By Mehera Bonner
The Miss Peregrine’s actress has officially reached muse-dom.
Not to be dramatic, but Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is Tim Burton’s best movie since Edward Scissorhands (that’s right, I went there), and that’s in large part thanks to Eva Green. The Parisian actress nails her titular performance as the quick-talking headmistress, so it’s no surprise that she’s been dubbed Tim Burton’s new muse. But is she ready to take the mantle from Winona Ryder and Helena Bonham Carter?
MarieClaire.com sat down with Green at the ultra-atmospheric McKittrick Hotel and talked about all things Miss Peregrine, whether she thinks the world is ready for a female James Bond, and her decision to work with controversial director Roman Polanski.
Marie Claire: You recently mentioned wanting to get away from scripts that describe the female lead as a “beautiful, mysterious woman.” Do you feel Burton gives you the opportunity to subvert typecasting?
Eva Green: In a Tim Burton movie, you know it’s going to be something unusual, or a bit mad. Something “other.” The characters are many-layered. I’ve never played a character that is just beautiful, but sometimes you can read scripts that sound so shallow, like women are objects. I’ve never done something like that, though.
MC: This film celebrates difference. Have you had personal experiences of outsiderdom?
EG: I’ve always felt a bit weird, very shy. Like, I can’t believe I’m here giving interviews and doing stuff like this—it’s so surreal. I’ve never been very good talking about myself. I’m very proud of this movie and of course I want to promote it, but it’s kind of paradoxical. I’ve always felt like I’m from another planet.
MC: I saw a really interesting article reading the film as an allegory for Syrian refugees. There are also many allegories to be made about bullying. What do you make of the film being a lens to discuss these important social topics?
EG: I think everybody will imagine their own thing. In the novel it was quite obvious that the Peculiars were the Jews and the Hollows were the Nazis. It’s more like a generic message—don’t be ashamed of who you are, embrace who you are. And if you’re weird, it’s good to be weird. It’s boring to be like everybody. I love that.
By Larushka Ivan-Zadeh
In real life, Eva Green is as curious as her characters. In Hollywood, that makes her a breath of fresh air.
‘A BIT bonkers and eccentric — such an unusual character,’ is a phrase actress Eva Green could use to describe herself. Instead the 36-year-old Parisian is enthusing about her titular role in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children as a magical, pipe-smoking headmistress who can turn herself into a peregrine falcon.
Miss P’s pupils include an invisible boy and a girl who floats like a balloon. Little wonder director Tim Burton dubbed her ‘Scary Poppins’.
‘I love playing someone like this, who isn’t a love interest,’ says Green, whose breakout turn as Bond’s most significant girl in Casino Royale saw the awards come rolling in. ‘I often get asked if I get worried about being typecast as a femme fatale. But I have played so many other things! It makes me sad. Is that how people see me, as a dark kind of icy image? I hope not.’
Green may insist ‘I am not a goth. I am a big geek!’, but today she certainly looks the part: her marble flesh is made paler by her raven tresses (‘it’s actually dark blonde — I have dyed my hair since I was 15’), her petite frame is clad neck to ankle in a black lacy-sleeved Elie Saab trouser suit, all topped off with her favourite chunky silver skull ring.
Bernardo Bertolucci, who cast her in his sexually graphic drama The Dreamers aged 19, once described her as ‘so beautiful it’s indecent’, but the French/Swedish actress is now more likely to be typecast as a witch (as she was in The Golden Compass and Burton’s Dark Shadows, plus a possessed medium in Penny Dreadful) than a Euro sex kitten. It’s something of a relief that in person Green is warm, fascinating company and refreshingly peculiar.
By Will Lawrence
Eva Green is no stranger to the big screen. Her film repertoire includes Casino Royale (2006), Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (2012) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014). Next up, Green plays the title character in Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (September 30). Based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs, the movie follows the birdlike, shape-shifting Miss Peregrine as she protects a group of fantastically gifted children.
To celebrate the upcoming movie, Parade sat down with Green to discuss her character, working with Burton and all things peculiar.
What is Miss Peregrine’s journey in this film?
She is very strong. She runs the home a bit like a commanding general, rather than a governess. She will do absolutely anything for her children and then they do find themselves in a tricky situation. She doesn’t want them to be scared. Everything is falling apart, but she is there to protect them. It is the mission of her life.
So she is a strong character rather than a stern one?
Totally. She is very good. She is like a mother to them. But she does have a lot of authority as well. She wants to be respected. All the children have to be on time because if one of them is not on time—it is quite a complicated story with this time loop. Everything has to be on time. It is all extremely organized so she, as I said, is like a general but it is all for the good of the children.
The “peculiar” in the title, does that just refer to the children’s special powers or are they are actually quirky, unusual children in themselves?
They don’t have special powers but peculiarities. They can fly and become invisible, but at the end of the day it becomes quite normal. They are actually like normal children. They can be sad, happy, playful. I don’t think they are weird.
The way he talks about his own childhood and the fact that these children find it hard to fit in, one suspects it is a very personal film to Tim. Did you get that impression?
Yes, those children are peculiar. They don’t fit in the outside world and I think he felt like this as a child. Lots of people feel like that and identify with that.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be premiering on September 30! In celebration of the film’s premiere and Eva Green introducing us to her new character in the name of Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine, we, in cooperation and kindness of Quirk Books, publisher of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine book series, will be giving away FREE authentic Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children merchandise to loyal and lucky Eva Green and Miss Peregrine series fans!
We will be giving away the following prizes:
- A copy of The Art of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Leah Gallo and Holly C. Kemf, with forewords by Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs
Witness the genesis of peculiardom! This visual tour of the movie world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, created by iconic filmmaker Tim Burton, is sure to be a must-have for fans of the series. A companion book to the film, it features behind-the-scenes images and set information from two of Burton’s longtime collaborators, including details on costume design, cinematography, set design, concept art, and more. This beautiful hardback edition makes a perfect gift or collector’s item.
- A copy of Miss Peregrine’s Journal for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Life is full of surprises. Things are rarely what they seem. We have all the secret hidden talents. These are some of the lessons that Miss Peregrine’s students learn, sometimes the hard way. You may not have an ymbryne as your guide, but now you can map your days, record your most peculiar thoughts, and bare your soul in this beautifully designed journal that’s right out of the world of peculiars. Featuring vintage black and white photos, with quotes from all three books in the bestselling Peculiar Children series, it’s the perfect companion whether you’re travelling peculiardom or caught in a loop.
- Original Miss Peregrine Funko Doll
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By Elsa Keslassy
Emmanuelle Seigner and Eva Green are set to star in Roman Polanski’s psychological thriller “Based on a True Story” (“D’apres une histoire vraie”), which will be sold internationally by Lionsgate.
Assayas, who nabbed the best director prize at Cannes for supernatural drama “Personal Shopper” is co-writing the film with Polanski. “True Story” turns on the toxic relationship between a writer (Emmanuelle Seigner), whose life and mind are endangered by an obsessive woman (Eva Green).
Marking Polanski’s return to filmmaking since his 2013 drama “Venus in Fur,” the French-language “Based on a True Story” is an adaptation of Delphine de Vigan’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The book was published last year and won the Prix Renaudot and high school prize Goncourt des Lyceens.
“True Story” is Beji’s first collaboration with Assayas and Polanski. Beji is producing the film via his Parisian outfit Wy Productions, whose credits include Jalil Lespert’s Cesar-winning “Yves Saint Laurent” and Pierre Niney starrer “An Ideal Man” and the French remake of “Chaos” with Romain Duris, Charlotte Lebon and Lespert.
The shooting will start in Nov. in Paris. Mars Distribution will release the film in France.