Getting to know the L.A.-based Brit playing a billionaire founder with a dark secret
Words by THE C MAGAZINE EDITORS
Photography by JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE
Although the dystopic new Netflix thriller The One is set in London, its cut-throat central character Rebecca Webb will resonate with Silicon Valley types who have known the morally questionable extents to which a founder will go to achieve billion dollar unicorn status. In it, British actor Hannah Ware plays the founder and CEO of The One, a dating startup that uses people’s DNA to find their soulmate, predetermined by genetics.
Ware hails from London but adopted the U.S. as her permanent home over a decade ago, living first in Manhattan before moving to Los Angeles. Previously, Ware has starred in Hulu’s The First with Sean Penn; the ABC drama Betrayal; and Boss, a political drama about the mayor of Chicago in which she played the daughter of Kelsey Grammer’s character.
You might also recognize her as the elder sister of singer Jessie Ware, whose “Say You Love Me” ballad was featured on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. Jessie is also the co-host of the Table Manners podcast alongside their mother, Lennie (you can listen to Hannah’s family reunion episode from earlier this month here).
Having reached number one on Netflix UK and as one of the most-viewed shows currently in the U.S., hopes are high for a second season. We speak to Hannah from her home in the Hollywood Hills about which historical figure inspired the role, why she would make a terrible CEO and her favorite L.A. spots to hunt for vintage clothes.
“I’m interested in people, particularly women in positions of power and how they navigate that”
What appealed to you about the role of Rebecca?
What appealed to me about Rebecca was exploring a character whose ideological certainty was so strong that she would go to such extreme measures to prove it. I’m interested in people, particularly women in those sorts of positions of power and how they navigate that.
How did you research the role?
Preparation-wise, I looked at women who were like the above from Margaret Thatcher to [disgraced Theranos founder] Elizabeth Holmes. I definitely looked at female movers and shakers in Silicon Valley but ultimately I focused more on women as mentioned above who were more well-documented.
What sides of your personality would make you a great CEO?
The side that would make me a great CEO is that I am psychotically organized and focused, especially when it comes to work.
What sides of your personality would make you a terrible CEO?
I would be a terrible tech CEO because my technological skills are appalling.
What does your weekly tech diet look like?
My tech diet consists of the New York Times’ The Daily podcast — I adore Micheal Barbaro. I also love Modern Love, Pivot and Eater’s Digest. App-wise I think the most frequented one is the weather app. I like to know the weather in all my favorite places. I’m a Brit and we are obsessed with weather. I’m tempted to get an Apple Watch but wonder if it can ever be chic.
“I am psychotically organized and focused, especially when it comes to work”
What brought you to California?
I came to California rather predictably. I’m an actress and it’s better weather here.
What are your favorite California getaways?
I am in love with all of California but my two favorite getaways are a night at The Biltmore in Santa Barbara and staying at Sea Ranch. I rented an RV this [past] summer and had a magical time up the coast. One of my fondest memories was going for an icy morning dip in the beautiful little beach cove at the edge of Mendocino town. I also love how it’s filled with my favorite flowers: hydrangeas. I love a hike up the coast too — Fern Canyon, Creamery Meadow loop in Big Sur. Closer to home I love Red Rock in Topanga and Solstice Canyon in Malibu.
What are your favorite places to eat and drink in California?
In L.A., Petit Trois for a perfect steak frites; oysters from Broad Street Oyster Co. in Malibu; Korean [food] from Chosun Galbee in Koreatown; inexpensive sushi from Hama Sushi in Little Tokyo; The Brothers Sushi if you want to spend a little more. Veal (I know, eek emoji) from Angelini Osteria; Japanese layered omelette sandwiches and croissants from Konbi; Sunset Tower for a vodka martini; Freedman’s in Silver Lake for a great Friday night chicken dinner, and its brisket is superb, too. Slightly beyond L.A.: Oysters from Bodega Bay; tacos from La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara; and the most perfect French meal from Bell’s in Los Alamos.
“I am in love with all of California”
What are your favorite places to shop?
New High Mart in Los Feliz is a speciality Japanese store with a wonderful owner called Richard; Fish King for great seafood to cook; Epicurus Gourmet for great European products; Larchmont Beauty Center is my favorite beauty store; Zak on Fairfax has great glasses and sunnies; The Well Refill in Topanga Canyon for refilling cleaning products and other curiosities; General Store in Venice for vintage and gifts; Rose Bowl Flea Market for vintage; Now Serving for beautiful cookbooks; and Psychic Wines for interesting wine.
What is on your California bucket list?
Visit Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute in San Diego; to go midnight bathing at the Esalen Institute; and to get a date shake en route back from the desert. I’ve not stopped at Joshua Tree yet — I would love to see some live music at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown.
March 24, 2021
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