French actress Eva Green needs love when she works on a new project.
“If I’m not passionate about the character, I can’t do it. Some actors work and work and work. I wish I could be like that,” Green says. “But I need to be in love.”
Her latest love is Morgan, half sister to King Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), in the Starz original series “Camelot” that launches Friday night. Morgan believes she’s the heir to the throne until Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) reveals the existence of Arthur.
The series will follow the battle between Morgan and Arthur for control of the kingdom.
Green wasn’t familiar with Morgan before being offered the role. The more she researched the character, the more her passions grew for the role.
The trick was to find just the right way to portray Morgan, a character who has been depicted in literature as everything from saint to sinner.
Although Morgan is a master of the black arts, Green saw her in more humanistic terms.
“I didn’t want her to be such a mystical figure. She’s a very damaged, very sensitive person. She’s been through a lot. The 15 years she was banished to a nunnery gave her plenty of time to become bitter,” Green says. “She’s completely obsessed with the throne to the point where it’s almost unhealthy.
“She will lose a lot of people she loves because of that.”
The one thing Green didn’t want to do was play Morgan as evil. She sees her use of dark forces to take control as just one of the tools she needs to become a good leader.
This is Green’s first television series. Before “Camelot,” her work was confined to feature films: “The Dreamers,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Golden Compass” and “Casino Royale.”
She likes that the long commitment of a TV series gives her the time to explore her character — something she’s not had with film roles.
“The evolution of Morgan is quite amazing. You see the child, the femme fatale. It’s a very powerful role,” Green says. “Sometimes in movies, you play the girlfriend and it’s quite boring. Here she’s somebody very bold.”
Right now, Green has 10 episodes of “Camelot” to bring Morgan to life. Whether she will have more episodes depends on viewing numbers.
Either way, it seems that Green can fall in love with more than one character at a time. Her next project is a film on the life of opera singer Maria Callas.
“I adore her as a character,” Green says.
“I will try to get the essence of her because I will never be able to become her.”