By Stuart Jeffries
The star of gothic fantasy Penny Dreadful talks about the risks – and pleasures – of acting on the dark side
Only very beautiful women and, perhaps, motorcycle couriers can get away with leather trousers. Detective Saga Norén in The Bridge? Just about. Ronan Keating? Not so much.
These thoughts occur as I’m introduced to Eva Green at an apparently select members’ club in the gothic revival St Pancras Renaissance hotel in London. She’s wearing black boots, black leather trousers, tailored black singlet, has long, dyed-black hair and lots of black eye makeup.
“I am a vampire,” she laughs, as we retire to a sofa in a darkened corner, “and I never expose myself to the sun. I have very fine skin, you see.” She daily applies suncream (factor 30 or 50) under her makeup.
Green is drawn to the dark side in other ways. The 35-year-old French actor is in London to promote her role as gaunt, statuesque, demonically possessed, cheeks-sucked-in-so-much-it-must-hurt-after-a-hard-day’s-shooting clairvoyant Vanessa Ives in Sky series Penny Dreadful. The drama is a gothic mashup of Dracula, Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, steampunk aesthetics, vampires, werewolves, diabolical possession and obsolete alienist psychiatry. When I reviewed the first episode in 2014, I found it as impossible to take seriously as Ronan Keating in leather strides, notwithstanding all the impressive acting talent on show, including Rory Kinnear, Simon Russell-Beale, Helen McCrory, Billie Piper and Green herself. But the Victorian-set drama, whose third series starts this week, has since garnered decent ratings and won awards, so what do I know?
One day, Green whispers to me confidingly in husky, French-tinged, but nearly over-articulated English, she was in her trailer in Ireland. She was getting ready to film a scene in which Ives becomes demonically possessed and speaks in voices. In preparation, she was listening to a recording of the voice of a young German woman called Annaliese Michel. You can hear Michel’s ostensibly demonically possessed voice on YouTube, before she underwent Catholic exorcism rites in 1974. It is disturbing listening, and made all the more so thanks to hindsight: Michel died the following year, after which her parents and two priests were convicted of negligent homicide. “As I was listening to it,” says Green, “my makeup artist came in, heard these noises and said: ‘Oh my God, I’m getting out.’ And she ran off. I can understand why. It feels as if it’s contagious.”
By Patricia Dahaner
For a former ‘Bond’ girl, Eva Green certainly knows how to keep under the radar. After two years of living quietly in Ireland, she says that she’s happier walking the Wicklow hills – make-up free – than in a Dublin nightclub
Eva Green has been doing so much work in Ireland in recent years that the Paris-born actress jokes that she should get herself an Irish passport.
Living in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, for the past two years, she is very at home in a house by the sea, to which she retreats each night, after days at Ardmore Studios filming Penny Dreadful.
A self-described introvert – who says she took up acting to help with her acute shyness – the embrace of the coastline of Dublin Bay comforts her.
“There’s something very magical and very spiritual in Ireland. The nature is very particular here and there are forces,” she tells me in her very quiet voice. It’s a statement befitting of Vanessa Ives, the mysterious clairvoyant that Eva plays in supernatural TV series Penny Dreadful.
Though set in Victorian London, the show – which also stars Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett and is now in its second series for American network Showtime – is filmed in Dublin. When we meet on the set at Ardmore Studios, 34-year-old Eva is dressed in a purple silk shirt and black tie from Dolce & Gabbana over a pair of black leather trousers and high boots. She’s friendly and wants to give a decent interview, but there’s also an arms-length reserve which she can’t help but give off. There’s almost no trace of a French accent when she speaks.
“I shot Cracks here in Ireland, it’s a small film. A long time ago, I did a TV show here also, called Camelot. I’ve spent two years here now doing Penny Dreadful, so I think I should get an Irish passport!
There are few experiences in modern cinema quite as intoxicating as watching Eva Green behaving badly. Whether she’s an American housewife on the verge of a nervous breakdown in White Bird in a Blizzard, or fixing those deep turquoise eyes on her oppressors in the revenge western The Salvation, or wrestling demons in the TV series Penny Dreadful, it’s impossible to tear your gaze away.
Green is an enigma, hiding in plain sight. She’s a femme fatale with as many female admirers as male ones, a Bond girl who all but ate Bond for breakfast. Her beauty is of the troubling sort that drives prim conformists mad – they’re forever wanting her to fix her teeth, go easy on the eye make-up, tone down the witchiness and look like everyone else.
Read the full article here on telegraph.co.uk.
I’ve scanned and added to our gallery an “old” new interview with Eva for a French magazine where she explains what made her want to take part in Camelot (for example: the opportunity to work on her storyline with the screenwriter), what she thinks of Morgan, etc. It’s a very nice reading if you understand French or liked Eva as Morgan.
Tele Cable Sat (France) – January 7-13, 2012
Last but not least, we’ve slowly beeen adding to our gallery that have only been posted in our forums before. Check them out in our gallery!
Please leave your comments here on the EGW site. 🙂
By Oliver Franklin
“Do I have an interest in sex?” Eva Green smirks and for a brief moment GQ.com is entranced by the smoky-eyed glare that snared Bond himself. The austere atmosphere of our surroundings – a businesslike board room of London’s Mayfair hotel – doesn’t ease the tension. Then we politely correct her. “Oh… insects!” she says dissolving into a giggle, “I thought you asked that very seriously.” Despite her public image as a Gallic enchantress, earned through films like The Dreamers, Camelot and of course as Vesper in Casino Royale, Eva Green is in reality a well-read enthusiast with an amateur passion for entomology. Here to discuss her latest role is as a virus-fighting scientist in Perfect Sense, we sat down with Green to discuss restaurant advice, dating tips and buying beetles for Tim Burton.
What attracts you to a small independent film like this?
A film can be big, or small, I have to just fall in love with it. To connect with the character, the script, and the director. Sometimes they say to you “You should do that for your career, it’s a big thing, people will go and see it” but I wouldn’t be able to, because my heart wouldn’t be in it. I would drive people quite mad.
What do people get wrong about Ewan McGregor?
He is obsessed by his motorbikes, but he’s not very macho – he’s the opposite! That’s the great thing about him. He has a very strong feminine side. I don’t mean camp or anything like that, but he understands women very well. Sometimes with big movie stars they play a character and they’re very paranoid, but he’s not afraid to show his emotions. For me those are the real men.
What restaurant would you recommend?
St John Bread & Wine in Commercial Street, opposite Spitalfields Market. I go there every week. I love it, it’s very special. You can eat Ox heart, beautiful vegetables, great English desserts. It’s all about the ingredients. Not nouvelle cuisine, just very real, beautiful food.
How should a man dress to impress you?
The worst is when men try too hard, because it’s not very masculine. Your outfit has to look like “Oh, I just grabbed that.” Not too calculated. Jeans, a t-shirt: the simpler the better.
What scent should a man wear?
I’m not really keen on men wearing perfumes. It’s just a bit wrong! I don’t find it sexy. I prefer essential oils – patchouli is nice.
Your next film is Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp.
We’ve just finished filming it. Oh, it was wonderful. I mean not “blah blah blah bull****, but they were really the kindest group of people I’ve ever worked with.
What do you and Johnny have in common?
Johnny loves insects too. He also loves skulls – it’s a good luck thing. Sometimes people see that as something a bit morbid but I’ve always liked skulls and insects. When I go to New York I always go to this amazing shop called The Evolution Store in SoHo, where they have weird stuff and beautiful insects. For Tim Burton’s birthday I gave him a rainbow beetle. He loved it!
What was the last great book you read?
Johnny gave me the most amazing present: Les Fleurs Du Mal by Charles Baudelaire. It’s full of amazing sketches and such beautiful words. Baudelaire was a true artist, and very gifted.
You are friends with John Galliano. Is fashion duller without the likes of him and Alexander McQueen?
To me Jean Paul Gaultier is very brave and mad – but in a nice very theatrical way. People are ruthless in the crazy fashion world, but Galliano will come back, people make mistakes. He’s too talented and he’s a very kind person, so it will be forgotten.
Were you upset that Camelot wasn’t picked up for a second series?
I have to say TV is very hard. It was a very intense shoot and very quick. We had the scripts just a few days before and I like to practice, so it was hard for me. The good thing was I had a very close relationship with the writer, so we built the character together and I loved Morgan. She was very ballsy, very cool, but vulnerable, so not completely evil. You know it was quite successful in America, but it just didn’t happen.
Finally, what do people get wrong about you?
That I’m cold, distant, or that dark femme fatale. Magazines like to put me in that box, because I like doing photoshoots using a lot of a makeup or something. But in reality I’m a blonde!
“She’s so poised, so elegant, always dressed in Chanel. Men drop at her feet. I don’t think Eva even tries; it’s just the way she talks to you — very intense and she kind of flirts with you.”
Camelot will begin airing tonight at 10:00 pm (22:00 pm) on the Spanish channel Antena 3. Please visit antena3.com for additional information and check your local listings for details.
Thanks to Chini for letting us know.
The ambitious project starring Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower and Eva Green wont continue because of “production challenges,” says Starz.
Starz has decided not to move forward with a second season of its period piece, Camelot.
Though the series came out of the gate strong, delivering Starz’ largest ever opening for a new drama in early April, it struggled to break out in a particularly crowded cable landscape (see AMC’s The Killing, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s Borgias). A Starz rep noted hefty production hurdles in a statement: “Due to significant production challenges, Starz has decided not to exercise the option for subsequent seasons of Camelot with our production partners GK-tv, Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions.”
The ambitious project — a contemporary retelling of the Arthurian legend starring Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower and Eva Green– was the first series order made by Chris Albrecht, who took the reins as chief executive in early 2010. As he and his executives have said, the series fit squarely with the channel’s desire to focus on big, popcorn fare that can play well domestically as well as internationally. In this case, the Irish-based Camelot did satisfy the latter.
The news comes just a month and a half after Starz unveiled a Camelot game on Facebook, a means to further engage viewers and generate ancillary revenue for the period show.
As we prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Camelot this Friday, the UK gets ready for the return of the King!
Scans > What’s On TV (UK) – June 11-17, 2011, thanks to Lorna
Scans > Daily Record Saturday (UK) – June 11, 2011, thanks to Lorna
Scans > Daily Express Saturday (UK) – June 11, 2011, thanks to Lorna
Scans > Daily Star – Hot TV (UK) – June 11, 2011, thanks to Lorna
Scans > Your TV Week (UK) – June 11-17, 2011, thanks to Lorna
Scans > Observer Magazine (UK) – June 6, 2011, thanks to Lorna