It’s a vision of the end of the world unlike anything we’ve seen before. Perfect Sense, directed by David Mackenzie, takes place in a world struck by a mysterious disease that feverishly knocks out the senses, one by one, from the human race. This is the backdrop for the love story of Susan (Eva Green), a wounded-in-love epidemiologist, and Michael (Ewan McGregor), the chef in the restaurant downstairs from her apartment who occasionally bums smokes off her and admires from afar. Together, they navigate the new world, struggling to stick together as society is crumbling around them.
Interview spoke with Eva Green about the normalcy of her character, the gallows humor of biologists and epidemiologists, and her electric character in the upcoming Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows.
CRAIG HUBERT: Initially, what interested you in the character of Susan?
EVA GREEN: I thought, first of all, that it was a very romantic movie, very sentimental; a thought-provoking film. Susan is a nice character, kind of damaged, her heart is broken and she doesn’t want to fall in love. It was a nice love story.
When we think of Eva Green, adjectives like “regal,” “evil” and “French” come to mind. Not that she’s wicked in the slightest, of course, but the acclaimed actress just seems to get those uber-dramatic and slightly scary roles—the sort that require elaborate period costuming and an intimidating glare.
She’s been seen recently as the ruthless heir to her father’s throne on Starz’s Camelot, donned amazing headgear and romanced Orlando Bloom in the Crusades-set Kingdom of Heaven and entranced us as a powerful witch in the fantasy flick The Golden Compass. Of course, she has also notably kicked butt as a Bond girl (in Casino Royale).
We recently got to chat with Green about her current role as a scientist investigating a mysterious disease in the very modern, no-costumes-necessary Perfect Sense, which opens today. It’s a far cry from those femme fatale roles that Green is so known for, yet her trademark intensity is palpable in every frame. “There is a bit of a darkness in the background, but Perfect Sense is an uplifting movie and a metaphor for falling in love,” says Green. Working with Ewan McGregor, who plays the the chef she falls for, wasn’t bad either. “He’s an instinctive actor. He’s a beautiful person and doesn’t behave like a big star. He’s down-to-earth and charming and pure.”
Eva Green is best known to audiences as the mysterious femme fatale Vesper Lynd in the James Bond-reviving Casino Royale (although some hot-blooded males might best recall her revealing star turn in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers). Since then she’s appeared mostly in small, thoughtful, and British films, and her latest, Perfect Sense, continues the trend. A small-scale doomsday romance, the film follows Green’s scientist , who falls in love with a chef (played by Ewan McGregor) as a mysterious epidemic begins to rob people of their five senses. We recently spoke to Green about what attracted to her this role, and her return to big-budget filmmaking opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s upcoming black comedy, Dark Shadows.
What attracted you to Perfect Sense?
I thought it was kind of a brave, unusual story, thought-provoking but mainly a love story with the background of a catastrophe. I thought it was quite charming. I knew the director, David Mackenzie, and also the fact that Ewan McGregor was onboard was very appealing.
She can put “Bond girl extraordinaire” on her resume and describes her character in the forthcoming Dark Shadows as a “bawdy Barbie,” but between those two roles Eva Green is a woman holding on for dear life during a global pandemic in Perfect Sense. In David Mackenzie’s romantic drama, Green plays an epidemiologist struggling to track and contain a series of mass-scale maladies. Acute emotional states like unexplained sadness cause the human race to gradually lose the ability to taste, smell, hear and see, leading to more than a few mood swings.
Amid catastrophe, though, the pieces are finally falling into place for Green’s Susan: She’s found love and a rock to lean on in Michael (Ewan McGregor), a chef with just a splash of bad-boy. It’s this love story that Green is most in touch with, and what drew her to the film in the first place. The emotional and, it must be said, super-steamy scenes between Green and McGregor halt the chaos and serve as a reminder that we should always stop to smell the roses, even if we technically can’t.
Movieline talked to Green about her career path, love vs. calamity and Tim Burton fostering collaboration on Dark Shadows.
Tim Burton is one busy fella. Not only is the director putting the finishing touches on the big-screen adaptation of Dark Shadows, but he’s also helming a stop-motion, 3D expansion of his short Frankenweenie and serving as executive producer on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. MTV caught up with Burton and got the details on the projects he’s working on this year.
He said that not every member of the Dark Shadows cast — it includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Helena Bonham Carter — was familiar with the source material, a gothic soap opera that aired daily on ABC from 1966 to 1971. However, they quickly caught on to its “strange vibe”:
It’s got such a strange vibe. And it’s not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You’re trying to do a weird soap opera. I felt really lucky, because the cast is really good. People like Michelle [Pfeiffer] grew up watching it. Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn’t, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what Dark Shadows was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama. There was a generation of us who would run home from school to watch it. That’s probably why we were such bad students. We should have been doing homework; we were watching Dark Shadows instead. It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn’t really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone. We didn’t do any real rehearsals, because the cast all came in at different times. But there was an old photo of the [original] cast which I always remembered, so a couple days before shooting, we got the whole cast together to take a similar shot so everyone could see each other and get that vibe from doing a group photo. That helped set the tone more than anything.
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!
Eva Green has said it was her dream to work with director Tim Burton on his new film Dark Shadows.
The former Bond girl appears with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz in the director’s film adaptation of the 60s supernatural series.
Eva revealed at the premiere of her new film Perfect Sense: “We finished shooting last Friday. It was like a dream – I always wanted to work with Tim Burton.”
She added: “The script is very funny and dark.”
In Perfect Sense Eva plays a scientist who begins a love affair with a chef, played by Ewan McGregor, at the same time as the world is swept by an epidemic of a terrible disease which causes the loss of the senses one at a time.
Eva said: “It could sound very depressing as a storyline but it’s actually very uplifting. It’s like a metaphor for falling love. When we fall in love we lose our senses. So I found it quite optimistic really.”
Thanks to Isabell for the link. Eva looks stunning as Angelique. Can’t wait for more photos to surface.
Behold the real visage of Johnny Depp’s vampire from Dark Shadows!
Last week, long-range paparazzi shots of the actor wearing ghostly white makeup, large sunglasses and a pulled down fedora made fans of the original 1966-71 supernatural soap opera bristle nervously, with complaints he looked simply too strange.
Nevermind that he’s playing a 200-year-old vampire, which is strange enough.
As you can see from this cast shot, Depp’s bloodsucking pater familias Barnabas Collins actually borrows heavily from the aged-little boy look of original Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid — not that anyone would be happy to see this guy show up as your prom date either.
Tim Burton fans in Los Angeles can rejoice now that his LACMA exhibit is open. The Wrap took the chance to chat with the director at the exhibition’s opening. Of his Dark Shadows adaptation (currently in production), Burton says, “we’re sort of getting right in there.” He confirms the project has a “weird tone,” and will be somewhat soap-opera-esque (like the 1960s TV show that precedes it), but adds:
“I’m early into it because it’s a funny tone, and that’s part of what the vibe of the show is, and there’s something about it that we want to get. But when you look at it, it’s pretty bad. I’m hoping that it will be — it’s early days, let’s put it — I’m very intrigued by the tone. It’s a real ethereal tone we’re trying to go for and I don’t know yet.”
The good news is that Burton won’t be shooting the film in 3-D, or at least he currently has “no plans for that.” Stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote and Chloe Moretz will appear in all their 2-D glory.
Filming begins this week on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ Dark Shadows, which brings the cult classic television series to the big screen under the direction of Tim Burton. The film’s all-star ensemble cast includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Gulliver McGrath.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s eighth collaboration, Dark Shadows, will be released on May 11, 2012. It seems an ideal project for one of cinema’s most idiosyncratic partnerships.
Depp will play another pallid protagonist in the form of Barnabas Collins, a vampire, opposite other Burton regular Helena Bonham Carter, as well as Chloe Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Eva Green and Michelle Pfeiffer, while Danny Elfman will return for scoring duties.
Thanks to George for the link.
Scans > Harper’s Bazaar (UK) – June 2011, thanks to Lorna
Eva Green, French actress famous for her roles as femme fatale on Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” and Bond Girl on Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale,” plays a witch once again on the series “Camelot,” which airs on AXN Beyond starting April 4.
She’s not the least bit worried about being typecast as a witch. After all, she played Serafina Pekkala, the Witch Queen, in the movie “The Golden Compass.”
On “Camelot,” she portrays Morgan, nemesis of Arthur and Merlin.
In a conference call with Asian media outfits (including the Inquirer), Green (who was in New York at the time) explained that she doesn’t regard Morgan as pure “evil,” the way she was characterized in the past.
“She’s damaged,” Green said of Morgan. “She was exiled by her father to a nunnery for 15 years because she discovered that he murdered her mother. He wanted to silence her. Well, 15 years gave her plenty of time to be bitter.”
She described Morgan as “complex.”
“At the start, she seemed tough and vengeful, but little by little, I also tried to show the human being … the little girl in her.”
If you think Cameron Diaz is the only actress playing a bad teacher these days, go check out new release Cracks. In it, you’ll find French actress Eva Green as Miss G, a glamorous swimming instructor at an elite 1930s all-girls boarding school who hypnotizes her students with exotic tales of far-off places. The thing is, Miss G has spent her entire life on campus, her stories merely semi-delusional constructions that win over her students’ devotion. But when a beautiful new student arrives, a girl who possesses the very qualities Miss G mimics, teacher becomes obsessed with student, and everything spirals rapidly towards a tragic finale.
Eva Green is no stranger to dark, ambiguous roles. In Casino Royale, she played a Bond girl with a secret, who left Daniel Craig weeping in the shower like a lost boy. And in her first role, in Bernardo Bertolucci The Dreamers, Green played a young Parisian who may or may not be sleeping with her formerly conjoined twin brother. The 30-year-old actress is drawn to these complex roles, and it was the chance to explore such a character in even greater depth that led her to a lead role in the Starz network’s upcoming King Arthur retelling, Camelot. Up next, she’ll star as a witch opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s horror comedy, Dark Shadows. Here she is on her twisted new character, the disturbing reaction to her onscreen nudity, and why she had to back out of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist.