By Alice Howarth
She became a household name after playing Casino Royale‘s Bond girl in 2006, but now French-born actress Eva Green is courting both new audiences and controversy as she takes on her biggest role yet. Playing femme fatale Ava Lord in the upcoming Sin City sequel, Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, Green’s teaser poster and trailer was banned in America earlier this month after it was deemed “too sexy” for the nation’s audiences. As the star gears up for her vixen to be unleashed on screen, she talks to GQ about the films she watched to prep for the role, who she’d like to work with next, and why men should never, ever wear cologne…
GQ: What’s the most sinful thing you’ve ever done?
Eva Green: Woah. I can’t tell you [laughs]! I’m a good girl, I’m very wise and a good girl. I was very serious in school.
Do you think the Motion Picture Association of America was too harsh when it banned your ad?
I think so, I mean the film is very beautiful, it’s very artistic. It’s not vulgar at all, it’s actually very decent so I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about but at least it’s publicity, people will hear about it I guess.
You said that when you were in drama school you “picked the really evil roles [as it’s] a great way to deal with your everyday emotions.” How did you get into character playing a violent, gold digging, vixen?
I watched a lot of film noir. Double Indemnity with Barbara Stanwyck, other films with Bette Davis. Ava Lord is a very extreme femme fatale, she’s really very jaded, she manipulates men, she feels empowered and smarter when she does it, she’s incredibly full-on – nothing is sacred. The main thing is to have fun with those kind of characters. She’s so free and corrupt, she’s just bonkers. It really was so fun to play.
The film features a lot of lingerie. What would be your advice to men buying their girlfriends lingerie as gifts?
I wear a lot of corsets in the movie and I think it’s very sexy, kind of retro and very classy, I think men should definitely buy those.
What should no man have in his wardrobe?
You know what, I don’t really like perfume. I know it’s not clothing but I prefer when men don’t wear it. I don’t like cologne. It’s as if they’re hiding something. I like perfume as it works on a woman, but on a man they lose something, their manliness. It’s less… animal.
Can you recommend a good book?
Yes. I recently read The Shadow of the Wind by the Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It was a beautiful story and a great book to read on holiday. Very romantic.
Where would you recommend a friend to eat in London?
Definitely St. John’s Bread & Wine on Commercial Street in Shoreditch.
How did you find working on a green-screen stage forSin City 2: A Dame To Kill For?
At first you’re very overwhelmed but then you really get used to it. You know that Robert [Rodriguez, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For co-director] and Frank [Miller, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For co-director] are going to do amazing things post filming. To have real actors to act with is always the main thing when making a movie so that was fun and the atmosphere on set was really gentle, laid back and just incredibly fun.
You’ve called Ava “multidimensional”. Are there any sides of her character that you admire?
She’s very brave, if she wants something she’ll get it no matter who gets hurt. She’s obsessed with money and power. She doesn’t apologise about her behavior and in that sense sometimes I wish I could be a bit more like that. But she does take it to the extreme, because people die for her so I wouldn’t want that, but to have her power would sometimes be helpful.
You’ve said in the past you’d like to go back to the theatre as Hollywood is likely to typecast you as a femme fatale. Were you nervous then about playing the biggest femme fatale of the moment?
No. It depends what the role is, what the project is. With Sin City I didn’t even think twice about it. It’s so fun, she’s quite funny because she’s so extreme, it’s very pleasant to play someone like that. Of course, I don’t want to be typecast as a dark femme fatale my whole life but you know I play Penny Dreadful who is very different from Ava Lord, and I’m about to do another film with Tim Burton, whose character is also very different. I’m not typecast at the moment.
With a cast of beautiful women including Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Jamie Chung was there any female rivalry on set?
Well actually we didn’t meet. They were all finished when I arrived and I arrived last on board. But I met them separately for publicity and they’re lovely girls and they’re really not competitive at all. I just wish I had had some scenes with them. I only had scenes with men, all men [laughs].
Who would you most like to work with next?
There’s so many but I love Matthew McConaughey, I think he’s really intentioned and so interesting. I would also love to work with Marion Cotillard.
What’s next for you?
I’m about to start the second season of Penny Dreadful and then I’m going to start filming on Tim Burton’s new film in February, so I’m going to be busy.
Source: GQ (UK)