Rebecca Hall talks Amazon Prime Video’s Tales from the Loop

By Marriska Fernandes on April 5, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Rebecca Hall in Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop is a new Amazon Prime Video series that explores the town and people who live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe – making things possible that were previously relegated only to science fiction. It’s a very interesting concept that explores not just time travel, but also poignant human stories. Based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop premiered Friday, April 3.

I spoke by phone with Rebecca Hall, who stars in the series, about her character, the concept of time travel and what she likes most about this original idea for the show. ~Marriska Fernandes

How would you describe the series to someone who hasn’t seen it yet?
Oohh, I don’t know. It was pitched to me as if Birdman made a sci-fi TV show (laughs), which I know is a kind of compelling pitch. It sort of serves both as really grounded emotional family entertainment about people, and also has a very, very rich philosophical, fantastical element that is totally original to my mind and much more poetic. I think there is – don’t get me wrong, I love this sort of thing – there is a trend for sci-fi things and things that have large concepts that also have dark twists and turns and a bit of cynicism to them. This is quite bold and daring because at its core it’s a very strong sense of humanity and struggle of being a person and it’s very moving because of that.

These are stories about people finding connection in the world and we identify with these characters. What sort of connection did you find with your character Loretta?
I think she is easy and hard to connect to because there is an aspect of her personality that is quite um… anti-social (laughs). She’s a big brain who doesn’t necessarily easily relate to people, she is obsessive with her work, but you understand quite quickly after the first episode that her obsession and her drive comes from this extreme act of abandonment in her childhood and when our characters have this sort of event that their whole emotional life stems from, it is very relatable. And also on some level, the kind of abandonment issues dealing with is… human. To put it another way, physicist and physics deals with time, the existence or non-existence of it, or its philosophical meaning of it, and a lot of the show deals with it because all these people are thinking about time.

If you ask a physicist if they believe time travel is possible, they will say yes, which blows my mind because people think it’s the stuff of science fiction but it is actually theoretically possible. The whole show takes the idea of time and makes it the fundamental problem/duty of being a human. Because if it wasn’t for time, relationships wouldn’t end, we wouldn’t grow up, we wouldn’t have to deal with becoming adults, we wouldn’t die. And we wouldn’t have all the wonderful things that come with the very fact that time does change things and move on and the pain that comes with that. And everybody can relate to that. That’s what ultimately the show deals with.

Jodie Foster, who directed the final episode, described the series as a film lover’s television show. Do you agree?
Absolutely! Like I said, when [series creator] Nathaniel [Halpern] was getting me to do it, he said it was as if Birdman made a sci-fi show, which is such a compelling idea because the aesthetic and sensibilities and tone of the show are incredibly cinematic. It’s not heavy-handed. There’s a huge reliance on visual storytelling in an original way and that’s very much to my taste — music, TV, across the board.

“The Loop” is a machine that is said to reveal the world’s mysteries. If you could, which mystery would you like an answer to?
Oh, all of them. I’m greedy… all the big ones. Also, I don’t want to know any of it. (Laughs)

Based on the first episode’s theme, what advice would you give your younger self if you did bump into her?
The truth is, being a person is a constant work of development, so if I bumped into my younger self, I’m not sure that I feel experienced enough to give her much advice as I won’t know what’s happening tomorrow. And, beyond that, [I would] just stare and gawk that she’s standing in front of me.

Thank you so much for the chat!
Thank you!

Tales From the Loop is now available on Prime Video.

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