M.   /   May 27, 2015   /   0 Comments

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– Magazines & Newspapers > 2015 > Io Donna (Italy) – May 30, 2015


“Dark? But I dream of doing a comedy.”

She found Ireland, where she is filming the second season of the horror tv show Penny Dreadful, a mystical country. But also in western atmospheres, Eva Green does not stop confronting the dark forces. Even her mother, French actress Marlène Jobert, is surprised by her dark roles…

The sky is grey, the sudden rain that makes the asphalt dark and shiny, the bare trees of a cold February day: the atmosphere of Ardmore Studios in Wicklow County, forty minutes from Dublin, could not be more appropriate. They are shooting the second season of Penny Dreadful, an horror-gotic tv show created by John Logan and produced by Sam Mendes, set during the Victorian London.

The scene is full of deformed monsters, characters from literature – Dorian Gray, Dracula and Frankenstein – opium smokers, adventurers. Here, every morning for months, Eva Green became the fragile, painful and enigmatic Vanessa Ives, the sorcerer with supernatural powers who fights evil spirits and unknown forces. Between takes, the actress leave her long dark dress with rigid corset (the amazing costumes have been created by Gabriella Pescucci) and present herself to this interview with a severe masculine cut shirt color – Is it a coincidence? – of blood, complete with a bow tie, leather pants and boots. All black, like her hair. She’s pale, with those special blue eyes, she seems a little bit tired and wan but still fascinating, the uncertain voice and the usual shyness; Eva Green charms.

Curiously, after many years of international success – from The Dreamers to Casino Royale and Sin City – the French actress still seems uncomfortable to talk about herself and her characters. And yet, when she’s on screen, she’s a force of nature: she delves into her part, she transforms herself, her proverbial shyness becomes her strength. Timothy Dalton, former James Bond who plays Sir Malcolm Murray – speaks of her with candid amazement. “Eva is a special creature: she’s clever, witty, she has an acute sense of ridicule, an extraordinary emotive imagination and above all a great capacity of being in tune with you, scene after scene. I’m very happy to work with her.” He laughs, “And who wouldn’t be?”

In Dublin, among the green and peace of nature, Green feels herself at home: “There’s something mythical about Ireland, something magical, spiritual. I live in Dalkey, close to the sea: it’s beautiful to come back home after having filmed such intense scenes and take refuge in my den, surrounded by nature. The people are generous and sincere, they’re funny, true. It’s been two years that I live here, at this point I should be entitled to an Irish passport.” Finally she smiles.

When I ask her to talk about her shadowy character in Penny Dreadful, she says: “Vanessa has all those demons inside her, she’s very vulnerable, almost lost. She feels forsaken by God and tormented by the devil: she’s frightened and she’s a prisoner.” And then she starts to talk about herself, her anxieties, the continuous challenges to overcome. “You have to be strong if you want to be an actor, at the end of this season I might not have a job anymore, it all depends on the audience’s wishes. It’s an on-going challenge because you must be vulnerable in front of the camera and, at the same time, you must have a thick skin in order to protect yourself from the spite that you can feel around you. I repeat to myself every day: “Don’t give up, don’t give up!”.

Her mother, French actress Marlène Jobert, always tells her: “Good Lord, Eva, how can you play such dark roles?”. At this point, the thirty-five year old actress admits that she’d be ready to play in a comedy. It’s a surprising thing told by a person who loves Ingmar Bergman and Lars Von Trier. In the meantime, we can see her in a Western. In fact, The Salvation by Kristian Levring, will arrive in our cinemas. A movie that, according to the Guardian, is a mixture of Sergio Leone, Anthony Mann and John Sturges’ atmospheres. Eva is Princess, a mute woman, and she plays along with Mads Mikkelsen, who won the best actor prize at Cannes in 2012 for The Hunt, and he is the main character on Hannibal tv show. “Mads is an extraordinary actor and working with him was wonderful. You have to know that I’ve never seen Hannibal, where everyone tells me he’s great, now I’m watching Girls to make myself laugh during the evening, when I return home empty after my bloody scenes.”

Next year we gonna see her in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Tim Burton who already directed her in Dark Shadows. “Tim is an extremely humble and very sensible person.” These are the words she uses to describe one of the horror masters. This time Eva Green will be among children with supernatural powers, abandoned orphanages and time travels. But to her, Eva, does it ever happen to Eva herself to fight evil spirits in everyday life? “All the time… I fight myself continuously!” [laughs]

When asked about her favorite actress, the secretive and dubious Eva is quick to answer: “Bette Davis, because she’s super cool. She was so different and rough, for her time; there was in her an incredible sense of freedom. And then… she didn’t care about anything: that’s why I admire her and I feel for her a deep sense of reverence.”

*Translated by M and our friend Sara



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