Losing yourself in love makes plenty of sense to Eva Green.
The actress compares going blind and deaf in her moody apocalyptic drama “Perfect Sense,” opening Friday, with embarking on a whirlwind romance.
“It’s a love story with the background of a worldwide epidemic,” explains the 31-year-old stunner, who steps away from her recent femme fatale roles to play a Scottish epidemiologist trying to stop a mysterious pandemic that’s wiping out the human race’s five senses, one by one.
“It’s not too dark!” she insists. “It’s a metaphor for falling in love; you know, how when you fall in love, you lose your senses.”
Ask the French actress to pick one sense she could live without, however, and you get a different story.
“Maybe the sense of smell?” she ponders. “But the problem is, it’s quite related to taste, and I love eating. It’s a big dilemma.”
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.
When it comes to difficult decisions, choosing which of the best-known apocalyptic scenarios—post-nuclear, zombie, viral, alien invasion, natural disasters, the rise of the machines, and so on—you’d rather deal with is probably about as difficult as they come. None of those sound very fun at all. Unless of course you’ve seen too many movies or played too many video games and think that you could flourish in such an environment, in which case I wish you the very best of luck, Mad Max.
One of the scarier of these scenarios is of course the viral apocalypse because, along with post-nuclear, it seems like it’s something that could actually happen some day, if we’re a very, very unlucky species. Numerous movies have been made on such an apocalypse—some looking at it as a sickness quickly spreading, while others fuse it together with the basic idea behind zombie apocalypses and unleash the fury of them both. But none of them (at least that I know of anyway) has a love story at its core. Which brings us to Perfect Sense.
The movie follows Susan (Eva Green), a scientist who’s studying a strange new string of illnesses that appear to be one in the same. It begins with an immense sense of loss and sadness—every pain you’ve ever felt rushing back on you at once—causing you to sob uncontrollably. Not long after that, you lose your sense of smell. While trying to figure out what might be causing it, if it’s contagious, and if it gets worse than that, Susan is also trying to figure out her own personal life, which isn’t going quite how she expected.
Apocalyptic love stories never end well, but Ewan McCregor and Eva Green have no problem making sense of them.
In David Mackenzie’s “Perfect Sense,” which premiered at Sundance last year, “Casino Royale’s” Eva Green plays a scientist who falls in love with Ewan McGregor whilst discovering a worldwide epidemic. The disease, which is “so powerful they don’t even have time to give it a name,” destroys the senses and puts all emphasis on emotions; and when Mcregor and Green contract it at the same time it brings them closer together.
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.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ 300 prequel hasn’t found its male star yet, but the movie is zeroing in on its female lead. Warner Bros.
Eva Green has entered negotiations to play Artemisia in the movie, which is currently working with the title 300: Battle of Artemisia. Noam Murro (Smart People) is directing.
The epic follow-up to 2006’s Gerard Butler action pic 300 sees the Persian king-turned-god Xerxes lead an army against Greek forces, who have little training but are under the guidance of a general named Themistokles. (The giant battle at the center of this movie is supposed to occur at the same time as the fighting in 300.)
Green would play a ruthless, gold-covered goddess who persuades Xerxes to amass his army and helps lead them into battle.
The studio is hoping to start production in the first quarter of 2012. Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari, Bernie Goldman, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Thomas Tull are producing.
British actress Green may be best known to American audiences for playing James Bond love interest Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale or appearing in the international hit The Golden Compass. She recently wrapped shooting Dark Shadows, Warners’ big-screen take of the gothic soap opera starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton.
Thanks to George and Emma for the links.
Have your say in the results of this year’s British Academy Scotland Awards. Vote now in the Cineworld Audience Award for Best Scottish Film 2011.
Nominated films are Perfect Sense, The Illusionist, Donkeys, NEDS, Outcast, You Instead and Fast Romance.
Thanks to George for link. 🙂
Our dear friend Riikka had the amazing opportunity to attend the recent London premiere on behalf of Eva Green Web. Her review and a some of her lovely photos are below. Please do not post her review or photos elsewhere as they are an EGW exclusive. Thank you and enjoy.
I attended the London premiere of Perfect Sense on Tuesday, October 4, as a representative of Eva Green Web. I’ve been a big fan of Eva’s work since her performance in The Dreamers and I’m not only a long time friend of Mariana and Stef, your webmistresses, but a visitor of Eva Green Web since day one. Needless to say, I was thrilled to represent the site at the premiere of Eva’s newest film, let alone one directed by David Mackenzie and co-starring Ewan McGregor, bringing together some of my very favourite contemporary film talent. I brought along my friend Katie, who took on the task of snapping photos.
We took our spots to watch the red carpet arrivals prior to the premiere at the Curzon Mayfair cinema. Ewen Bremner was the first to arrive to pose for the photographers. He was followed by Ewan McGregor, who immediately headed out towards the fans to kindly sign autographs and pose for photos. He was snapped on the red carpet with his grandmother and uncle Denis Lawson, who also appears in Perfect Sense. Eva Green was next to arrive. She delivered the drama in a stunning Emilio Pucci burgundy tulle and velvet appliqué dress and towering Sergio Rossi booties. Eva looked drop-dead gorgeous in person and, boy, did she work it for the camera! She also took time to sign autographs and pose for photos with the fans. I introduced myself to her as a representative of the site and she seemed happy and surprised about it. I’m glad to report that Eva is not only insanely talented and absolutely stunning, as we all know, but also lovely and gracious a person. I was also thrilled to get to shake hands with David Mackenzie and tell him how much I appreciate his work. The whole cast and crew returned to the red carpet to pose for group shots.
Inside of the cinema David Mackenzie and producer Gillian Berrie introduced the film and welcomed the cast and crew on stage. Eva commented that she did not want to say anything about the film, except that she hoped that the audience would enjoy it. And enjoy it I, for one, certainly did. My expectations were high considering that I’m a fan of both the director as well as the cast and I’m happy to report that the film did not disappoint.
Thanks to Jessi for the link.
Perfect Sense hits UK screens today! If you click on cinemas on the video below and type in your postcode, it will list the cinemas in your area. For those of you who are able to attend a screening in the near future, please feel free to post a comment (no spoilers!) with your thoughts on the film for those of us who won’t be able to see it for a while.
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 Jessi for the link.