By Neala Johnson
“It’s nice,” says Eva Green, “not to play the girlfriend.”
“I don’t want to be the woman in the script where it goes, ‘There’s a beautiful, mysterious woman …’ Just, OK, forget it. I think I would feel unhappy … Some people play it very well but I want to be as equal as a man, you know what I mean?”
Oh, we know what she means.
As far as mysterious girlfriends go, Green played a stunner — to Daniel Craig’s James Bond in his first, bracing outing, Casino Royale.
So impactful was Green’s Vesper Lynd, Bond basically spent the next three films getting over her.
But now the London-based Frenchwoman is over it too. Searching for the word to perfectly capture what she wants to do from here on in, Green finally settles upon “other”.
“It’s exciting to be other.”
If it’s other she wants, Green could wish for no better co-conspirator than Tim Burton.
She teams with the famously eccentric director for a second time on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a fantastical adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ best-selling young-adult novel.
Green plays Miss Peregrine, a woman who, while protecting a gaggle of children with unusual abilities from outside threats, also has a peculiarity of her own: as the name suggests, she can transform into a bird.
“I remember Tim called me a year before the shoot. He was like, ‘I’ve got this book, I wonder if you would be interested?’ I was like, ‘Anything, I’d play anything for you’. But he was like, ‘No, no, I want you to read it and see if you like her’.”
A woman-bird who’s handy with a crossbow, has absolutely no love interest and is slightly bonkers? It’s safe to say Green liked her.
“Tim called her Scary Poppins, which I thought was quite funny,” the 36-year-old laughs. “But she’s not a bad, mad woman — it’s all to save her children. She has the ability to transform into a peregrine falcon and because peregrine falcons are the fastest animal on earth, she delivers lines very quickly.
“I watched some documentaries on birds. It was kind of a challenge — I was trying to have little, sharp movements with my head and not much blinking at all, using my hands like claws, my long nails. You always worry that you’re going a bit over the top, but I had a lot of fun … playing her like Mary Poppins on speed.”
By Naomi Pike
Eva Green might be a Bond girl, a Hollywood leading lady and a BAFTA winner, but she’ll never forget her first time gracing the cover of Vogue. Green’s debut was almost eight years ago, but she can recall the shoot with Patrick Demarchelier as though it was yesterday.
“He is such a wonderful photographer and it’s effortless as well. It’s timeless and sophisticated and I always love his use of lighting. He’s an artist that doesn’t have an ego. There is a relationship with him – it’s not that I’m an object.” The rapport that the pair share is visible in the black and white images that the shoot produced. She’s laughing and pulling faces, but strikes a glamorous pose in Prada on the cover.
While she might be happy to reminisce over her time shooting for Vogue, one thing she confesses she is “not great” is watching her own films. When we meet she is yet to see Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, in which she takes the titular role.
Another part of the acting rigmorale that Green prefers to steer away from – and is now in a position to have the option to avoid – is auditioning. “I’m always blessed when I’m not auditioning. I hate auditions. I’m rubbish, actually, and I get so nervous. My heart is about to pop out. It’s a disaster.”
Green is not a person you think of having a nervous disposition. On the red carpet she chooses bold yet ephemeral styles – something that could be linked to the characters she has chosen to play in her over 15 years on screen.
“It’s funny really as I don’t really have time to try on clothes,” she remarks as the conversation turns to the “baroque” aesthetic that she has become synonymous with. For the premiere of the film which marks the second time she has worked with Tim Burton, Green chose a scarlet Elie Saab gown.
However, securing her first choice was a bit more problematic. “I would have loved to wear an original Alexander McQueen dress, because he loved birds,” she reveals. As the name might suggest, her character Miss Peregrine is able to transform into a peregrine falcon, so a feathered gown would have felt particularly apt. “But it’s all in museums,” she sadly confesses.
Green first made a name for herself in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2003 film The Dreamers, and the now 36-year-old admits that the pressures of being an actress in Hollywood have altered for her. Now it is age as well as “fighting to not play a love interest.”
Green has kept her personal life out of the public eye. Unlike many of her peers, her social-media presence is minimal. Her friends keep trying to persuade her to join Instagram but she fears the intrusion. “I prefer having my own bubble and I would feel too vulnerable to have it exposed. I think I’ve always protected myself quite well but it’s always been tough since day one. That’s the big challenge, and at the same time to remain vulnerable as an actor. Sometimes I just want to say ‘fuck it, I’m going to in the mountains with my animals’ and not to have to deal with all that cruelty.”
They say you should never work with children or animals, but with the majority of the roles in Miss Peregrine being played by those not yet able to even hold a UK driving licence, she was left with little choice. Not that her experience was anything but pleasant. “Sometimes you worry are they going to be focused enough? Are they going to get tired? And actually absolutely all of them were focused, very professional. They were just beautiful. I was so nervous before meeting them because you can feel that they can see through you, and you’re not going to be credible as a strong headmistress-like figure. But there is a grace to children and as an actress that is wonderful to watch. It’s a real inspiration.”
The book that which this film is based on was released for the YA audience 2011, but feels completely at home in the world of Tim Burton. The characters as atypical as the ones most associated with him: Edward Scissorhands, Jack Skellington, the Maitlands.
Much like her feelings for Demarchelier, Green has great affection for Burton. Ahead of this film, the two had previously worked together on 2012’s Dark Shadows.
“He is so easy to work with,” she says warmly. “The wonderful thing about Tim is that he has no ego. He is very kind, normal and fragile. There is something equal with him that I love. Even working with the children he was like ‘What do you think? How do you feel?’ which is so nice. He’s so open to ideas as well. He’s wonderful and amazing.”
As it to be expected in any Burton epic, the visual is as much of a defining characteristic as is the plotline itself. Green’s character is all dark colours, nipped-in waists and striking shoulders. Her signature midnight black hair, which so seduced the camera in Casino Royale, is pinned with a cowlick curl. While her locks might be more on the navy side for this character, in reality Green’s hair is surprisingly little more dramatic than a “mousey” shade, reflecting her Swedish-French roots.
“My dark blonde was actually quite bland,” she confesses, admitting that she has darkened it to have “something happening” since she was a teen. “A friend of my mum had very dark hair. She was from Yugoslavia and I wanted to look like her.”
Besides wanting to look like her mum’s friend, a darker shade did feel more natural for the young actress. But, much like she won’t be defined by the characters she plays, the decision was not as simple as “I am dark, so I should have dark hair”, or a case for wanting to be more easily recognisable. Green admits to possessing the ability to make herself invisible as she walks through London in swathes of scarves and glasses. Unfortunately, with her CV continuing to expand and a beauty as powerful as hers, her anonymity is becoming scarcer and scarcer.
As Eva Green reunites with Tim Burton on the big screen, the former Bond girl chats to Susan Griffin about playing ‘Scary Poppins’ and her memories of Casino Royale, a decade on…
Eva Green is lamenting her age. “I feel old,” she exclaims when asked how it feels to mark a decade since the release of Casino Royale, the Bond movie that marked Daniel Craig’s debut as 007.
Green played Bond girl Vesper Lynd, a role she’s “proud” to have tackled, although she was tentative when first approached.
In her head, she no doubt had visions of playing bikini-clad arm candy, so was pleasantly surprised to hear the outline for the character: a foreign liaison agent who beguiles Bond but whose deception ultimately leads to her demise.
“Vesper was an enigmatic character, but very human, very sensitive, and it was mainly the love story that was very appealing to me in that one,” remarks the 36-year-old actress, beautiful yet delicate-looking in floor-length black lace.
Green was born in Paris but speaks in an acutely-enunciated English accent, her blue-green eyes defined by layers of smoky eye shadow. She’s friendly, but not someone who will fill the air with unnecessary and inane chatter.
The rumours continue as to whether Craig will step down from the role following his fourth outing in last year’s Spectre.
Does she think it’s time for him to hang up the tuxedo?
“I don’t know,” ponders Green. “He does what he wants, but he’s such a wonderful Bond because he’s so in his body. He’s sexy, raw and rugged.”
Since her debut screen role in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers in 2003, where she and her co-stars, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel, spent a large proportion of their screen-time naked, the actress has forged a reputation for playing empowered women, entirely confident in their own skin. But they’re not all femme fatales, she notes, as is often perceived.
“I played a femme fatale 100 per cent in [2014’s] Sin City: A Dame To Die For, there are not many dimensions, she’s like a psychopath,” notes Green, who studied acting in London and directing in New York, and won the Bafta Rising Star Award in 2007.
“In the other roles I’ve played – some of the roles anyway – they’re strong women, but there is more behind the strong facade. There are cracks in the armour and they’re quite complex.”
Her Bond role aside, Green’s standout performances include Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem in Ridley Scott’s A Kingdom Of Heaven, warrior Artemisia in 300: Rise Of An Empire, and the possessed Vanessa Ives in the horror series Penny Dreadful.
By Donna Freydkin
French actress Eva Green exudes a mysterious, cool edge. And it’s put to perfect use in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” with Green playing the pipe-smoking headmistress of a haven for odd kids — those who defy gravity, or house a beehive within themselves, for example.
Green, who most recently embodied seductive, sultry and powerful Vanessa Ives in Showtime’s horror drama “Penny Dreadful,” approached the role in the Tim Burton film with one guiding principle: “That of a dark Mary Poppins. I spoke quite fast. There’s something very sharp and precise about her. No messing around. The bird movements. It could go wrong quickly – that was my worry,” says Green.
She fully embraced her character, who has the same habit as many a detective. “I had two pipes. I kept one of them. I learned how to smoke them. There’s an art to it. It’s a delicate art. It helps me as well to bring a virility to her. It’s such a cool prop,” she says.
Miss Peregrine can transform into a falcon. And she has her own power: the ability to stop time and live in an endless loop. Would Green ever want to do that in real life?
“I don’t think so. The idea of being stuck and being forced to relive things, it’s quite scary. But of course, if it’s a nice holiday – today, I’d like to go to this wonderful holiday in Africa I’d been to,” she says.
It was a vacation that changed her life. “I went to Africa on my own. It’s a bit strange. But I loved it. It was unbelievable. I was scared at the beginning. What am I doing? After a while, there’s something you learn about yourself but only if you’re on your own. There’s something so free about that. It’s empowering,” says Green.
Green broke out in “The Dreamers,” the 2003 deeply erotic film by Bernardo Bertolucci. She went on to play Vesper Lynd in 2006’s “Casino Royale” and Ava Lord in Frank Miller’s and Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
But at no time in her career has she played the bland girlfriend, or the chipper spouse, or the pretty, wide-eyed arm candy. She has no plans to start now.
“I’ve never really played the love interest. I’ve never, ever accepted a role like that. But here it was nice to have a different goal, to have those children to look after. I love playing the protector,” she says. “I like characters who are complex. That’s why people sometimes say it’s dark. I don’t know what that means. It’s complex. Life is not rosy.”
Like actresses of yore, Green cultivates an air of mystery about herself. She is not on social media. She doesn’t do much press. And she doesn’t air her romantic dirty laundry in public.
“I feel like I’m old school,” she says of Twitter and Instagram. “It’s kind of scary. I could get addicted as well and I don’t want to get there. I understand that sometimes those media are good for a cause, or political things, for your work, that I understand. But to say you picked your nose at 4:30, that’s alien to me. You don’t want to give too much away. Look at me!”
By Larushka Ivan-Zadeh
In real life, Eva Green is as curious as her characters. In Hollywood, that makes her a breath of fresh air.
‘A BIT bonkers and eccentric — such an unusual character,’ is a phrase actress Eva Green could use to describe herself. Instead the 36-year-old Parisian is enthusing about her titular role in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children as a magical, pipe-smoking headmistress who can turn herself into a peregrine falcon.
Miss P’s pupils include an invisible boy and a girl who floats like a balloon. Little wonder director Tim Burton dubbed her ‘Scary Poppins’.
‘I love playing someone like this, who isn’t a love interest,’ says Green, whose breakout turn as Bond’s most significant girl in Casino Royale saw the awards come rolling in. ‘I often get asked if I get worried about being typecast as a femme fatale. But I have played so many other things! It makes me sad. Is that how people see me, as a dark kind of icy image? I hope not.’
Green may insist ‘I am not a goth. I am a big geek!’, but today she certainly looks the part: her marble flesh is made paler by her raven tresses (‘it’s actually dark blonde — I have dyed my hair since I was 15’), her petite frame is clad neck to ankle in a black lacy-sleeved Elie Saab trouser suit, all topped off with her favourite chunky silver skull ring.
Bernardo Bertolucci, who cast her in his sexually graphic drama The Dreamers aged 19, once described her as ‘so beautiful it’s indecent’, but the French/Swedish actress is now more likely to be typecast as a witch (as she was in The Golden Compass and Burton’s Dark Shadows, plus a possessed medium in Penny Dreadful) than a Euro sex kitten. It’s something of a relief that in person Green is warm, fascinating company and refreshingly peculiar.
By Donald Clarke
The Penny Dreadful star takes a break from psychic meltdowns as the eponymous lead in Tim Burton’s new film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“It’s so great to hear the accent,” Eva Green says to me. “Where in Ireland are you from?”
Dunno. Blftnbrgh. Sgrlingham. What’s my name again?
Green has that sort of presence. Over the last decade or so, after debuting in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, the French actor has become our era’s most potent purveyor of gothic glamour. Nobody else does what she does. Nobody else can lower her brow and stare as if focussing the wrath of a thousand unsettled souls (or something). You get quite a bit of that in her performance as the title character in Tim Burton’s imminent Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
“I am so sick of this femme fatale thing,” she says in a perky voice. “I don’t know what it means. I suppose I played one in Sin City – 100 percent evil. I see that. But Penny Dreadful is dark and tormented. That’s different. There are many layers to that. I find that very meaty. So maybe I should dye my hair blonde and do an American comedy.”
I had read that she was actually a natural blonde.
“Yes! That’s right. I am a dark blonde. I think I need to be careful. I don’t want to be seen as being too sophisticated.”
I must apologise. You probably didn’t want to read that Eva Green – recently so distraught and demented on the TV series Penny Dreadful – turns out to be in no way intimidating. This is, however, very much the case. She looks magnificent. Wearing something black and diaphanous, the trademark eye make-up shockingly in place, she is unlikely to be ignored in a crowd. But she is still very much up for a nice chat.
“Ireland is so real and funny,” she almost gushes. “I shot the movie Cracks there. I always had a happy time. Then three years of Penny Dreadful. And Camelot. I feel like I have something Irish thing going on within me.”
Photographer: Ellen von Unwerth
Stylist: Sascha Lilic
Hair: Maxime Mace
Make-Up: Kay Montano
Manicure: Christina Conrad
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > Glamour (Italy) – August 2016
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > W Magazine – August 2016
by Drew McWeeny
The first real rabid Penny Dreadful fan I talked to was Greg Ellwood here at HitFix. He was a steadfast believer the entire time it was on the air, and he encouraged me to watch it. I was busy cutting the cord, though, moving away from cable subscriptions. I had no cable in the house, none in my office, and chose not to watch anything on TV. I used Hulu, Netflix, HBO Now, Amazon Prime. And if a show didn’t land in one of the services I used, then it just went on a list of things to watch someday. Maybe.
Today is that day for Penny Dreadful for me. After Greg, the person who really picked up that ongoing advocacy for the show was Brian Duffield, who shares my deep abiding love of Eva Green’s work, and he has always been insistent that I was missing some of her very best work by not finding a way to watch the show. I couldn’t justify all of the expense for one title, though. I just waited, and when I moved into my new apartment this week, I finally reversed course, buying a cable/Internet bundle with a very healthy On Demand library. I checked to see if I had a Showtime folder, and then checked to see if they had all of the Penny Dreadful episodes, and just as I got excited about that, Netflix also added the series, although only the first two seasons.
It was suddenly abundantly available and so I put on the first one this morning while working, and that rolled right into the second one, and all of a sudden, there was Eva Green, and there was this seance, and she grabbed this script by the neck and cracked it open and drank the marrow and never once blinked, damn near staring the audience down, daring them to look away.
That’s Eva Green, though. From the moment she appeared in The Dreamers thirteen years ago, she made it clear that she was no one’s fantasy, no one’s object, no one’s simple fantasy. She is willing to follow a good piece of material anywhere, and watching her tear into good writing is one of the great pleasures of film these days. When I spoke to her about her work in 300: Rise Of An Empire, I was practically levitating because it’s such a knowing, accomplished piece of work. She read that script, she got exactly how to make that character spring to vivid life, and she dug in unabashedly. I don’t think Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is very good, but she positively skins it. She leans into the stereotypes that Frank Miller’s using and she twists them all into her own particular versions of them. When she played “the Bond girl” in Casino Royale, she ended up making Vesper into something just as morally and emotionally complicated as the original Ian Fleming conception of the character, if not more so.
Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows has 99 problems, but Eva Green ain’t one. She showed up to that film to play, and she owns Johnny Depp in every scene in the film. Seems apt. In a world where men get to be character actors for decades, building rich galleries of portrayals of a wide range of types and voices and backstories, women are often relegated to teasing out variations on a fairly limited range of roles. Eva Green has never allowed herself to be held back by that, though, and when a filmmaker understands just what a rich collaborator Green can be, it seems like there’s no limit to the rewards that the finished film will reap. She should have the kind of career Depp has, and it seems like she is forcing the industry to bend to that idea instead of her having to give up and just take the girlfriend or wife roles like everyone else.
Today is her birthday, and I don’t particularly care what number it is. What I care about is watching the rest of this series in the weeks ahead, and savoring the way a TV show, especially today as the caliber of writing seems to have risen across the board, allows a great actor to do something they can never do in film, living in a character’s skin over time, building in a million details that make the character even more vivid, even more real. And if I could give her one birthday present, it would be the promise that no one will ever do to her work what Ridley Scott did when he cut the theatrical version of Kingdom Of Heaven in 2005. Her character had a son in the film who played an essential role, but when Scott was pushed to create a theatrical version of the film that was an acceptable length, he chose to cut her son from the movie completely, and it destroyed her character in a way that was remarkable. It was only once I saw the longer cut that I realized just how impressive her work was, and how much William Monahan had given her to do. Here’s hoping that as she continues to move from role to role, filmmakers rise to the challenge and they write strong, smart, eccentric roles for her to play. I’m looking forward to seeing her play Miss Peregrine in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, and you can see the latest trailer for it below. But I want more for her. I want her to conquer. I want her to find a filmmaker who is excited by what she brings to a collaboration. I want Hollywood to deserve her.
In the meantime, I’ve got lots more Penny Dreadful to get to. Celebrate her birthday right and join me if you’re also been missing out.
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 Roslyn Sulcas
As Vanessa Ives in the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful,” the French actress Eva Green has been possessed by demons, spoken in tongues, fallen in love with a werewolf and defied the Devil. What on earth can happen to her character next? Something scarier: therapy.
Yes, in Season 3, now underway, the impenetrable Miss Ives visits a “mentalist,” who bears a strange resemblance to a character from Season 2. “I always think, no, it can’t get darker,” said Ms. Green, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role. “But, well, you don’t know with this character whether it’s all in her head.”
The show, set in Victorian England, incorporates characters from classic British novels of the era — Dr. Frankenstein and his monsters, Dorian Gray and Dracula — to creepy, head-spinning ends. “I love playing a character from those repressed times who is so nonconformist, it’s very jubilating,” Ms. Green said. “Being possessed, sometimes, it’s very freeing.”
Ms. Green, 35, grew up in Paris and worked in theater before making her screen debut in 2003 in Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers,” later appearing as the double agent Vesper Lynd in the 2006 James Bond movie, “Casino Royale.” Later this year, she will appear in Tim Burton’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”
In an interview at a hotel in London, Ms. Green, dressed all in black, was warm and, unlike Vanessa, smiled a lot. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
When you were cast as Vanessa, did you know you’d have epic sequences of demonic possession — projectile vomiting and mowing down men and furniture?
I love all that! I prefer doing it to light stuff. There is something very physical about it, which is fun. But it’s true that it’s really intense, like a drug, or a sport. Sometimes, after shooting, I go home and lie on the sofa with a glass of red wine and can’t move.
Is it hard to speak in tongues in that scarily deep voice?
The first season, I was very serious about it. I learned some Latin, Arabic, German and Lingala, a Congolese dialect. But then some linguists created the Verbis Diablo for Season 2. I was very good for an episode. Then I just made it all up and took my voice down an octave or two.
French is your first language, but you’ve mostly worked in English.
I have only done one movie in French, and it was terrible. I’d love to do another, but I’m scared. Playing in another language means you get out of yourself somehow. I worked really crazily to sound British when I did the Bond movie, but I’m a nerd like that.
When did you decide you wanted to act?
I was very shy — I still am actually — and my school forced me to do a theater class when I was 12 because they thought it would be good for me. My mother was an actress, but she stopped when she had children, and she would always tell me it was a cruel business. I went to drama school but thought I wanted to become a director. Then I started to act and really felt alive. And here I am.
What are some of your career goals?
I would love to do something with Jacques Audiard [“Rust and Bone”]. I once wrote him a letter, but perhaps he doesn’t think I’m right. People often see me as sophisticated, or put me in the supernatural box.
What was it like to work with Tim Burton on “Miss Peregrine”?
He was really lovely. The film is about lots of strange children with unique characteristics, and I’m the guardian who protects them from the outside world. There is some darkness, but it’s very fanciful, crazy, with funny moments. It’s very poetic, very Tim.
What’s in store for Vanessa in Season 3?
Vanessa has lost her faith, but deep down there is a longing. She meets Dr. Sweet [a zoologist] in the first episode, and she will fall in love, but it’s weird. It’s a “Penny Dreadful” kind of relationship, what can I say?
By Rebecca Nicholson
Eva Green has played a lot of witches. “Different kinds of witches,” says the French actor, sipping a dark red juice that looks, naturally, like a cup of blood. Tim Burton made her a blonde witch in his 2014 film Dark Shadows, and liked her so much that he cast her as the lead in his next film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. She’s done indie films, arthouse films and blockbusters, was a Bond girl in the best Daniel Craig Bond Casino Royale and put in some serious action hero green-screen time with 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. If there’s a complicated woman who may have a murderous side, or a supernatural side, or both, then Eva is top of the list.
She’s suitably goth-like today, dressed entirely in black and speaking in such a whisper that it’s sometimes hard to hear her. She says ‘I don’t know’ before she gives an answer, almost every time; sometimes to deflect, if she doesn’t necessarily want to get into something, and sometimes because she often seems unsure of herself. She says she was desperately reserved as a kid. Actors do that ‘Don’t look at me I’m shy’ false modesty thing all the time, but with her, you can believe it.
Right now she’s putting her dark side through its paces in the third season of Penny Dreadful, in which she plays Vanessa Ives, a demon-hunting medium who was possessed by the devil and fell in love with a werewolf. This time she looks set to romance a suspiciously mysterious stranger, as well as going through some early form of proto-psychotherapy. We talked about how it feels to be Hollywood’s go-to goth and why everyone expects her to take her clothes off on screen.
VICE: I just saw the first episode of Penny Dreadful season three.
Eva Green: Oh god. I haven’t seen it. I am not good at watching myself.
So what do you do when you have premieres and things like that? Do you just leave?
Yeah, actually it’s funny, I was thinking about it this morning on the train. Most of the time it’s OK but then one director, I won’t mention his name, took it really, really badly that I couldn’t stay. I stayed for the first 10 minutes then I had to leave. I just can’t… I don’t know, it’s weird.
Because you’re scrutinising yourself?
Yeah. It’s too subjective. It’s negative narcissism. It’s not good. I wish I could. Some actors can [watch themselves and] improve. I can’t.
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > Grazia (Italy) – March 30, 2016