Rebecca Hall Talks About Her Directorial Debut “Passing” and the Legacy of Author Nella Larsen

Manny The Movie Guy

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First of all, I love “Passing!”  It’s poetic and heartfelt featuring great performances from both Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga.  Based on the beloved 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, Thompson and Negga play mixed-race childhood friends from Chicago who reunite in New York and unravels secrets kept by each other.  Thompson is Irene “Reenie” who identifies as African-American and is married to a black doctor while Negga is Clare who passes as white and is married to a prejudiced white man played by Alexander Skarsgard.

This wonderful adaptation is written and directed by Rebecca Hall making her directorial debut.  I spoke with Hall about her interest in adapting Larsen’s novel, her decision to shoot it in black-and-white using a 4:3 aspect ratio, the dynamics between the characters, and the meaning of the word passing.

“Passing” is now out in select theaters and streams on Netflix on November 10. 

For more on my “Passing” interview, click here.

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