By Jason Shawhan
A Dame to Kill For is the sequel to 2005’s Sin City in the most literal way. Thematically, it’s part of a chain of adolescent, hyperviolent misogynist fantasies going back to 1980’s Heavy Metal: hard-boiled men who know the languages of violence and betrayal, and an assortment of noble virgins and streetwise whores to pepper the narrative with occasional frissons to distract from the murder and double-crossing. This is more of the same, but with one noticeable upgrade that allows co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller to claim some of the zeitgeist.
A Dame to Kill For is a must-see because of the transcendent performance of Eva Green. Much as she did with 300: Rise of the Empire earlier this year, she steps into a digital backlot and commits wholeheartedly to whatever the film requires. She’s got a gift for elevating material that has in 2014 alone made two sequels that nobody asked for into essential summer flicks, and it’s all due to force of will and a lack of inhibitions.
She’s always been a worthwhile screen presence, but it seems like she just recently found her groove — her Showtime series, Penny Dreadful, is a gleeful and atmospheric masterpiece of horror’s grand history, and she’s racking up great notices in films that are otherwise thrown to the hounds.
Hers is a remarkable face. She has a distinctive look, one that recalls screen beauties of the Golden Age of Hollywood; you realize that Green could have been a star at any point in Hollywood history since the ’20s. She’s got a brassy, glam sensibility that calls to mind Bergman, Bacall and Hepburn, but with the devilish sense of humor (and willingness to deploy the goods) of early ‘90s Sharon Stone.
As it stands, Green and Mickey Rourke are the only cast members who seem like they could actually pull off real noir — not just the monochromatic karaoke of so much of the Sin City franchise.
The rest is mostly a muddle. A Dame to Kill For jumps around in time, trying to serve as a prequel and a sequel to the 2005 original, but there’s a specific point where at least several months pass and there is no indication given to the viewer that this has happened. As always, if you’re engrossed in a story, it wouldn’t matter. If it weren’t for Green’s dynamic energy and carnal joie de vivre — and a competently funky Lady Gaga cameo that delivers classic Marisa Tomei realness — you’d be able to pinpoint the exact moment that the film loses its bearings.
Its box-office disaster last weekend doesn’t bode well, but let’s hope this film provides the impetus for an Eva Green/Angelina Jolie buddy film where they kick all ass. I would be there opening day, and you should be too.
Source: Nashville Scene
Being pretty and talented is barely enough to cause a ripple in Hollywood. And if you want to really make waves, to take roles for the art instead of just the paycheck, you need to be a part of that magical Five Percent—that group with a maddening alchemy of good looks, preternatural skill, and mysterious intangibles that elevate them above us mere mortals. Eva Green is one of those people. She’s stunning. She’s possessed of a ferocious talent. She’s fucking crazy on screen, and through quiet seduction, she brought the summer of 2014 to its knees.
It started when she became the beating black heart of this spring’s 300: Rise of an Empire, making an otherwise unnecessary sequel worth the price of admission thanks to her frightening, powerful, sexy Artemisia. Then she laced up her corset to anchor Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, playing the gothic temptress Vanessa Ives to maximum slow-burn effect. Then she graduated from dreadful to sinful in the long-awaited Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s joint venture may be crashing headlong into the crushing expectations of its hype, but the critics are hailing Green, with outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and WIRED calling her performance as the titular dame representative of everything the movie could have been if it had lived up to its promise.
Green has been chewing up screens with fearless role selections and uncompromising performances since breaking out in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2003 film The Dreamers. Later this fall she’ll do it again, starring alongside Shailene Woodley in White Bird in a Blizzard, but for now, the summer is hers. (by Jordan Crucchiola)
Rest of the list HERE.
Eva Green first made a splash as an actress by appearing nude in Bernardo Bertolucci’s sexually-charged 2003 film, The Dreamers. Now, just over a decade later, the former Bond girl (she played Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale) is again making waves as the oft-naked femme fatale in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the long-awaited sequel to the original 2005 film. Even the poster for the film was banned in the US for showing the outline of Green’s ample bosom under a white shirt. None of this is of much concern to the fearless French actress, however, who has few qualms about nudity.
“I don’t understand the fuss,” Green says. “No one in Europe pays much attention to nudity, and even though I’m not particularly desperate to show my boobs, I was willing to do it for this film because it’s shot with such artistry and beauty.
“I had to almost forget that I was naked so that I would stop worrying or feeling self-conscious when I was standing naked in front of a crew wearing nothing but a thong. You don’t have any other choice.”
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller (the author of the Sin City graphic novels), A Dame to Kill For sees Jessica Alba return to her role as exotic dancer Nancy Callahan who is determined to avenge herself against her tormentors. While Alba once again declined to appear naked, Green’s sensational physique is fully on display as femme fatale Ava Lord whose psychotic delight in sending men to their doom makes this of the most memorable female performances in years.
The visually-stunning, avant-garde film was shot in 3D using green screen technology where the actors worked on a bare set with the background filled in later during the post-production process. The cast includes original Sin City actors Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Benicio Del Toro while Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join Green as key newcomers.
The 34-year-old Eva Green is also about to start filming the second season of the Showtime TV series, Penny Dreadful, a Victorian era horror/thriller co-starring Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett. She will also be seen in The Salvation, a western feature that reunites her with her Casino Royale co-star, Mads Mikkelsen. Some of Green’s recent films include this year’s 300: Rise of an Empire, and Dark Shadows (2012), which co-starred Johnny Depp.
Eva Green (her last name comes from her Swedish dentist father and is pronounced “Gren”) is currently single and lives in the Primrose Hill section of London. Her mother is retired French actress Marlene Jobert. Eva also has a non-identical twin sister, Joy, who is married to an Italian count from the Antinori winemaking family and lives in Normandy.
Q: Eva, your appearance as Ava Lord in this Sin City sequel is causing a minor sensation in the press. Do you think the amount of nudity involved is justified?
GREEN: I wouldn’t have done the film if I didn’t think that the nudity was handled in a beautiful and sensual way… I trusted Robert (Rodriguez). He came to my trailer and swore to me that I would look amazing with the right lighting and shadows. You feel quite vulnerable and exposed of course when you are naked on a set. You also feel silly standing naked with the green screen behind you and you’re all alone on a stage. It’s not that sexy at all when you’re doing scenes naked. But you trust Robert and Frank’s vision and it looks stunning. It’s not vulgar, it’s not indecent – it’s art.
Q: Is the nudity meant to shock audiences?
GREEN: I don’t think so. It’s being faithful to the atmosphere of the graphic novels that Frank Miller wrote and my character is the archetypal femme fatale. Ava uses her body as a means of manipulating men and getting them to do anything she wants.
Nudity is a weapon for her. I’m playing ‘a dame to kill for’ as the title says, and her physical and psychological aura is so strong that she literally drives men so crazy that they are willing to kill or be killed for her.
Q: You’ve done nudity before, including a memorable nude scene in your first film, The Dreamers. Does it bother you that nudity seems to cause so much of a fuss in some countries?
GREEN: I am a bit frustrated with all the talk about my nude or sex scenes. I’m not a porn actress! (Laughs) But sometimes if you’re going to play a character there’s going to be sex involved because that’s a very normal aspect of life and most people are naked when they f**k! Nudity is a lot easier to play than doing a sex scene which can feel cold and mechanical because you’re being told to put your hand here or there or the actor is told to put his hand on your boob and then kiss your breasts and so on. That can be much more awkward although if you’re shooting a sex scene all day it just becomes boring after a while.
Q: Is it fun to play such a dark character like you do in Sin City?
GREEN: You enjoy the sense of power she has. She’s the ultimate kind of man-eater, a total fantasy who changes her personality and behaviour to transform herself into exactly what men desire and what any given man wants her to be. Ava has the kind of power that a lot of women would like to have over men! (Laughs)
She’s a true chameleon and it was interesting to be able to play all the variations of her character – one moment she’s a damsel in distress and the next moment she’s this sensual goddess and then she’s a total bitch. She’s a psychopath with absolutely zero sense of right or wrong and no conscience whatsoever and definitely the most evil woman I’ve ever played or could imagine playing.
Q: What was it like working with such an interesting cast?
GREEN: I was very excited to be asked to do the film. I was cast at the last moment, about a week before shooting started, but I was so happy to be part of it. I was also very happy to get to work with Josh Brolin whom I’ve admired for many years. He brings so much intensity and emotion to his facial expressions and he has these sharp features that are perfect for the extreme character he plays.
Q: The film is shot entirely on a empty set with a green screen in the background. How difficult is it to act with no scenery or props of any kind?
GREEN: It’s very close to being on stage. When you do theatre, the furniture and background is usually very minimal you don’t pay any attention to the props. All your energy is focused on the other actor or actors you’re playing your scene with. That’s how it was making this film. There’s just the crew around you and you have to imagine the setting that’s eventually going to be filled in later. I had read the graphic novels before starting work on the film and so I had a good understanding of the surroundings.
You also get used to miming opening a door or looking in certain directions where something is supposed to be happening or knowing where the walls are supposed to be. It takes a bit of discipline but it also intensifies your work because your entire concentration is on the other actor.
Q: You tend to play extreme characters. Do you think the public has a strange perception of you?
GREEN: (Laughs) Most people have this image of me as a very dark kind of woman or a real bitch. It probably doesn’t help that I like to wear black a lot and that adds to the impression that I’m very cold or distant. I should probably try to play more balanced kinds of characters but often the juiciest roles for women are the darker characters. But it would be nice to do a good love story once in a while although no one thinks of me when it comes to those kinds of films.
Q: Most people don’t know that you’re actually quite fair-haired in real life?
GREEN: I’m fairly blonde. I’ve been dyeing my hair black since I was 15 and I’ve stuck with that look ever since. It’s my way of hiding myself I suppose. I think I look more interesting with dark hair. It’s part of my self-image and we all have a darker side. I like to put masks on sometimes because I haven’t always been that confident and you fall into the trap of continuing to hide your real self even though you’ve changed and grown a lot as an individual. I feel more open but it’s not always easy for me to show that.
Q: Are you a fairly fearless person?
GREEN: Oh, no! I can be confident about some things in my life but I often become very anxious when I’m thinking about a film and I’m not sure how to approach my character. I go up and down. Some days I will feel very strong and determined and other days I will feel lost in life and wondering what I’m doing. I would like to be more like my mum who is much tougher than I am.
Q: You’ve appeared in some big films of late like 300 and Dark Shadows. Do you think A Dame to Kill for will lead to a lot more work for you?
GREEN: I don’t know. I hope so! (Laughs) I always feel it’s a miracle when I get offered any role. I’m surprised that I’m allowed to do this job. Making movies is my way of living out different kinds of fantasies and that’s one of the main reasons I love acting so much.
I’m still trying to be less intellectual in my approach to my work and more instinctual, though. I would like to be more natural in the way I get into my characters and let myself rely on my instincts more. I’m naturally shy and introverted and it’s a side of myself that acting helps me overcome. But it’s a slow process.
Q: You’re often portrayed as a sex symbol and your Sin City film will probably add to that kind of image. How do you feel about that?
GREEN: I have always felt very self-conscious about my appearance. I have never seen myself as being beautiful the way I am sometimes described in the media. Whenever I spend time in Los Angeles I tend to feel ugly compared to all the beautiful women there. It’s not part of the way I see myself at all.
Q: Are you confident when it comes to love?
GREEN: It’s beautiful to feel intense passion but it’s also dangerous. It’s hard to have your heart broken and you want to protect yourself from being hurt again. But you have to be able to grow and learn with each relationship and hope you find love.
Here are some more reviews on Eva’s performance in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Click on the Source links for the full film review.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is more low-key than the first Sin City, but it’s also a more enjoyable romp thanks to another grand Eva Green star turn….For reasons I cannot entirely justify, I was less annoyed by both factors this time around. Maybe I’m just more forgiving in my old age. Or maybe Eva Green makes everything better….Eva Green of course plays the titular “dame to kill for,” which is a fine example of truth in advertising. Just as she almost single-handedly elevated 300: Rise of an Empire above its predecessor earlier this year, Ms. Green powers the main story and provides a solid counter-balance to the original film in which most of the women were victims.
– Scott Mendelson for Forbes, Review: Eva Green Owns ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’
Green has described Ava as less a woman — and she is allwoman — than a weapon, an improvised erotic device that explodes in the heart, guts and gonads of every man she meets…As for the sex: that’s Ava. She is the prime force of evil, and Green is the new movie’s reason for being. In a film era that mostly ignores womanly allure for guy-on-guy battles and bromance, Green has played the unregenerate temptress from The Dreamers (her debut) to 300: Rise of an Empire, with the miniseries Camelot and Penny Dreadful in between. But Ava was the role waiting for her.
– Richard Corliss for TIME, Review: Eva Green is The Dame To Kill For in ‘Sin City 2’
Ms Green, thrillingly cruel, detached and dangerous, offers atonement. She seduces the audience as she seduces her men, with blinding confidence, and keeps the film from sliding towards blandness. The plot and the script might not always be to kill for, but the dame sure is.
– F.S. for Economist, New Film: ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’
The film’s greatest assets are Gordon-Levitt and Green, who remains as coolly aloof as a circling eagle, despite spending much of the film naked in a variety of provocative poses.
– Robbie Collin for The Telegraph, Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, Review: ‘A Chilly Appeal’
By Alison Willmore
How the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For actress walked away with the year’s most macho sequels.
Most of the thrill of the original Sin City is gone in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s follow-up to their innovative 2005 graphic-novel adaptation, set in a stylized, digitally engineered world of black and white with splashes of color. The movie, which floundered at the box office when it debuted this past weekend, is just as intensely violent, lurid, and nihilistic as the first one, and this time, it’s in 3D, which lends an added oomph to its sometimes beautiful compositions. But Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is also stupefyingly — 100-plus minutes of just the climax of a story, everything turned up to 11, the characters so interchangeably hard-boiled that it can take a while to realize Josh Brolin is actually playing the same character Clive Owen did in the previous film.
It’s disappointing, except for the one thing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For does have that the first installment didn’t: a scene-stealing Eva Green, who, as Ava Lord, burns a giant hole in the center of the screen. In a movie in which Jessica Alba humps a stage and Mickey Rourke plucks out someone’s eyeball like he’s picking a particularly stubborn daisy, it’s not easy to be the center of attention, but Green easily dominates the gritty, gory affair. Her Ava is less femme fatale than dark deity, a goddess of self-destruction who men can’t help but cower in front of.
And Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn’t the first hyper-macho Frank Miller sequel this year that Green’s walked away with — as Artemisia, the bloodthirsty villain in March’s 300: Rise of an Empire, she totally bowled over the indistinguishable muscly male lead (Sullivan Stapleton, if you’d forgotten). Ever since her 2003 debut alongside Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel in Bernardo Bertolucci’s racy The Dreamers and her 2006 stint as proto-Bond girl Vesper Lynd…
Green’s proven to be a little too much for Hollywood — too formidable for happily-ever-afters, too much presence to be a character actor, too beautiful to be ignored, and too…goth-y? But in 2014, Green’s been carving out a distinctive career for herself as the scariest and most intimidating of sex symbols, and it’s been awesome to watch.
Aside from that graphic-novel green-screen double feature, the Year of Eva Green has included the actress’s acclaimed turn as troubled psychic Vanessa Ives in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, in which she shifts between serenely enigmatic, vulnerable, and terrifyingly animalistic. She’s also got upcoming roles as a “deliciously unhinged” mother (per Variety) in Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard and a ferocious, mute outlaw’s wife in Kristian Levring’s Western The Salvation, both due out later this year. But it’s her parts in the Miller adaptations that particularly stand out, because they manage to feel subversive in an environment that’s almost toxically heavy on the testosterone.
Miller’s near-parodic odes to the toughest of tough guys can’t help but sideline their female characters — his stories are, underneath the blood and sweat, deeply romantic about the business of being masculine in the most archetypal of ways. The men might die for the women, seek solace in them, get them killed, and avenge them, but the women themselves are rarely the focus. And yet…as Artemisia and Ava, Green disrupts this pattern by refusing to be an object who is primarily gazed at or acted upon. In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, she’s just as sexualized as her fellow female cast members (including Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, and Juno Temple), but she’s fully in control. When she goes to lure her ex Dwight (Brolin) back after leaving him years earlier to marry a rich man, she shows up nude, in his bed, serene in her certainty that she has him. Her sensuality’s presented as a weapon, and he’s resistant and resentful even as he gives in — and the sex scene, which is strenuously athletic and shot in silhouette, ends with him crouched at her feet, like she’s poised to bite his head off, praying mantis-style.
Ava barely bothers to play the victim, rolling her eyes at the ease with which she wins over one of the cops on the case (Christopher Meloni) by playing on his lust and protective instincts. Both Sin City movies do some ludicrous things in the name of “strong female characters” (like the women of Old Town, who are organized, armed, and impossibly tough, but not tough enough to move on from prostitution to more lucrative crime, and who, btw, also frequently have hearts of gold underneath the dominatrix gear). But Green plays Ava as someone who, while psychotic, is also thoroughly in charge, and who deflates some of the grandiosity the film invests in its male characters’ grand gestures of sacrifice and obsession.
Green’s even more fabulously bonkers as Persia’s ruthless top naval commander in 300: Rise of an Empire, now out on DVD and Blu-ray — sprawling on her throne at sea, manipulating Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) into somehow transforming into a gilded giant, taking the heads of enemies and then making out with them. Artemisia is a survivor of prolonged violence who remakes herself into a fearsome warrior, and the film never really suggests her thirst for revenge is unfounded, making her feel at least as much antiheroine as antagonist.
Halfway through 300: Rise of an Empire, Artemisia and Themistocles meet for a parley that turns, natch, into more crazy sex. It starts with her grabbing his hair and leads to the two slamming each other into various surfaces around the ship before she tosses him out, leaving him stunned when he goes back to his colleagues. Artemisia’s desire, born out of how pleased she is to have found an opponent who can actually match her, drives the whole love-scene-as-battle-metaphor sequence, and it’s not suggested she’s giving up anything or losing stature because she chooses to act on it.
Artemisia is the lone woman in a world of men, but, as played by Green, she’s neither challenged because of this nor acting as just another one of the boys. She’s her own wild creation, unfettered but readily feminine, whether leaping into battle or donning an increasingly intense series of battle ball gowns (culminating in a dress that includes tasteful golden bone-spikes along the spine).
Green commits to her material, no matter how pulpy, which is why this cartoonishly outsized character, a highly fictionalized version of an actual historical figure, comes so vividly to life. She’s not simply hamming it up — she’s as soulful as she is scary.
Green’s so good in these two watered-down sequels that it’s easy to imagine her kept in similar roles going forward — brash, witchy, and doomed. There are worse things that could happen, but she really deserves more, and Penny Dreadful comes closest to showing her range, from demonic force to unguarded romantic lead. And even in the Showtime drama, her character’s formative moment involved the love of a man who couldn’t keep up with her. But being a force of nature shouldn’t condemn someone to wan roles.
By Susan Wloszczyna
“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” did little to add sizzle to the late-summer box office this past weekend after collecting a slim $6.5 million and dismissive reviews. But it’s not from lack of trying on the part of Eva Green. This casting addition to the stylized babes-brutes-and-bullets sequel based on Frank Miller’s lurid comic-book series steamed up more than a few critics’ 3-D glasses as Ava Lord, a diabolical emerald-eyed femme fatale who has a hard time keeping her clothes on.
“Pulp and noir were often built on the beautiful shoulders of such characters as Ava, and the main justification for seeing the film is to watch Eva Green claim membership in the pantheon of noir leading ladies,” writes Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter. Adds Voice Media’s Amy Nicholson: “Eva Green is sexy, funny, dangerous and wild — everything the film needed to be — and whenever she’s not on screen, we feel her absence as though the sun has blinked off.”
Signature line: “As charming as you are, Mr. Bond, I will be keeping my eye on our government’s money — and off your perfectly-formed arse.” – as feisty Bond girl Vesper Lynd, giving as good as she gets opposite Daniel Craig’s 007 in the 2006 version of “Casino Royale.”
Career peaks: Like Bridget Bardot in 1956’s “And God Created Woman,” Parisian-born Green, now 34, exploited her own siren-like sexuality and created a sensation as part of a semi-incestuous menage a trois in her 2003 film debut “The Dreamers.” At the time, director Bernardo Bertolucci described his discovery as being “so beautiful, it’s indecent.”
Ridley Scott chose her to play the sultry Sibylla, a married Jerusalem princess who has an affair with Orlando Bloom’s crusading knight in his 2004 medieval epic “Kingdom of Heaven.” (Alas, much of her role was excised including love scenes that were later restored in a director’s cut.) The film flopped domestically but did well overseas, turning Green into an international star.
Biggest assets: The London-based knockout has been compared to the early Angelina Jolie and rightly so. Just like Jon Voight’s daughter, she grew up with an actress mother, Marlene Jobert, and shares Jolie’s knack for making sexy seem smart while standing out in genres usually dominated by men. Green is also a welcome throwback to when Hollywood knew what do with alluring yet dangerous females who refused to be victims.
But unlike Jolie, Green has maintained an air of mystery about her private life, characterizing herself as a reclusive nerd. “I like to stay home and read rather than go to a club or something,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I’m very shy. If I go out, I’m hugging the walls.”
Much as she did with 300: Rise Of An Empire, however, Eva Green holds up the mid-section with great gusto. Pouting with just the right amount of vamp and camp, Green’s titular dame pushes this Sin City firmly into farce where it belongs. As a seductress extraordinaire, Green is having fun, which is more than can be said for the sour-faced fellows in her thrall. Watching her play the victim and thrust her head into the lap of the cop that comforts her is a pleasure only matched by the sight of her waiting by the phone for his call later that night (“About time,” she purrs). The fact she is nude while doing this is absolutely integral to the story, you understand; the film dips a whole star every time she’s off screen.
– Ali Gray for The Shiznit, Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Green is breathtakingly villainous and captivating as the soulless woman driven by a greed that can never be satiated. In a cast of heavy-hitters who each dig into the task at hand with relish, Rourke and Green manage to breathe fire into and elevate otherwise straightforward characters and stories.
– Roth Cornet for IGN, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Review
The filmmakers wisely hired the fearless, magnetic Eva Green to play—what else?—the delectably twisted femme fatale Ava, who offers up most of the aforementioned copious nudity. Reminiscent of Linda Fiorentino’s classic turn in the seedy suspenser The Last Seduction, and far more resourceful than the movie she’s in, Green’s Ava more than lives up to this picture’s subtitle.
– Jason Clark for Entertainment Weekly, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)
Appearing in her second Frank Miller adaptation of the year (after offering the most memorable scenes in the300 sequel), Green cements her scene-stealing credentials with a perfect femme fatale impersonation. Whether clothed or naked, she rivets the camera’s attention. Green shares the villain’s duties with Powers Boothe, who knows a thing or two about how to get viewers to hate his character.
– James Berardinelli for Reelviews, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
As in 300: Rise of an Empire, Green is a scene-stealer and she injects enigmatic allure into her damsel in distress role – a femme fatale that is made all the more captivating by the film’s subtle use of situational red, green, and blue coloration.
– Ben Kendrick for Screenrant, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Review
The title story is the most thrilling, if only for Eva Green’s sensational performance. She has affected shades of noir in previous roles, but as the scheming Ava Lord, Green is a terrific femme fatale, luxuriating in Miller’s Chandler-esque dialogue while devouring the scenery and every inhabitant in it.
– Radheyan Simonpillai for NOW Toronto, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
By Emily Zemler
Eva Green is impressively terrifying in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. In the film, out August today, the French actress embraces the role of Ava Lord, a dangerous femme fatale set on revenge and murder. It’s an impressive and powerful performance from Green, who also recently appeared in 300: Rise of an Empire and currently stars on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. The role also meant that Green spent much of filming with director Robert Rodriguez in various states of nudity. So much so that the promotional poster for the movie featuring the actress was deemed too racy and had to be edited due to the visibility of a nipple. We caught up with Green at a recent press day for the film in Los Angeles and chatted about working on Sin City, being naked and that infamous nipple incident.
You’ve been making a lot of movies with green screen lately.
I mean, I didn’t do this movie because it was green screen. It was a really cool project. The script was great. And yes, it was green screen–ike greener than ever: no furniture, no nothing. There was nothing there. Sometimes you have props, but it’s quite a weird world. The first day you’re like, ‘Oh my God.’ I was lucky because I had real actors to interact with. I know some of the other actors did not have that chance.
Is that a challenge to have nothing around you?
You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. So the other actor is saving you. It’s like theater. I haven’t done theater in 10 years.
So this is like doing theater without actually doing theater?
Yeah, exactly. You have a small audience and you can fuck up. It’s wonderful.
Why was the character of Ava Lord interesting to you?
She is so extreme and irreverent. She’s like a homage to the great characters of film noir. It was just fun to play somebody so evil. She’s so jaded with no sense of morality. I’m so not like that.
She definitely taps into something most women probably wish they could channel.
Yeah, I wish I had a bit of her power. She’s scary.
You basically wear no clothing the entire movie. Was there ever any trepidation about being naked so much?
Any actor and any actress are very nervous when we have to do that kind of scene. It is not gratuitous [with Ava]–the way she uses sexuality to get men and use men is part of her character. But also it’s not realistic. It is art. Robert lights it in such a way. He promised me there would be lots of shadows and stuff and things would be added in post. That was very important. But on the day you feel nervous. And then you kind of forget that you’re naked. It’s very strange. You’re so stressed that it’s like, ‘I’m not naked. I’m not naked. I’m not naked.’
Do you do anything the day before to prepare for that?
A lot of actors get drunk. But I was cast a week before shooting so I didn’t have time to do much prep at all: So no time to go to the gym. I put myself in the hands of Robert and asked him to remove the cellulite in post-production.
Is that the secret to losing cellulite?
I don’t know! I think with shadows they can. I mean, can you imagine a femme fatale with really bad cellulite? That would be another version of ‘Sin City’!
Speaking of nudity, what was your reaction to the controversy over your poster for the film?
I don’t really understand it. If people have a problem with the poster then they’ll probably have a problem with the film. You see nothing on the poster really. It’s like ‘Why?’ I thought it was bad publicity or something. I don’t know what the problem is.
I looked at the original and the edited version side by side and could not really see the differences.
There’s no difference! It’s a setup or something. I don’t get it.
What do you think about Americans being so prude when it comes to nudity and sex?
It’s very subjective. In this movie it’s so not pornographic. It’s very decent, I think.
What did you think of the film once you saw it?
I haven’t seen it! I hate watching myself. It has nothing to do against the film. It’s just me and my ego. I can’t watch myself. I become very self-conscious.
Will you ever do theater again? You don’t have to watch yourself there.
I’m the kind of the person where that would suit me. I’m a control freak and I could prep, but it’s so stressful. I’m so worried about blanking out onstage. It happened to me, actually. At three o’clock every day you go, ‘Okay, in four or five hours I have to go there.’ I have so many butterflies and I get so nervous. There’s a part of me that would love to, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to go back there.
Do you have that same anxiety on a film set?
No. Because you can fuck up and do it again.
Here are some more reviews on Eva’s performance in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Click on the Source links for the full film review.
Of greater interest in any event is anything and everything involving Ava (Green), a spider woman so fatally gorgeous and seductive that no man can resist her. …….Pulp and noir were often built on the beautiful shoulders of such characters as Ava, and the main justification for seeing the film is to watch Eva Green claim membership in the pantheon of film noir leading ladies alongside Jane Greer, Gloria Grahame, Marie Windsor, Peggy Cummings,Lizabeth Scott and a few others. Frequently baring all in a way that was not allowed in the ’40s and ’50s and often lit by Rodriguez (who did triple duty as director, DP and editor here) in a high-contrast style accentuated by slatted light through blinds, Green more than earns femme fatale immortality by first reiginiting Dwight’s fire, then going through a succession of other admirers, including her loaded husband (Marton Csokas) and a married cop (Christopher Meloni) before receiving her well-deserved comeuppance. …..As an exercise in style, it’s diverting enough, but these mean streets are so well traveled that it takes someone like Eva Green to make the detour through them worth the trip.
– Todd McCarthy for The Hollywood Reporter, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For: Film Review
Eva Green makes for a viper of a character in Ava Lord, able to switch her behaviour according to the poor sap she’s trying to lure, and the actress is clearly relishing the chance to play such a conniving con artist who wraps men around her little finger and disposes of them when they’re no longer useful.
– James White for Empire Online, Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For Back in Black. And White
The showiest role belongs to Green as Ava, a knowing riff on the standard femme fatale that’s all scene-chewing bitchiness. Green has a ball playing the dangerous sexpot who gets her hooks into Dwight….
– Tim Grierson for Screendaily, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Amazingly, one performer does emerge from the sludge of ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ with an emerald-eyed fury, and that’s Eva Green, fully committing to the title role’s silky monstrosity. Her frequent, brazen nudity – swimming pools and bathtubs are a big part of her day, apparently – is going to short-circuit some viewers (not just the overgrown boys, but anyone expecting a femme fatale with a hint of shame). Yet Green is the only one able to excite this silly material into the spiky shape it’s supposed to take. You wish the rest of the cast was as clued in.
– Joshua Rothkopf for Time Out, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Eva Green by contrast…All calculated sensuality and dangerous curves, Green owns this installment of Sin City as surely as Rourke did the last one, replacing his self-consciously retrograde masculinity with a femme fatality so knowing and over-the-top that it flirts with satire. Her emerald eyes, ruby lips, and sapphire dress (on those occasions when she is, in fact, clothed) may pierce the monochromatic screen, but it is her canny mashup of cinematic seductresses from Jane Greer to Sharon Stone that offers the movie’s principal compensations.
– Christopher Orr for The Atlantic, Sin City 2: Not To Kill For
By Kyle Buchanan
“You cannot defeat the Goddess,” says one character in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. “She cannot die.” He’s referring to Ava Lord, the seductive black widow who gives the film its title, and when she’s played by Eva Green, who can blame him for using heavenly superlatives? There’s always been something otherworldly about Green, who first impressed (and undressed) in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, won best Bond Girl ever honors withCasino Royale, and just this year starred as the formidable Artemesia in 300: Rise of an Empire and toplined the Showtime series Penny Dreadful. A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, the slinky Green met up with Vulture at The Four Seasons to tell us how she got into character for the Robert Rodriguez–directed Sin City, and how she felt about getting out of her clothes for it.
Do you consider yourself an inhibited person when you’re not shooting?
So it must surprise you how bold you can appear onscreen, especially in all of Sin City‘s sex scenes.
It’s very ironic, because I’m very shy. People don’t believe me: “She did The Dreamers, and all these other nude scenes!” But I remember telling my publicist, “I’m really naked in Sin City. Just wait.” I don’t know any actor who’s comfortable with nudity, but it’s not gratuitous in this film, because she uses her body as a weapon. Still, in the morning when you have a nude scene, you want to die. You feel quite silly to be in a tiny thong with Josh Brolin, who’s wearing flesh-colored Spanx, and you’re in front of a green screen — like, “This is not happening!” But Robert told us, “I’m going to add lots of shadows, and you’ll look great. I knew that I could trust him.
When you play a character like that, does any of that confidence carry over into your real life?
Maybe it gave me some confidence in doing press, because I used to be very nervous doing interviews for TV — and I’m still not great, I get sweaty — but I got better. At school, I was really shy. If a teacher asked me a question in front of other people, I’d melt. Lots of actors are very scared in real life, actually.
Your characters are so forward with men. Are you?
No. I’m shit. [Laughs.]
How much freedom as an actor did you have in a film like this, where Robert is trying to re-create a lot of the frames from the comic almost exactly?
It’s funny, because I was really worried about that before I started filming: Oh my God, you have to be so still! Can I even move my finger? Can I touch the other actor? And yes, he frames each shot like a painting and you have to hit the mark, and some of the stuff he wants exactly like in the comic book, but it was fine — especially because I had real actors in front of me, because I know some of the other actors didn’t. I wouldn’t have liked that, so I was really lucky.
Did you have to do a lot of work beforehand?
I was cast very last minute, like a week before shooting, and usually I like to prep, so I was panicked: “Oh my God, I have to work on an American accent and find the character, and there’s so little time!” So I watched some film noir, like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, because this is so femme fatale. At the beginning, I looked at my character and thought, My God, she’s so evil. There are no cracks in her, and her heart is so hard. I’ve played evil before, but that one was 200 percent evil, so I had to find the jubilation in playing her. I brought my body and my heart to Ava Lord.
And none of the men in this movie can withstand her.
Yeah, she’s quite scary. Quite scary! It would be interesting to do a prequel, just to find out why she’s so hard. Maybe she was traumatized? Or maybe she was born crazy.
What do you get out of doing a show like Penny Dreadful, which is about to go into its second season?
It’s fun, and I love fun. I love playing mad people, actually. My character looks quite guarded and very Victorian and tight, and to be able to let it all out … it’s so fun to be that irreverent. It’s like having a really bad Tourette’s moment.
Do you watch the show? Did you see the seance sequence from your second episode?
No, I haven’t! It’s horrible.
Well, at least watch the show so you can get to the part where Josh Hartnett and Reeve Carney make out.
Oh my God. Oooh! [Laughs.]