robert Downey Jr as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Paul Bettany as JARVIS, and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. The likes of Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Guy Pearce, Wang Xuequi and William Sadler join the Marvel universe in this third Iron Man movie as The Mandarin, Maya Hansen, Eric Savin, Aldrich Killian, Dr. Wu and Sal Kennedy, respectively. ‘Iron Man 3,’  the latest installment of the ‘Iron Man’ film franchise that has grossed more than $1.2 billion at the global box office, will be released in the UK on April 25th and in North America on May 3rd. Look out for a more in-depth interview with Rebecca Hall for the film next week. Lots more interviews to come!

I know you’ve had to stay pretty silent about your character in the run up to ‘Iron Man 3.’ Yet, you’re now allowed to share some more details….?

Rebecca Hall: I can (laughs). Well, I play a character named Maya Hansen, who is an incredibly smart – some would say genius – scientist. She has developed some very cutting edge technology that is one of the principle components that drives the story: the Extremis Virus. She is involved in the whole Iron Man world because she met Tony Stark a long time ago when she was an M.I.T student being funded to research into a certain field that he’s also a specialist in – because he’s a specialist in everything, he’s a bit like that (laughs). They met a long time ago and she resurfaces in Tony Stark’s life years later. She can match Tony Stark intellectually. And Extremis, it’s a formula that my character Maya Hansen has developed, which essentially reprograms your genetic code so that you can re-grow your body to be however you want it to be, essentially so you can become superhuman. The problem is that it still has some issues with it.

How did you find it working opposite Robert Downey Jr, especially given Maya and Tony Stark’s dynamic? 

Rebecca Hall: Robert Downey Jr is a real force, and he’s very energizing to work with. He’s very unexpected and he knows this character and this world inside out, he really understands Tony Stark so completely.  I think what’s so particularly charming and wonderful about Tony Stark and what he’s done to create him is that he has this great whit, he’s very funny. And that’s how he shows his intellect, through his whit. That is pure Robert Downey Jr, that’s not anything else, that’s just him, he is quick witted like that. It’s very very thrilling to work with him because you have to kind of give as good as you get (laughs). It’s a great challenge and it’s fun! I like their dynamic as well. With Maya, I think she’s an equally driven, scientific genius.


How was it filming the flashback scene where Maya meets Tony?

Rebecca Hall: We had a lot of fun on that. The flashback scene where Maya and Tony meet is on New Year’s Eve, 1999 at a science conference. Maya Hansen, Tony Stark and Happy Hogan all end up in Maya’s hotel room, which was a very funny scene. We had a fun time shooting it because it was funny on the page, on the script, but somehow the three of us started getting more and more ridiculous with it and got a lot of jokes out of it. And there’s a lot of fun to be had in doing something set in 1999 too. You kind of think, “Oh, it’s not that long ago. How period can it get?” And you realize actually that the haircuts were really specific and there are certain cultural references that you can really milk like Jon Favreau dressed up like John Travolta in ‘Pulp Fiction.’ It’s kind of great (laughs).

I loved the dynamic between between Maya Hansen and Pepper Potts, I think that will surprise a lot of people….?

Rebecca Hall: Definitely. The thing that I really like about this story line is that everyone assumes that it’s going to be this massive love triangle and that there’s going to be this massive cat-fight between Pepper Potts and Maya, and it was never that on the page. Instead they done what the ‘Iron Man’ franchise has pretty much always done, they sort of subverted expectations and stereotypes and actually made it about two very smart women who know that they understand this rather eccentric figure (laughs). And there is a sort of bonding that happens because of that, they’re very funny about it and it’s not at all what some people may have been expecting. They’re strong, intelligent, smart women.

I have to admit, it is really really fun to play people who are much smarter than me (laughs). I get to try and convince the world that I might be as smart as that, and I am really not – but don’t let anyone know (laughs).

What do you think it is about the character of Tony Stark that makes him such an iconic and loved character?

Rebecca Hall: Tony Stark has all the sort of hallmarks of a great hero, you know? He’s at the top, he’s done well for himself, he’s brainy, he’s all the rest of it. But he’s also tragically flawed and human, so the fact that you can make someone who’s in essence not that very easy to relate to, you can be incredibly sympathetic to him. And because he’s so warm and charming, you just want to be his best friend (laughs). That’s what makes him so great to me, that’s the pay off. People love that character and for good reason, it’s very energizing to be a part of it. It’s interesting to be in something so iconic, and it’s thrilling to walk onto set and see the suit and the cast. It’s exciting stuff!