By Patricia Dahaner
For a former ‘Bond’ girl, Eva Green certainly knows how to keep under the radar. After two years of living quietly in Ireland, she says that she’s happier walking the Wicklow hills – make-up free – than in a Dublin nightclub
Eva Green has been doing so much work in Ireland in recent years that the Paris-born actress jokes that she should get herself an Irish passport.
Living in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, for the past two years, she is very at home in a house by the sea, to which she retreats each night, after days at Ardmore Studios filming Penny Dreadful.
A self-described introvert – who says she took up acting to help with her acute shyness – the embrace of the coastline of Dublin Bay comforts her.
“There’s something very magical and very spiritual in Ireland. The nature is very particular here and there are forces,” she tells me in her very quiet voice. It’s a statement befitting of Vanessa Ives, the mysterious clairvoyant that Eva plays in supernatural TV series Penny Dreadful.
Though set in Victorian London, the show – which also stars Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett and is now in its second series for American network Showtime – is filmed in Dublin. When we meet on the set at Ardmore Studios, 34-year-old Eva is dressed in a purple silk shirt and black tie from Dolce & Gabbana over a pair of black leather trousers and high boots. She’s friendly and wants to give a decent interview, but there’s also an arms-length reserve which she can’t help but give off. There’s almost no trace of a French accent when she speaks.
“I shot Cracks here in Ireland, it’s a small film. A long time ago, I did a TV show here also, called Camelot. I’ve spent two years here now doing Penny Dreadful, so I think I should get an Irish passport!
Writer Sharon Gosling started as an entertainment journalist, writing companion books for various television shows and movies and eventually becoming a young adult novelist. She’s no stranger to the world of Penny Dreadful having written two successful Victorian era young adult novels. In this interview, Sharon talks about her work in writing the fan essential The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful, the process of making it, her writing process and being on the set of Penny Dreadful.
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in a very small village in the north of England, surrounded by fells and sheep, with my husband and a cat who likes to surprise me by hiding perfectly unharmed baby rabbits under my bed.
How did you get started as a writer? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I never wanted to be anything but a writer. As a teenager I realized that I needed some way to support myself as I tried to be a novelist, and I hit upon journalism. I started while I was still at school, writing book reviews for a national magazine and doing general articles and interviews for a local magazine in my hometown. Then I did a Literature degree, during which I continued to work for national magazines. When I graduated, I was lucky enough to be given a job as a staff writer on one of them and things slowly grew from there.
You started as an entertainment journalist then ventured into Young Adult Literature with The Diamond Thief and The Ruby Airship. Can you tell us more about The Diamond Thief and The Ruby Airship?
The Diamond Thief is set in London in the 1880s and follows the exploits of Rémy Brunel, a young French trapeze artist who also happens to be the best jewel thief in Europe. Her master brings her to London to steal a famous diamond from the Tower of London, but she finds herself pitted against a determined policeman called Thaddeus Rec. They end up having to work together to thwart a greater threat to the city. The Ruby Airship is the sequel, and I’ve just finished writing the third in the series. It will be out in 2016 and is called The Sapphire Cutlass.
Penny Dreadful Season 2 will have its world theatrical premiere on Tuesday, April 21 at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox featuring series star Josh Hartnett.
EVA GREEN’S BIGGEST MYSTERY
Uniqueness is a special edge of her talent. Eva Green first attracted the attention of the audiences with her bold scenes in the legendary Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers”. And she was remembered. Till this day she has to fend off journalists with questions about her demonstrative nudity in the film. “Yes, I filmed something that was nearly a porn scene! But the film isn’t about that! The erotica in the film is a tool, which demonstrates the liberation of the antagonists from social taboos, the film is about 1968, about the revolution in people’s minds.”
So Eva doesn’t like discussing this topic. Anyway, international fame found her after the role of Vesper Lynd, a Bond girl, in “Casino Royale”. She followed it up with gothic and mysterious roles in “The Golden Compass” and “Franklyn”, and with a femme fatale role in “Sin City 2”. In the TV show “Penny Dreadful”, she exorcises the Devil and fights vampires. Why this choice of roles? She thinks it’s the “best way to liberate one’s self”. She feels the need to transform even during photoshoots. She can be a pin-up girl, a real lady, a seductive creation of the dark forces – anyone, really! Even her last name has been changed due to circumstances: it’s pronounced “Green” in English, but it actually sounds as “Grayne”, as her Father is a Swede. Eva’s also not a brunette but a natural blonde. Even in her soul she’s a little infantile, modest and fearful. But she dyed her hair and became a vamp, which she doesn’t regret.
ELLE: Is there anything we don’t know about you?
Eva Green: I often play confident and powerful women. People think that I’m like that in real life too. Labeling people is habitual but I’m a closed-off and shy person. This is why during photo sessions I try to be bolder and I choose eccentric and dramatic looks for my red carpet outings like Galliano and McQueen, which I love, and which have a certain level of oomph, but I try to avoid this type of escapades in real life.
ELLE: What are your everyday clothes?
EG: Black leggings, biker boots and a cool t-shirt, for example.
ELLE: How do you feel when people closely watch you and judge you?
EG: At first I had panic attacks! But as outings in the spotlight became more frequent, I started to be more confident. You don’t need special skills for that. You just need to understand why you’re getting the attention and be proud of a job well-done. I concentrate by listening to classical music. During shoots I often listen to Chopin.
Veteran book designer turned graphic novelist Martin Stiff is no stranger to the world of Penny Dreadful. The last time we interviewed him, he talked about his career as a graphic novelist for award-nominated graphic novel The Absence as well as his work on illustrating the Penny Dreadful special edition book Dracula. This time, he talks about his work on illustrating the fan essential The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful, the process of making it and his hopes for Season 2.
Hey Martin! How have you been? When we last spoke, you talked about your award-nominated graphic novel The Absence. Since then, it has been nominated for Best Book at the British Comic Awards….. Congratulations!
Thanks! It was also nominated for Best Original Graphic Novel at the Ghastly Awards, so it’s been quite a year for The Absence. Sadly, it didn’t win either award, but I’m incredibly proud to have been nominated. And a lot of other people have been showing interest in The Absence, too, some of which could lead onto some exciting things, but I can’t talk about any of it at the moment!
As you are already well aware, Eva Green starred in two Frank Miller graphic novel film adaptations (300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) last year so a lot of her fans, male and females alike, have been pretty much introduced to the world of graphic novels. We weren’t surprised when we got inquiries about The Absence!
Well, that’s great. I really think the rise of graphic novel based movies – and not just the superhero stuff – is hugely beneficial for the whole industry. I’m pleased people are seeking out the more unusual books like The Absence and huge thanks to you guys for plugging it!
Eva enters at 9:00
At the moment I’m working on Penny Dreadful in Ardmore Studios. It’s a psycho-sexual thriller made by the US production company Showtime. I’m part of the core stunt team for it. I double for the actress Eva Green. She has incredible mental and physical stamina, and she is very focused. We get on quite well. She does most of her own stunt work, so I end up rehearsing fights with her. We want the actors to do the fights, and if it’s something they can manage without any injury, they will do them.
On a day of shooting, I’ll stand with Eva and shadow her. But sometimes they do a master take, where they use a stunt double for a fight. When that happens, I’m dressed exactly like her – my hair and make-up will be the same. They do an incredible job. We have the same build, too. Sometimes when people see me from behind, they shout, ‘Eva, Eva’, and when I turn around they say, ‘You got me’. As a stunt woman, you have got to be the right kind of build. If you’re fit, you’ll probably be slim. The best stunt performers pay attention to detail. You have to study all of your actress’s mannerisms.
Read the rest of the feature on Eimear O’Grady HERE
It takes a hero to unite a nation…..
Italy, around 1960. It’s called “Garibaldi” due to the similarity of the Campari colour with the uniform worn by the hero who united Italy. The Campari of Milan (North Italy) meets blood oranges, a symbol of Sicily (South Italy).
Campari media link:
Young actress Lili Davies is best known for having the honor to play Young Vanessa Ives on Penny Dreadful. We caught up with Lili to talk about her young career, working on Penny Dreadful, observing and meeting Eva Green and the advice that Timothy Dalton gave her.
How are you Lili?
Hiya, I’m very well thank you, excited to be interviewed!
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m 16 years old. I have two older twin sisters and one younger brother and I love going to the West End to watch musicals.
Based on your imdb.com profile, Penny Dreadful is your first professional job. How did this all come about for you? Did you audition or were you offered the role of Young Vanessa Ives?
My agent put me up for the audition. I attended two auditions and was offered the part by John Logan on my second call back.
By Roth Cornet
“Once I embraced the occult I knew I had to have witches.”
Showtime’s horror series Penny Dreadful is set to return for its second season this April. Critics have responded positively to the dark, gothic drama, but hasn’t entirely found its audience yet. Though he’s a fan of the series himself, Showtime President said that the sophomore season is “do or die” for the series.
Set in Victorian London, the show interweaves both created and iconic horror characters, including Dorian Grey, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, and Mina Harker. Last season saw the central characters searching for Mina and battling with gorgeously gruesome vampires.
This year, they will become the hunted as the series introduces a new mythological foe: witches.
Creator John Logan was joined by leads Josh Hartnett (Ethan Chandler), Timothy Dalton (Sir Malcolm Murray), Helen McCrory (Madam Kali), and Harry Threadaway (Victor Frankenstein) at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour to talk about what fans can expect from the season of the witch.
A Villain They Can Interact With
One of the network’s hopes is that having a villain that the audience can connect with will help to increase viewer engagement.
“This season we embrace witchcraft,” Logan enthused. “So I created the character that Helen McCrory plays, Evelyn Poole. We introduced her last season and this season, she becomes the antagonist for not only Vanessa but all the characters. And one of the joyous things for me this season is last season we set the players on the board, and now we get to sort of play with them in interesting ways. So characters meet who have never met, hidden things are revealed, mostly because of the pressure that’s on them. So there will be external pressure from Evelyn Poole and the psychological pressure between all of them.”
Each character will be facing their own challenged, but it will center around his one, chilling woman.
“Ethan in this season learns exactly what he is,” Logan continued. “And he’s hunted by a very dogged Scotland inspector played by Doug Hodge and has drawn closer to Vanessa in every conceivable way due to the pressure on them. Sir Malcolm, who at the end of last season saw family come together, is drawn into a relationship with Evelyn Poole that alienates him, both sort of romantically, personally, and supernaturally from the rest of the people in the series. And Dr. Frankenstein himself is grappling with a new life form which is a woman, in fact, the woman he killed, Brona Croft, and has to deal with what those emotions, what those feelings, what those sensitivities are. So that’s a long way of saying that Evelyn Poole this season becomes an actual antagonist who can speak. Last season we had the vampires, brooding and silent creatures, and now we have a proper villain, and we enjoy her immensely.”
How Will Season 2 Differ From The First?
Heading into the first season of the series, Logan set himself up with a very specific challenge, to create a horror series that, “would break your heart.”
“I believe that’s what we accomplished,” the writer reflected.
Adding, however, that “this season I think is much better and tonally very different.”
“I would think there is more pressure, there’s more tension this season because last season our heroes were hunters,” Logan said. “This season, they are the hunted. They are the prey. So there’s a foxhole mentality because there’s so much pressure on them externally from Evelyn Poole and also internally because they’re growing closer and the stakes are higher emotionally. You know, we sort of unleashed Helen this season. We go for broke. So it is our make or break season, and we’re going for it.”
“What we had to do last season was set up so many characters and create the dynamics between them,” Hartnett added. “And in this season, it just gets to mature. The characters’ understandings of themselves and the characters’ relationships are able to mature so it just feels richer. It just felt to me like a richer version of Penny Dreadful.”
When asked if – despite the network’s mandate that the show find it’s audience this season if it is to return for a third – Logan has started breaking stories for Season 3, the creator replied without hesitation: “Yes. I am nothing but confident. Any man who faces a blank page every day must have swagger.”
If you haven’t yet, there’s still plenty of time to catch up with Penny Dreadful’s first season before Season 2 premieres!
Penny Dreadful returns to Showtime on May 3.