G   /   March 10, 2015   /   0 Comments

On the penultimate day of the rewrite, I finally brought up Eva Green. Pitt was sitting on the chair, the sun was setting in one of the windows, and Madison Street, which was three stories below us, was clogged with cars. The Dreamers was Green’s first movie, and the first of the many sex scenes in her career—the most outrageous of which is in 300: Rise of an Empire. In a sense—at least a cinematic sense—Pitt deflowered her. (“You are my first love, my first great love,” Green says to Pitt in The Dreamers, after fucking him on a couch.) “What is she like in person?” I asked him with a tone that I thought perfectly concealed my fascination with the actress. Pitt, who had heard me sing nonstop praises for his performance of the Kurt Cobain–like character in Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, looked at me for a moment and, as if finally realizing that my devotion to him was lower than the one I had for his costar in The Dreamers, said with almost cool cruelty: “You and every other man wants to know that.” I never brought the matter up again.

My fascination with Green is not, however, as sordid as Pitt’s response implied. I admire her mostly on a cinematic plane. She has a face, and particularly eyes—big green eyes—that can communicate all the needed information about her character’s soul or emotional state. One fact that separates film from theater: Acting is less important than visage. On a stage, which is always distant, a face means comparatively little; on a movie screen, a face is almost everything. Indeed, it is precisely this fact that enabled Green to deliver such a great performance in the new and excellent Danish western The Salvation without saying a single word through the entire film.

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