In the Starz original series Camelot, premiering on April 1st, French actress Eva Green plays Morgan, the beautiful and ruthlessly ambitious daughter of King Uther, who wishes to claim her right to her father’s throne. However, she has not counted on Merlin’s (Joseph Fiennes) plans or the existence of Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), her newly revealed half brother. In her pursuit of power and her willingness to do absolutely anything to take the throne that she believes is rightfully hers, Morgan gives herself over to dark forces that threaten the court of Camelot from within.
In a recent interview to promote this new epic series, Eva Green talked about stepping into the role of such an iconic character, working with both Joseph Fiennes and Jamie Campbell Bower, getting to shoot in Ireland, and the fantastic costumes she gets to wear. She also talked about her Sundance film, Perfect Sense, with Ewan McGregor, and the possibility that she will play opera star Maria Callas in the biopic, Callas. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Question: What’s it like to step into the role of Morgan?
EVA GREEN: It’s a great character. It’s full of colors, and it’s a gift. At drama school, I always wanted to play dark characters, like Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra, so it was a dream. It’s not a clichéd role. She’s not evil. I see her more as damaged. She believes herself to be the rightful heir to the throne, but because she’s a woman, she’s denied the throne and she will do absolutely anything to get it back.
With all the film work that you do, was it a difficult decision to sign on for a TV series and play a character for a longer period of time?
GREEN: Yeah. The good thing about it is that it’s five months and I will have time to do movies in between. This is such an iconic story and you have 10 episodes to explore a character. It’s not a girlfriend role that you could have in a movie. It’s a real ballsy character. She has some guts. That’s nice to play.
What was the most fun part of this shoot?
GREEN: I love Ireland. I feel very at peace there. It’s just magical and beautiful.
The rivalry between Merlin and Morgan is legendary. What is that chemistry like?
GREEN: This Camelot is very different. There are so many versions on the myth. In that one, Merlin is Morgan’s sworn enemy. Morgan also hates Merlin because he has put Arthur on the throne, but she respects him. She adores toying with him, like a cat with a mouse. So, it’s fun. We have a lot of taunting and teasing scenes. Their relationship to magic is quite different also. Merlin is world-weary when it comes to magic. He has seen and experienced too much. And for Morgan, magic is new to her and she’s drawn to it. It’s very exciting. It’s like a drug.
How much magic will there be on the show? Are there going to be great battles between Merlin and Morgan?
GREEN: You see people changing shapes, but it’s mainly ancient, pagan magic. It’s magic using nature and the forces of nature, like air, water, earth and fire. It’s not Harry Potter or Walt Disney. We don’t wave a wand.
What is it like to work with both Joseph Fiennes and Jamie Campbell Bower? What is the difference in dynamic between the two actors and how did they enrich your performance?
GREEN: I’ve always wanted to work with Joe. He’s a very charismatic, powerful actor. He has a very strong presence. Even if he doesn’t talk, he’s extremely powerful. He’s done so much stage work, and I love the fact that he’s a very different Merlin. He’s also quite damaged. He’s not the Merlin with the pointy hat and the white beard. He’s a sexy Merlin. It’s interesting. And, I see Jamie more like my little brother. He’s so much fun. He’s very naughty. He’s wonderful. He’s nice to be around, and he’s very rock ‘n’ roll. He doesn’t take himself seriously and he’s very humble. I think he will go very far.
In playing a character like this, do the costumes and hairstyles really help give you a sense of the character?
GREEN: Totally, yeah. I really worked together with Joan Bergin, who did The Tudors. I brought a lot of paintings and we worked together on it. It was a real team. We had the time. We start with medieval clothes that are kind of conventional and, as the character goes, it’s more Oriental and exotic looking. It’s quite interesting. She’s more centered towards the later episodes.
What is the balance between effects and practical sets?
GREEN: Camelot looks amazing. I’ve never seen it like this. Otherwise, there’s not much special effects. I’m transforming and shape-shifting sometimes, which was really physical. I met a shaman for that. It was fascinating and quite mad. You have to be into it.
Are you going to play Maria Callas in Callas?
GREEN: They’re writing the script. That’s a scary role, so we’ll see.
Do you have any other films coming out?
GREEN: Yeah. I’m going to Sundance with a movie called Perfect Sense, which is by David Mackenzie and with Ewan McGregor. It’s a love story with the background of a worldwide epidemic. It’s quite weird and quite beautiful. I saw it two weeks ago and I’m quite proud of it.
Is it challenging to continue to find roles that are strong women that aren’t just the girlfriend?
GREEN: Yeah. I need to feel proud of my work and I need to be in love with a character. It’s good for the soul. Otherwise, you feel bad. I can’t just do work and work and work. I need to be passionate about it. I work less maybe than other actors because of that.
CAMELOT premieres on Starz on April 1st
by Christina Radish