By Jennifer Weil
Eva Green is a multitasking maven. She recently took time out from filming the Tim Burton movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” to appear at the press launch in Paris of the new L’Oréal Professionnel Pro Fiber line. Green might have been named the international face of the L’Oréal-owned professional hair-care brand just a few months ago in late January, but hair has played a leading role all her life. The actress, sporting a long black Hervé Leroux dress, sat down with WWD at the Le Meurice Hotel to have a discussion.
WWD: You first dyed your hair dark around the age of 15. What made you do that?
Eva Green: I wanted to change something. You know, like when you go through your teenage years. I hated school. I was a good student, but I just wanted to breathe in something new. I was in awe of a friend of my mum who had dark hair. She was quite weird, beautiful. I was like: ‘Oh wow, I’ll go to the hairdresser and try that.’ So I went there, I dyed my hair blue-black and came back home. It took me a while to get used to it, and then I actually really liked it. I felt more like myself. It’s weird.
WWD: Has hair played an important part of your character creation at work?
E.G.: Hair defines your character, your state of mind. At the moment I’m in a Burton film, and it took weeks and weeks to find the right hairdo. It’s kind of a weird character. Her name is Miss Peregrine, so there is a bit of a birdlike hairdo in her. It helps you to create the character when you find the hairdo. It’s also like a costume.
WWD: What have been some of the interesting hairstyles you’ve had during your career?
E.G.: In “Dark Shadows” I wear a blonde wig. I was really worried at the beginning, … I was not sure [but] Tim Burton was like: ‘No, no I want you blonde.’ That made total sense for the character and actually was a very good idea, kind of a trashy Barbie. And that helps you tremendously to find the character.
I dyed my hair red six years ago, seven years ago for a role that I ended up not doing, but you feel different. I had a fringe, as well, a year ago for a movie called “White Bird in a Blizzard.” I kind of loved it. It’s a tiny detail, but you feel different. It’s funny.
WWD: What have been some of your favorite roles?
E.G.: I loved a movie called “Cracks” by Jordan Scott. It’s a small film, lots people haven’t seen it, unfortunately, but it’s a beautiful, passionate love story between a swimming teacher in the Thirties, that I play, and one of her students. I really loved that story. It was kind of a gift for an actor.
WWD: Are there any sorts of roles you’ve not gotten to play that you’d like to try?
E.G.: Yes, of course. It’s always hard as an actor because you’re being put in a box. Lots of journalists ask me: “Oh my God, why do you just play evil characters or dark characters?” I feel like I’ve played other characters, maybe that’s what you’ve seen only of me. I like complex characters, complicated people. In darkness you have light; you have different facets in the darkness. So maybe a comedy or something that people don’t expect me in — but the comedy is always a challenge, and it’s rare and it’s quite funny. But yeah, I’d like something kind of [like a] dark comedy.
WWD: Any directors you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to try?
E.G.: I don’t know where to start. So many. Something simple. I’m sick of people saying that I do femmes fatales or I’m sexy. So I think I have to be careful now and play dirty hair, raw, a Mike Leigh movie or something, you know. No lipstick. I don’t know. Dirty hair for L’Oréal.
Something not too sophisticated, that’s what I mean. In “Penny Dreadful” I’m not very sophisticated. It’s not glamorous, let’s say.
WWD: What about stage acting?
E.G.: I’ve done plays. I get very nervous. I had a few blanks on stage so now I’m like, “Oh my God.” But it’s very electric, and it’s true that there is something kind of magical because there is a direct response with the audience. You’re not cut in the editing room. You are your own master, so that’s great but that’s really scary at the same time. I have to gain confidence again.
WWD: Back to beauty, what are your secrets?
E.G.: Sun cream, protection, food — what we eat is the most important: lots of green vegetables, raw vegetables, organic. Everything has to be organic.