In the film Perfect Sense, Eva Green plays a pretty scientist who meets a handsome, talented chef (played by Ewan McGregor)—but it’s not quite a perfect love story. While they’re falling in the love, the world is falling victim to a global pandemic characterized by the steady destruction of the senses. As Susan, Green—who you’ve seen as the sexy sister in The Dreamers, the evil sister in Camelot and a Bond Girl in Casino Royale—masterfully interprets life without sight, sound, smell, or taste. ELLE.com spoke with the actress about what would happen if she lost her senses in real life, and why Tim Burton’s a pleasure to work with, even though he’s “cuckoo.”
ELLE: Living with all of your senses, the idea of losing them seems unthinkable. How was it to prepare for the role?
Eva Green: It was more an emotional thing, an emotional crisis. The most difficult scene was the loss of hearing, because it was kind of more anxious, and anxiety feelings. But there was no specific preparation for the part.
ELLE: Which sense would be the one you’d most be willing to give up?
EG: My eyes, maybe…but I hope it never happens!
ELLE: Is there a sense you’d miss the most?
EG: The sense of smell. Without that, [you lose your] sense of taste—and I love foie gras, so that would be really bad.
ELLE: What is your favorite scent?
EG: Maybe the food that my grandmother used to make me. She used to make an amazing lemon cake, each time I sense something similar I think of that.
ELLE: If you lost your sense of sight, what image would be in your mind forever?
EG: Oh my God! Wow…. landscapes in Morocco at sunset.
ELLE: The film seems to be about more than just the relationships between lovers—there are also the relationships between families, between people.
EG: With such a catastrophe, there’s an urgency. They’re all kind of hungry for each other, not just sex, but there’s something to touch each other, to enjoy every moment. You have to seize the moment, because you don’t know what will happen
ELLE: You’re currently filming Dark Shadows, the Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp, which is also a dark love story. Are you drawn to these atypical romantic plots?
EG: I think they’re very different—in Dark Shadows it’s very cuckoo and electric and funny. It’s a different style. Weirdly, I found Perfect Sense more naturalistic and normal, even though there’s a catastrophe. But Dark Shadows is fun—I’ve never had that kind of opportunity before to play such an extreme character and to not be afraid of doing too much. It’s kind of close to being [in a] German experimental film, in the 1920s. It’s very unusual….but it’s a pleasure!