Elegant Eva Green sat down with Cinematical during Sundance to discuss her new movie ‘Perfect Sense,’ an intense love story with a sci-fi bent. Green plays Susan, a successful epidemiologist who’s falling in love with a caddish chef named Michael (Ewan McGregor) just as a bizarre disease begins spreading around the world. Known for her star turns in movies like Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘The Dreamers,’ ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Casino Royale,’ Green’s intensity and intelligence is matched perfectly with McGregor in David Mackenzie’s affecting Sundance standout.
Cinematical: In researching your career in ‘Perfect Sense’ as an epidemiologist, did you learn anything that you didn’t want to know?
Eva Green: I went to a biologist’s office and the lab … She started talking about all the viruses around and it was so complicated and I was really bad in biology in school, so I didn’t understand everything, but what was amazing was the sense of humor that they have. They joke about death and diseases all the time, and it’s kind of [a] very dry sense of humor, and that was very interesting.
It would make me paranoid to learn more about viruses and things happening like that.
No, I think [because] they’re more aware of what’s going on, the less paranoid they may be than [we are]. But it’s just their sense of humor that struck me a lot.
It seems so bittersweet that your character is finally opening up as the world …
Is falling apart, yeah. It’s a very unconventional love story. It’s mainly a love story, and in the background you have a worldwide epidemic that affects the senses, the emotions, and she, my character, is kind of uptight and she’s guarded and she’s suspicious of men. She’s just come out of a difficult relationship, and she meets that guy who actually just works around the corner and she’s very guarded at the beginning — very cynical, actually — and little by little, she falls in love with him. And weirdly, he awakens the sensual side of her. I mean, it sounds a bit cheesy. It’s kind of weird. It just shows that love is the most important thing, you know?
It’s interesting because there’s this small subset of intimate, lovely films that science fiction but also very personal.
It’s a grounded sci-fi. You don’t have spaceships. It’s not like a typical end of the world movie. It’s a new angle on it, and it’s more focused on humanity rather than special effects.
How did you and Ewan work to create such a dynamic of two people opening and blossoming in the middle of chaos and terror?
What’s great is that we had the luxury to rehearse a week before shooting, and David, the director, helped us to find the tone of the script, because it’s a very weird tone. There’s a lot of black sense of humor. The writer’s Danish, but it almost sounds a bit British sometimes; it’s a kind of wry sense of humor. And to find the intimacy — I mean, I didn’t know Ewan at all before, so it was very helpful, you know, made us comforted to know one another, and Ewan is a very open, generous, simple person. And I think the chemistry works.
It’s interesting that your name keeps popping up on short lists or wish lists, perhaps, for superhero roles. Is that actually something of interest to you?
No, somebody just asked me if I was, like, on the short list for ‘Batman’ or something, and I was never approached for it. I don’t know. I think it’s a lot of bullshit, and people just throw your name onto the Internet or something.
You were on the short list for Catwoman in the next Batman movie.
Really? If only. No.
Is that of interest?
No, in general.
It depends on the director and it’s always important that there’s another facet, that it’s not just like a very strong woman. It’s nice to see the other side, the vulnerable side, the most human. So I don’t know. If it’s a bit cliché or cartoon, I don’t know.
How are you finding Sundance so far?
This is my first time here. I had a movie that came here, ‘The Dreamers,’ the Bertolucci movie, a few years ago, but I couldn’t come so it’s my first time here. I mean, it’s amazing. When you land, you look like you’re on Venus or something; it’s completely mad. It’s beautiful.
By Jenni Miller