G   /   March 23, 2019   /   0 Comments

 
 
BBC Two has released a first-look of Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful, Sin City, A Dame to Kill For) as Lydia Wells in The Luminaries, the adaption of Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.

Currently filming in New Zealand, the six-part series also stars Eve Hewson (Robin Hood, The Knick, Bridge of Spies) as Anna Wetherell, Himesh Patel (The Aeronauts, EastEnders) as Emery Staines and Australia’s Ewen Leslie (The Cry, Top of the Lake: China Girl) as Crosbie Wells.

They are joined by an ensemble of antipodean acting talent including Marton Csokas as Francis Carver (The Equalizer, Lord of the Rings, Into the Badlands), Erik Thomson (The Code, Packed to the Rafters), Benedict Hardie (Hacksaw Ridge, The Light Between Oceans),Yoson An (Mortal Engines, Dead Lucky) and New Zealand newcomer, Richard Te Are.

The series will be broadcast on BBC Two in the UK and TVNZ1 in New Zealand. Produced by Working Title Television and Southern Light Films, it is being adapted for the screen by novelist Eleanor Catton and director Claire McCarthy (Ophelia, The Waiting City).

The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes. It is a 19th century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush. The story follows defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets the radiant Emery Staines, an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain. As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fateful coincidence, these star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?

The Luminaries (6×60’) will be produced by Working Title Television – a joint venture between NBCUniversal International Studios, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Southern Light Films for BBC Two, in association with TVNZ, Fremantle and Silver Reel. The series will be executive produced by Mona Qureshi for the BBC; Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title Television; Christian Vesper for Fremantle, Claudia Bluemhuber for Silver Reel and Tim White for Southern Light Films with Producer Lisa Chatfield. The series will be sold internationally by Fremantle. The Luminaries has been supported by the New Zealand Film Commission.
 
 
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G   /   March 21, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Bryan Alexander
 
 
Eva Green is the first to admit she has dealt with a paralyzing fear of heights. Even getting on a 10-foot platform was dizzyingly difficult for the “Penny Dreadful” star.

But Green soared through the air seemingly without effort playing beautiful trapeze artist Colette Marchant in “Dumbo” (opening March 25).

“It’s terrifying,” Green tells USA TODAY. “But I went slowly and slowly.”

The once “absolutely petrified” star trained every day for two months to shoot scenes for director Tim Burton’s movie, in which Marchant is paired with the famed flying elephant Dumbo in a dramatic act of flight.

It’s a CGI elephant in the movie. But Green really shot aerial scenes she never would have dreamed were possible months earlier. (A stunt double was used in the more complicated shots.)

“Eva didn’t have to learn. But she did. And she didn’t like heights. Getting her on a 10-foot platform was tough in the beginning,” says Burton. “But she was incredible. She can trapeze.”

Green explains that first it was all about gaining strength — in the core, arms and abdominal muscles. Then it was a matter of working her way up in height with a very patient crew of trainers.

“Swinging up high is terrifying,” she says. “I thought it was physical, but it was all in my head. It’s about breathing and remaining focused.”

Naturally she learned a few tricks, which include singing in French and swearing before making the leap into the air.

“But I surprised myself,” says Green. “It was a miracle.”
 
 
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G   /   March 21, 2019   /   0 Comments

G   /   March 19, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Brian Davids
 
 
After inspiring James Bond’s Vesper martini, Eva Green is flying high yet again thanks to Tim Burton’s Dumbo.

As positive social media reactions roll in for Disney’s live-action reimagining of its classic animated film, Green has a lot to be proud of as she not only flew Dumbo but conquered her deep-rooted fear of heights in the process. The Casino Royale star plays aerialist Colette Marchant, and much to Green’s dismay, director Tim Burton requested that she perform some of Colette’s aerial stunts.

After a couple months of rigorous training alongside circus performers and acrobats, Green realized that she just might be able to pull off the impossible.

This is Green’s third collaboration with Burton, and the actor has become known for stepping into highly stylized worlds. But she first broke out in a grounded and hard-edged reboot, 2006’s Casino Royale. Green’s star-making role of Vesper Lynd helped launch the Daniel Craig era of Bond films, and her performance still has many 007 enthusiasts ranking her as the preeminent “Bond girl.”

Oddly enough, Green nearly missed out on her breakout role after turning down an audition nine months prior to actually getting the part. By the time producers returned to Green, production was looming and Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were also in the running.

“I was probably a bit stupid or naive. I said, ‘Ugh, a Bond girl? What kind of prissy girl is that?’ They also kept the script secret,” Green tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So it wasn’t until they gave me the script [nine months later] that I realized it was a meaty role. I didn’t see her as a Bond girl. She’s a strong character; she’s got cracks.”

In a conversation with THR, Green opens up about working with Tim Burton for the third time, her reluctance to return to her native French accent for Dumbo, and her fondness for Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

Clearly, you thrive alongside Tim Burton since Dumbo is your third film together. What makes his sets such a fertile environment for you to create?
First of all, he’s such a kind man. You feel safe as he always wants the actors to feel comfortable. There’s never any judgement or anything like that. His sets are very playful. You don’t have the pressure or the tension that you might have on other projects. He just trusts you; he lets you be free. He also has a very particular way of communicating as well. He would draw and say, “This is how I see the scene.” Suddenly, off we go. It’s just a fun way to be working.

Would you say that he’s an actor’s director? Does he spend a lot of time on performance?
He’s not the king of words, and I, myself, am not the queen of words. He is a more physical director; he speaks with his hands. You kind of understand what he wants with the vibe that he exudes. It’s a very particular way of working, and it’s difficult to explain, exactly. It’s more visceral.

With the exception of Dumbo himself, this film was mostly shot in-camera by way of practical sets and effects. I presume fully realized sets only complement your performance?
Totally. The sets were so complete, which is quite rare. Now most sets are very minimal with lots of greenscreen and just a few props. But with Dumbo, you felt like you were going back to the golden era of Hollywood. It was so big with all the extras — and very colorful and vibrant. We even had a jazz band so you could really get into the mood. When all the characters are in the car and driving through Dreamland, it was really, really magical.

Do you find a personal connection to your characters including your Dumbo character, Colette Marchant?
As an actor, you always use your own self. It’s your instrument; it’s your body. Of course, there are bits of me in her. It’s an interesting character; it’s also somebody that I’ve never played before. It’s somebody much clearer and lighter than the characters I’ve played in the past. She’s fun to play; she’s haughty and cold at the beginning. And then she gets to see Dumbo fly, which changes absolutely everything. She will do absolutely anything to help Dumbo and reunite him with his mum. It’s a very sweet story, and Colette is a fun, playful character.

You’re afraid of heights, and yet you’re playing an aerialist. You actually did some of Colette’s trapeze artistry in the film. Were these stunts as terrifying as you expected? Do you ever forget about your own fears when in character?
My fear of heights and swinging is really serious. Even as a child, I couldn’t get on swings at 4 years old. It was a real issue. Roller coasters — I couldn’t do any of that. So when Tim said I would have to do some of my own stunts, I kind of panicked. (Laughs.) He said, “You’re gonna train for a couple months with circus performers, and we’ll see how we go.” I was secretly hoping that, at the end, he’d use the body of an acrobat and add my head in post (Laughs.). But then I started training seriously — three to four hours per day — with those amazing trainers and acrobats. Little by little, I got higher and higher. It was a very hard thing because it requires a lot of strength as well; it’s not just fear. So, on top of it, you have to get really strong –– core and arms. The circus people were just so dedicated and gave me lots of confidence. We went quite step-by-step, and I can’t believe I managed to do those things. I always thought I would be afraid of heights for life, and it’s really in facing my fear that I was able to overcome it. I’m very proud of myself on that one.

Throughout your career, you’ve trained to control your French accent in order to play British and American characters. Since you return to your native French accent in Dumbo, is it more difficult than it should be since you’ve spent so much time trying to neutralize or unlearn your French accent?
It’s funny because I remember I had a lot of pressure from the studio on Casino Royale to get a British accent. So I worked really hard to get rid of my French-ness. Now I live in London, so to go back to the French thing would be unnatural. When Tim said, “She’s a very French character, and it would add some color if you had a French accent.” And I said, “No, I can’t go there!” (Laughs.) It’s interesting because it’s actually the perfect accent for Colette. It helped me to create who she is. It suddenly changes everything when you have an accent. As an actor, it’s really wonderful to be able to play with your voice; you get out of yourself. So, that was actually very helpful.

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G   /   March 18, 2019   /   0 Comments

 
Our friend Thomas Perillon of Le Bleu du Miroir provided translations of parts of the press conference. You can follow Le Bleu du Miroir through their Twitter Page.
 
Have you read the original novel? Have you been inspired by it to write the script?
Tim Burton: I was, above all, interested in the simplicity and beauty of what is found in all the old Disney movies. What I like is this way of talking like a fable before drawing a visual inspiration. It was a strange film to shoot because it lacks, in the end, the main character. At the same time, I wanted to make it different from the original while keeping all its emotional heart: I had absolutely no plan to make a remake but, on the contrary, to propose a singular exploration of the history.

When you came to film, what did you feel when you saw the circus imagined by Tim Burton?
Eva Green: One of the first scenes we shot is where we were all in the car and where we were entering Dreamland. We had the luxury of working without any green screen discovering the set, extras, acrobats and jazz band. It was pretty amazing because we felt like we were going back to the Hollywood Golden Age.

What was the most difficult part of the movie for you? Overcoming your fear of heights or using your French accent to embody the character of Colette Marchant?
Eva Green: The fear of heights, of course. I learned that it was called acrophobia. I really thought I would never make it and I managed to overcome that fear with the patience and passion of the acrobats. Their passion is very contagious, I trained in a big tent where they all live together : they help each other, there is a great support and a love that is fascinating.

There is another very committed aspect with your character Colette, who emancipates from a toxic man. Is this a deliberate criteria in choosing your roles? When we look at your filmography, we realize that this is an aspect that is often present …
Eva Green: I do not choose a role by telling myself that it must be feminist but I like strong women and not submissive women. Women who have a story like Colette. Complex women who have courage, modern women. Colette Marchant was a typical artist from the Golden Age of Hollywood, very glamorous, that Vandevere (played by Michael Keaton) finds in the streets of Paris and that he transformed into a superstar by bringing her to Dreamland. She’s a beautiful bird in a cage that will eventually fly away.

G   /   March 17, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Janet Susan R. Nepales
 
 
Los Angeles — It is always a thrill to watch anything that Tim Burton does. And that includes his version of the well-loved 1941 Disney classic, “Dumbo.”

We were able to talk to the eccentric director as well as his talented and extraordinary cast composed of Colin Farrell (Holt Farrier), Eva Green (Colette Merchant), Danny DeVito (Max Medici) and Michael Keaton (V.A. Vandevere).

They shared with us their experiences creating and collaborating with the genius filmmaker and making this fantasy adventure live-action remake a reality.

Below are excerpts of our conversations with them:
*article edited to only included Eva’s part. Kindly click on source to read the full interview with Tim Burton and the rest of the Dumbo cast.*

Eva Green

When did you first see “Dumbo” and how was the experience shooting with Tim and the animals?
I saw the original movie when I was 4 or 5 years old. I have great appreciation now with the aerialists in the circus, because I am afraid of heights. So, I had to strengthen my arms and core, overcame my fear of heights. I love animals, I like the animals to be free, especially the elephants in Africa. When you see the result on screen, it’s so amazing, so realistic, the elephants. It is so sophisticated, it’s quite a wonderful job.

Did you ever go to a circus when you were a child? Which animals did you like?
It’s funny, I probably went twice as a child, and I always felt a bit sad. I don’t know what it was, there’s something, I don’t know if it was the clown or — but there was something. I don’t know, I can’t really explain it. But now, maybe it’s just seeing these wild animals in the circuses, it’s very sad. It doesn’t make sense that they are in captivity and children could feel that. I’m just very proud, as well, that Disney is taking a stand and is promoting animal-free circuses. Even zoos, we should not have wild animals in zoos. I went to Africa a few times and it’s so magical when you see those animals being free. It makes sense that they are free and not stuck in cages.

Do you see yourself as the muse of Tim Burton? You worked on several movies together. How would you describe your relationship with Tim?
I don’t know, I find the term very intimidating. I’m not sure. It’s very flattering, of course, but I’m just much honored that he’s asked for me for a third time. It’s so wonderful to be able to play characters that are so different, as well. You know, “Dark Shadows,” she was kind of a bonkers witch, a wounded witch. Then, Miss Peregrine, a woman-bird, and then here, a trapeze artist. She is a clearer character than the two others I’ve done with him. I’m just much honored that he’s given me those gifts.

What did you learn about your body being an aerialist?
It was very intense training, because I’m terrified of heights. So, it was a really big challenge. Tim asked me to do some of my own stunts, so I was like, “Okay, I’m going to try. But I can’t assure that this is going to work.” But I really tried, and I worked intensively with some circus people, like every day, two, three hours. First of all, you have to get like a really strong core, very strong arms. Then you get up there. But we went step by step, and it was amazing because I surprised myself. I thought I would never be able to do this. These people were very patient with me, and they gave me lots of confidence. I managed to take off, thanks to them.

Would you do it again?
Yeah, you know what? There’s a circus school in London, and it’s such a great workout because it’s also very playful. I love the girl, Katherine Arnold, she taught me, and she teaches over there, as well. So, definitely.
 
 
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G   /   March 15, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Ruben V. Nepales
 
 
LOS ANGELES—“Oooo la-la,” Eva Green cooed when asked about her white lace and black leather dress in our recent interview. “It’s Alexander McQueen,” she said.

Eva stars as Colette Marchant, an aerialist, in Tim Burton’s live action remake of Disney’s animated classic, “Dumbo.”

Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Alan Arkin are also featured in the endearing tale of a young elephant who can fly.

“I saw the original movie when I was 4 or 5 years old,” recalled the French actress whose eyes are, well, green. They are her best assets. Whether onscreen or in person, Eva mesmerizes with those eyes.

The former Bond Girl will also be seen this year in Alice Winocour’s “Proxima,” which is buzzed as a possible Cannes Film Festival entry in May if its postproduction work is done in time. Eva plays an astronaut who is training to go on a one-year mission in the International Space Station.

The Paris native is also in the cast of Dan Pringle’s science-fiction thriller, “A Patriot,” where she portrays Kate Jones, a Border Corp Captain in the story set in the future.

On television, Eva, who earned quite a following for her Vanessa Ives role in the “Penny Dreadful” series (which will get a spinoff with a different cast), landed the Lydia Wells part in the miniseries, “The Luminaires.” Eve Hewson costars with Eva in the TV adaptation of the novel set in the 1860s gold rush in New Zealand.

Excerpts from our chat:

This is your third movie with Tim Burton. You once gave him a bug specimen for his birthday …
God, it must have been a few years ago. Maybe I got it in The Evolution Store in New York. I can’t remember what it was.

It’s not your hobby to collect bugs?
I used to have a few bugs, but I don’t do that anymore. I’m vegan and I don’t have stuffed things anymore. I’m a good girl now.

What has changed you?
No. I haven’t really changed. People have always put me in the dark category because maybe I have dark hair, or I do intense, complicated movies sometimes.

Some consider you as the muse of Tim Burton now.
I find the term very intimidating. I’m not sure. It’s very flattering, of course, but I’m very honored that he asked for me for a third time. It’s wonderful to be able to play characters that are so different. In “Dark Shadows,” she was kind of a bonkers witch (laughs), a wounded witch. And then, Miss Peregrine, who is a woman-bird. Then here, a trapezist, a clearer character than those in the two other movies I’ve done with him.

How different are these characters from you?
Very different. You are your own instrument. You’re using your own emotions, so it’s part of you. But I’m many things. When people meet me, they think I’m very serious. But I don’t think I am. I’m serious about the craft, but I don’t take myself seriously.

How do you see Tim Burton as a person? Some see him as quirky.
He’s a very nice person. Very grounded. I don’t find him strange. He’s different, maybe. But weird? He’s not weird, he’s just wonderful. He’s very true, very real. He doesn’t lie. And he’s very pure, which is very rare in this business. He’s very passionate, very compassionate, extremely sensitive. He will always be very open to the actors. He really wants to hear what they’re thinking. He wants them to be comfortable.

How do you deal with the paparazzi who sometimes hound you, and fame?
It’s not that bad. I have the ability to make myself invisible, as well.

When did you realize that your mother (actress Marlene Jobert) was famous?
When people asked for her autograph on the street. Or sometimes, if she wanted something special from the bakery, I had to say, “I am the daughter of …,” then people change their attitude. I never liked that. You can see straight away when it’s real or not, when people are really connecting.

What were your memories of going to the circus as a child?
I probably went twice as a child, and I always felt a bit sad. I don’t know if it was the clowns, but there was something. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s just seeing these wild animals in the circuses. It doesn’t make sense that they are in captivity. I think children could feel that.

What did you learn about your body from playing an aerialist?
I have great appreciation now for the aerialists in the circus, because I am afraid of heights. So, I had to strengthen my arms and overcome my fear of heights. Training was very intense. So, it was a big challenge. I worked intensively with some circus people every day for two to three hours.

Would you like to join the circus?
I’m in the circus every day (laughs).

“Penny Dreadful” gets a new incarnation, “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.” What do you think of that?
I’m very happy it’s having another life. I don’t really know the story. I know it’s happening in LA in 1938. But yeah, I’m quite nostalgic, as well. Those three years were so intense. It was such a wonderful character, and the character still haunts me.

Bernardo Bertolucci, who directed your film debut, “The Dreamers,” died in November last year. Can you talk about making that film? There was a lot of nudity with you, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel.
Before doing “The Dreamers,” I had a gigantic poster of “Last Tango in Paris” in my room. I was obsessed. My parents were a bit reluctant when I agreed to do that film, but I read the story. And the sex and nudity was completely justified. It was not gratuitous. And Bernardo was very caring. He never, ever forced us to do anything. He let us be. It was a wonderful experience, and it’s one of my favorite experiences, actually. I was very shy. But when you are out doing the scene, you know it is for the movie. You believe in the movie, and you feel a bit numb. It’s like you forget that you’re naked. You’re in character, and you’re doing a scene.

Do you keep in touch with Louis and Michael?
Yes. We send messages to each other. There’s that strong bond as it was our first movie—a very strong kind of friendship.

Are you like some actors who don’t watch their films?
Oh, God. I never watch my movies. It sounds very narcissistic. But it’s too painful for me because I can’t be objective. It’s just that I feel too self-conscious.

Does your mother talk to you about retiring?
No, she doesn’t. She’s aware that it’s a crazy business. You’re constantly being judged, and you want to be desired, you want to find the next job.
 
 
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G   /   March 12, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Paul Chi
 
 
As Daniel Craig’s final James Bond adventure nears the start of production—and a newly announced release date of April 8, 2020—there are already numerous rumors about who might replace Craig as 007. Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden is speculated to be on the short list, while other reports have long linked Idris Elba to the role—though by now, Elba seems to have made his peace with the fact that he might never play Bond.

There’s even been talk on social media arguing that a woman should play the MI6 agent next, including from Elba himself: a future Bond “could be a woman—could be a black woman, could be a white woman,” he told Variety in 2018. “Do something different with it. Why not?” Actresses including Emilia Clarke, Priyanka Chopra, Gillian Anderson, and Elizabeth Banks have all indicated that they would happily take on a gender-swapped version of the role.

But Eva Green—the French actress who played Vesper Lynd, the Bond girl who broke the British super-spy’s heart in 2006’s Casino Royale—is against the idea of a female 007.

“I’m for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn’t make sense for him to be a woman,” said Green at the premiere of her latest movie, Disney’s Dumbo, in Hollywood on Monday night. “Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man.”

Green echoed a point made previously by Rachel Weisz, who said in 2018 that she would not want to see a female Bond because original author Ian Fleming “devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women.” Instead, Weisz proposed, “Why not create your own story rather than jumping onto the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors?” “Women are really fascinating and interesting, and should get their own stories,” she continued. And for the record, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli also agrees: “Bond is male,” she said flatly last year. “He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.”

Although she’s not in favor of a Doctor Who-style gender swap, Green is proud to have helped to change the narrative of female characters in the Bond franchise, moving them from sexy damsels in distress to smart, assertive, and powerful figures.

“I love the fact that the Bond girls have evolved,” said Green, who plays a fearless, high-flying aerialist in Disney’s new live-action reimagining of its beloved 1941 animated tale. “I originally had reservations about being a Bond girl. I didn’t want to be a bimbo. The women are now perceived differently. They are intelligent and sassy and fascinating. I loved playing Vesper. She’s the only one to get to Bond’s heart and has a big impact on his life.”

Green will not reunite with Craig for his final go-around as 007, with director Cary Fukunaga helming the project. Still, she called him the most “iconic” and “visceral” actor to play Bond yet.

“He’s made James Bond human,” she said. “We see him flawed and vulnerable. He’s the best James Bond we have seen.”
 
 
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