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by Ed Symkus
 
 
No matter how much preparation an interviewer does before meeting an actor or actress for the first time, they can never be ready if their subject has the inexplicable quality known as “it” – an aura, a presence, an invisible force that emanates from them and takes up all the air in the room.

Eva Green, 38, the sultry French actress with a British-edged accent to her English, who stars as the mysterious trapeze artist Colette in “Dumbo,” has “it.” When I entered the interview room in a Los Angeles hotel recently, she was wearing a white, low-cut, free-flowing, diaphanous dress, and she appeared to be floating across the floor. Turns out she was just walking, gracefully. Must have been my nerves, as I’d only known Green for her screen roles, among them the sexually charged Isabelle in “The Dreamers,” Bond girl Vesper Lynd in “Casino Royale,” the evil witch Angelique in “Dark Shadows,” and the sword-wielding, tempestuous military leader Artemisia in “300: Rise of an Empire.”

As she said, “Hello, I’m Eva” and offered her hand in greeting, two things happened: I momentarily lost the ability to breathe, then answered something like, “Nnng.” But I immediately regained my composure and said, “Mrrmph.”

Once seated across a small table from her, it was difficult to get past those large, pale blue eyes and the richly lipsticked smile, but she was so calm and casual, all went rather well.

Your mother, Marlene Jobert, was a huge star in French cinema. Did she give you any advice or feedback?
Because my mom was quite famous, I felt it was a bit pretentious for me to say I wanted to be an actress, without having tried it. So I pretended I want to be a director. Then I said it was important for a director to direct actors, so I wanted to go to drama school first, for a little while. I went, I did a few scenes, and I really enjoyed it, so then I said I would like to do acting. My mother never really stopped me doing anything. But I was aware that it’s a cruel, tough business, with lots of competition.

So, why did you want to do it?
I don’t know. I’m crazy. That’s for sure.

You did quite a bit of stage work in France after drama school, and the rumor is that Bernardo Bertolucci saw you in one of those plays, then offered you your first film role in “The Dreamers.” Is that accurate?
No. I was in a play in the south of France, and I will admit that I was not happy onstage. It was very difficult and I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t be an actress anymore. But this casting director that I had met on other auditions contacted me, and she was like, “When you have your next day off, I want you to come back to Paris. I want Bernardo Bertolucci to see you.” And I was thinking, “Yeah, right, as if he’s going to take me.” I didn’t believe anything would work out. But I went to Paris, and the gods were with me, and he picked me.

You were quoted in an interview saying that acting is a little like therapy for you. Could you explain that?
I’d say that acting helps me to channel some moods and energy and that it can feel really liberating. Sometimes when you have so many emotions, it’s kind of nice to really focus on another character and kind of give flesh to the other character. There’s something very satisfying to that; you feel like you’ve got blood in your veins and you feel very alive.

Have you come close yet to playing the real you on screen?
There’s a real me in everything I do. It’s my own self, my instrument. Of course, I’m not going to cut off heads in real life, or be a witch. But it’s always your filter. If I played me, it would be a geeky, shy person.

“Dumbo” is your third collaboration with Tim Burton, after “Dark Shadows” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” Is your working relationship very different than with other directors?
I’ve always been a big fan of him. It turned out that he’s very shy, too. He’s not someone who meets lots of actors, and it’s funny because he always puts himself in their place. He knows that actors usually don’t like auditioning, so he doesn’t want to embarrass anybody. He’s almost more nervous than YOU are. And I think he trusts his instinct. He’s not a person who likes words a lot, he just has to see if he likes the vibe of you, basically. And you know that he’s on your side. Even on “Dark Shadows,” when he hardly knew me, I had some really strong ideas and I was thinking, “Should I say that? Should I suggest that to Mr. Tim Burton?” But he was always, “Yeah! Yeah! Sure! Let’s do it! Great!”

One of the themes in “Dumbo” has to do with being an outsider, not being able to fit in. Have you ever had thoughts about that as an actor?
Everybody at some point has felt a bit strange and different, not just artists. “Dumbo” is such a wonderful movie because it has the message that it’s OK to be strange or different. It’s actually great! It makes you special, and we just have to embrace our uniqueness.

“Dumbo” opens on March 29.
 
 
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G   /   March 28, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Adolfo López
 
 
In order to enter the world of Dumbo, Eva Green not only had to transform herself into Colette Marchant, a French trapeze artist, better known in Dreamland as the Queen of the Heavens, to earn this title, the actress had to train for five months to become an aerial artist, despite her fear of heights.

“I had absolute terror, it was a real phobia, and I said at the beginning to Tim Burton – director of the film -: ‘I do not know if I can do my stunts’. But I trained with Katharine Arnold, who is an amazing aerial artist, and the choreographer Fran Jaynes, and they really helped me gain confidence and find the physical part of the character. ”

“It’s incredible to swing so high, spin around and do a strange choreography. It was a real challenge, and I am very proud of myself for that”, the actress explains in an interview facilitated by Disney to El Sol de México.

Like many, Eva Green grew up with the animated story of Dumbo, released in 1941 and awarded six years later at the Cannes Film Festival for its animation design. “I loved the story; the relationship between the baby elephant and the mother really marked me as a child. It is a very powerful and universal story, with which both children and adults can connect”, she recalls.

However, consider that the “Tim Burton version has a new and different point of view. He is a director who always brings many surprises, magic, humor and emotion. It’s still very moving. It’s such a powerful story, and I think the baby elephant will melt the hearts of everyone”, she says.

Eva Green is a recurring actress in the last productions of Tim Burton, because she has participated in the Dark Shadows film and as protagonist in Miss Peregrine’s Home of Peculiar Children. “He is an iconic director, a poet, who always brings a unique vision, and is perfect for this film, because nobody understands people who do not fit better than him. He understands vulnerable souls like Dumbo”, she explains about the filmmaker’s work in this film where Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito also participates.

That’s why Dumbo seems like a perfect movie to be told by the twice-Oscar-nominated director. “This is a very characteristic film by Tim Burton: it encourages you to accept your uniqueness, your individuality. You must not be perfect to be loved. And it also tells children that they must believe in themselves. If you believe in yourself, you can overcome any obstacle. It’s a very important message from Disney!”, she stresses.

In this film, the Golden Globe nominee for the Penny Dreadful series, paired with Michael Keaton, who plays Vandevere, the owner of Dreamland , the circus where Dumbo grows. “Michael is crazy in an adorable way. He is very charismatic and irreverent. I had to pinch myself. I thought: ‘My God, it’s Beetlejuice . Wow!’. It was hard for me not to distract myself and continue with my character”, she says.

But she also shared credits with Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Danny DeVito: “It’s a pleasure to work with him. He is so free. He is always having fun. It is a great inspiration. I’m very impressed with him. I wish I could be on the set every day because he exudes a lot of positive energy.”
 
 
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G   /   March 27, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Todd Gilchrist
 
 
There are few actresses as instantly enchanting — and intriguing — onscreen as Eva Green. Since her earliest roles, she’s constantly surprised and subverted expectations with performances that dug into nuance and substance and absolute complexity, no matter how the character looked on the outside. And in Dumbo, Tim Burton’s live-action update of the 1946 Disney animated movie of the same name, she does so again as Colette Marchant, an aerialist whose polished exterior is melted after she meets an adorable elephant with an unbelievable gift.

SYFY WIRE recently sat down with Green at the Los Angeles press day for Dumbo, where she proved to be as thoughtful and complex in person as she comes across onscreen. In addition to talking about Colette’s surprising clarity as a character, she discussed the physical and emotional challenges of inhabiting the role, her growing collaboration with filmmaker Tim Burton, and finally, the ongoing prospect of finding these incredible creative challenges and opportunities as an actor that repeatedly redefine how audiences see her and reveal the remarkable substance of her talents.

Could you talk about the evolution of your partnership with Tim Burton over the course of these films that you two made together (Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) and how, if at all, it might be different than the collaborations that you’ve had with other filmmakers?
This is the first time that I’m working three times for the same guy. But first of all, it’s such an honor and I’m pinching myself every day going, oh my God! But even from day one on Dark Shadows, he was always very collaborative and very open to ideas. He hardly knew me, and he was just very kind and it was such an honor to be in part of his world. He’s such a poet and he’s got this kind of bonkers, unique vision. And the fact that he gave me those various different roles as well, I’m spoiled.

Your character is one that obviously is not in the original animated film. But was there anything from the film that you took in terms of finding the tone or a certain element of performance in this role?
Oh, gosh. I mean, what really struck me as a child was the relationship between the mother and the baby elephant- that’s what marked me. And then when I read the script, it is a different take on it. It remains very moving, but it’s a Tim Burton movie, and I had to really rely on the actual script. They’re two different pieces.

The first thing I wrote down in my notes about your character was the phrase “utterly fantastic hair.”
(Laughs) I’ll tell my hairdresser.

How much do costumes and makeup tell you things about the character, even that you may not have prepared for or that might’ve been in the script?
The look in a Tim Burton movie is so, so important. And it took a while to find her style because she has kind of this public persona with this big red hair, and lots of makeup, which is kind of a mask — the mask of the Queen of the Heavens. And then this black bob — Tim doesn’t like repetition. He wants a look that nobody has seen before. So we had the most amazing make-up people and hairdressers, and of course, Colleen Atwood is behind all of this and has a very clear idea of what she wants.

I am not aware of any actual elephants that can fly, so what were the things that you did physically to prepare for the role?
For riding Dumbo, there was a mechanical machine, like on rodeos that cowboys would train on. That was moving and it’s very, very technical and quite jerky and has very sharp movements. But that helped a lot; I didn’t have to pretend — I was really moving. But I didn’t have to train on it. What I really had to train on was some swings. And as an aerialist, I had to do some of my own stunts, and I really trained hard with some circus performance to try and achieve some of the stunts, which was a real big challenge because I hate, hate heights, but I need it.

As a person who shares that fear, how did you get over that?
It was physically doing every day three hours of training, strength training and then to go on a swing, that kind of stuff. To even hang from your knees and go to arch backwards, stuff like that, it is not easy at all. It was a big challenge, and of course, I couldn’t do that on the first day — I think I would have died. So it was really kind of a patient thing, and it’s really thanks to the dedication of those wonderful teachers that I managed to go up there.

How much did playing an aerialist and a gymnast affect the rest of the performance, even when you were away from the swings?
Well, it’s taking place in 1919, so I got a bit inspired to have a kind of ballet pause like when you land, or when you’re about to perform. There were always movements with the arms.

But the circus people really showed me how and gave me some ideas that we had to work out together. And I loved it. It’s wonderful as an actor because it helps you to get out of yourself. I have a tendency to be too much in my head, so that really helped me to find her through the physicality.

Obviously having the opportunity to work with Burton again appealing, but was there something about this character that particularly resonated with you?
You know, this is not a very complex character, but I’ve played dark, kind of tormented people recently. So it was nice for me to explore somebody who is kind of light, and at the same time, she’s a strong woman and she takes risks. But it was fun to play a character like that. And again, there was the opportunity to be very physical.

When you have a character that is not complicated, what sort of preparation do you do to play a character like that, if you are often drawn to ones that are more complicated?
She is quite clear on the page. She is that kind of haughty, cold woman, and then she meets Dumbo and then her life changes drastically and she becomes this woman who will do anything to free Dumbo and reunite him with his mom. That journey is kind of clear, which is kind of nice.

Michael Keaton’s character kind of underestimates her — he sees her talent, but he doesn’t necessarily see the human behind all. You have consistently found these incredible, diverse roles to play. How have you managed to repeatedly subvert expectations and attract such interesting challenges?
As you know, we depend on other people’s desires, but I’ve been lucky — and I don’t like repeating myself too. It’s why it’s important to be able to change, to explore new horizons and new characters and new looks. Otherwise, you get kind of stuck in a rut or you kind of get bored with yourself and get a bit saturated. That’s the danger sometimes.
 
 
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G   /   March 27, 2019   /   0 Comments

 
Photographer: Nick Hudson
Styling: Nicky Yates
Hair: Adir Abergel
Make-Up: Kate Lee
Full photoshoot credit can be found on Eva Green Web’s official Instagram page.

 

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G   /   March 27, 2019   /   0 Comments

In an interview with TASS, the actress talked about being a constant in Burton’s films and overcoming her fear of heights, outsiders, and flying in dreams and reality.

French actress Eva Green can easily be called the muse of American director Tim Burton. They have worked on three films together – Dark Shadows also starring Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and now a live-action adaptation of the classic Disney animated feature Dumbo, where Eva plays aerial gymnast Colette Marchand, alongside Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito.

In your recent movies you’ve been going higher and higher – quite literally! In Proxima you are an astronaut, and now you are flying on a trapeze. Do you think it is a weird coincidence?
I must have been a bird in another life. I don’t know, it’s very funny. It’s such a great thing because it gives you the opportunity to explore different universes – you are an aerialist and you end up working with the most amazing circus performers, you learn the craft, which is amazing. Then, as an astronaut I met with a few astronauts, I trained physically because those guys are very fit.

Did you have to do the centrifuge?
I did that. We trained a bit in Star City as well. These people are amazing, they are very brave and they sacrifice themselves. These is something quite “Jesus Christ” about them, which I find very fascinating.

After all these movies do you see yourself being a pilot or going to space someday?
No, I can maybe do a bit of aerial work, but I am not a good flyer. Space is another subject, after doing lots of research and meeting all these astronauts – it is a very harsh life. Yes, they are making amazing discoveries in space, but it is dark.

You have mentioned in earlier interviews that if Tim Burton asks, you would play whatever he wants – a mop, a desk, or a chair. Is there a level of trust that you have developed with the director or is it because it’s Tim Burton and he’s one of a kind?
Exactly. You know that it would be visually beautiful, interesting, and different. That the characters will always be something that you have never played before, which is always a good challenge and it is fun. Who would say no to Tim Burton?

How would you describe Tim Burton compared with other directors? What is the difference between him and Bernardo Bertolucci, or any other director?
It’s always difficult to compare him. Maybe because I have worked with him several times, It is more intimate and I know many members from the crew, so you feel very protected. He always wants you to feel comfortable and he is very collaborative.

Every director is different. He is definitely very warm, very human. Maybe he talks less than other directors, he communicates more with his gestures and you have to understand his body language. He communicates with drawings as well. He constantly draws, I do not even know if he is aware that he is drawing. He would talk to you and he would draw, like blind drawing.

Talking about filming Dumbo, what was the secrecy like? With Marvel movies, they have to hide their scripts. Did you have the same level of secrecy?
Always. You have to be careful, and they get paranoid.

Speaking of the circus experience, I talked with Colin Farrell and he said he never saw the circus as a child. What was your experience when you were growing up in Paris? In Russia the circus is like a second nature for us.
I went a couple of times. It is always very impressive and the acts are amazing, but I always felt a bit sad, probably because of animals. As a child, you probably cannot explain why. Maybe you heard that story about elephant Tyke in Hawaii that went bonkers, killed her trainer, because she was stressed out. Or Black Fish, the documentary about orca. They are going insane when they are in captivity. So I think it’s wonderful that the movie is standing up for animal-free circuses. We should only have humans, like Cirque du Soleil – such a wonderful, beautiful circus. This is magic! You want animals to be happy.

Do you remember the first time you walked on the set of Tim Burton’s Dumbo?
All the sets were very complete, which is very rare. It was so colorful and vibrant and all the extras were there, so you just had to look, you did not have to imagine anything. All the circus performers were doing acts and it was just a fairytale.

Can you talk about the training for this part? You had to overcome your fear of heights.
First, I started to train just with the physical trainer to get very strong core, like invisible abs, because you have to do crazy things. Then strong arms as well. And after that they put me on a swing, and little by little we went higher and higher. The aerialists have a lot of very sexy bruises – behind the knee or around elbows. They like pain.

Why do you think Tim Burton likes to make movies about outcasts and misfits?
It’s a very moving thing and it’s true. I think he probably identifies with his main characters. And I think lots of people do, too. We all try to fit in and we live in the world where we want to please and fit the norm. But it’s okay to look different, it’s actually more interesting. I find it quite boring to want to be like everybody else. He is the one who really knows and understands the misunderstood.

Your first memory of Tim Burton?
I really loved Beetlejuice as a child. I saw it so many times.

Is he working on the remake now?
Hmm… Maybe.
 
 
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G   /   March 27, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Don Kaye
 
 
Eva Green explains why being afraid of heights led her to play a trapeze artist in Tim Burton’s Dumbo.

Dumbo marks French actress Eva Green’s third collaboration with director Tim Burton, following lead roles in Dark Shadows (2012) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016). In Dumbo she portrays an original character named Colette Marchant, an aerialist who works for — and consorts with — the amusements entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who aims to buy Max Medici’s circus and its prized flying baby elephant.

Although Colette does not believe Dumbo can fly initially, her first experience with the elephant convinces her otherwise and she becomes sympathetic to both Dumbo and the Farrier family (led by Colin Farrell), who work in the circus and are trying to do their best to protect Dumbo and reunite him with his mother.

With her dark, beguiling appearance and enigmatic air, it’s clear why the often Gothic-minded Burton would want to feature Green in his movies. Aside from her work with the eccentric director, she has played standout roles in both indie and Hollywood fare. Her Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006) was one of the best Bond women ever, while her go-for-broke performance as the Persian navy commander Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire was a memorable achievement in an otherwise forgettable movie.

Green is perhaps best known as spiritualist Vanessa Ives in the Showtime horror series Penny Dreadful, one of the many challenging and often unorthodox parts this distinctive actress has played. Den of Geek sat down with Green in Los Angeles recently to discuss getting over her fear of heights, learning how to be a trapeze artist and working with an elephant who wasn’t there.

Is part of the pleasure of acting doing things that you wouldn’t do in your normal life, or becoming people or learning about groups of people or cultures that you wouldn’t learn about?
Absolutely. It’s such a luxury. Not only what I would do if I was not an actor, but it’s so wonderful to be able to learn here, like to learn the aerial work. I played an astronaut a few months ago. It’s just to discover those different worlds, and to be able to exactly get strong, to discover things in your body, or to discover bits of history. I just finished a miniseries in New Zealand about the gold rush in the 19th century, so it’s just such an opportunity to learn so many things.

You started out on this with a fear of heights, right?
Yeah. Really terrified. I mean, I remember on Dark Shadows with Tim, I had one scene where I was on wires, and it was not as high as the work I’ve been doing on this one, but it was still very demanding for me. And then on Miss Peregrine, I just had to do a little leap from a high platform. It was a big deal for me. And now he’s asking me to do this. There must be something with him and heights and me. But, yeah, it was kind of a big, big, big fear. Tim was like, “If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. We’ll find a way,” and I really worked very hard, but I had the most amazing teachers as well. I’m in awe of them.

When I was a child, I was always a bit uncomfortable when I went to the circus. I mean, I went a couple of times. I don’t know why, but maybe because I felt for those people up there, or the animals. There was something, as a child you can’t put words on it, but you feel like it’s not right that they are in captivity. But now I have a totally different vision. I’ve worked with those people in the same tent almost every day, and they love their craft so much. It’s contagious, and I’ve seen several performances of Cirque du Soleil, which is such a different thing, and so joyous. I mean, these people are just unbelievably amazing.

I was going to ask, what did you come away with from talking to circus people about their lives and profession?
Well, I don’t know, because on this, they were from different circuses. It was not just one circus, but I loved the discipline that they had every day. I trained very early, I remember, like at 7:00 AM, and every day at 7:00, you had the contortionists in one corner, then the man with the knives, and then the acrobats and the clowns. It’s such a hard job, and I admire people who really will go all the way for their craft. They’re very kind, as well. They helped each other. A clown would help a contortionist. It was very moving.

Did you feel changed physically coming out of it? Did the training make you stronger?
I’ve lost most of it, which is dreadful, but I’m going to get back into shape when I get back to London. But, yeah, it was very empowering, of course, and I really saw my body change. Because day after day, I was like, okay, now I need to do that thing. The body is such a great machine. And it’s interesting because I’m somebody who is so cerebral, but your body actually knows how to deal with things. It’s kind of nice to just cut off the head and let the body do things.

Was there any particular scene in the movie that was especially challenging or difficult?
For me, it was all the aerial work, of course. It’s not the most complicated psychological character. It was a big thing for me, and the first time I had to do something quite full on, and then everybody applauded. And I’m not, I don’t want flowers and applause, but that was such a big achievement for me more than any other scene done in any other movies. It was nice.

When you first enter the movie with Michael Keaton, the initial impression is she’s sort of a moll to his character, but we discover she’s a much more sympathetic character. Was it nice to sort of subvert that expectation of what that kind of character could be?
Yeah, exactly. It’s always nice to not be so obvious straight away, to give a first impression. She’s quite enigmatic, and of course she’s Vandevere’s girlfriend, so you think she’s haughty and she doesn’t believe Dumbo can fly. I think once she’s seen him fly, it’s like she’s in. She has that moment of awe, and she gets close to Holt and the children, and that said, she’s on Dumbo’s side and will help him.

You’ve done a lot of films that have a lot of extensive visual effects in them. Does it get any easier to work with a main character who is not there?

I mean, yeah, I’ve worked a lot with green screen, like fake surroundings. But to really interact with a being, I’ve never had to do that before, and that was very abstract. Tim had drawings. We had a plastic thing. We had him. His name was George actually. It’s a bit confusing, but, yeah. We had George the Elephant, and then we had a man in a green suit that it was helpful to know, okay, he’s touching me. It was kind of real. And then for me for the flying stuff, it was kind of a mechanical machine that kind of moves. It’s quite jerky actually, and you had to really hang on.

Like one of those mechanical broncos in the cowboy bars.
Totally. It’s the same thing, and then it’s extended on an arm. Exactly the same, yeah.

Do you remember seeing the original film as a child?
Yeah. It was a long time ago, but, yeah. I remember really the mother and the child being separated, and how heartbreaking it was, and beautiful. And I love those old Disney movies like Snow White, Bambi, and I love the fact that Disney was brave to tackle those kind of dark subjects because I feel like fairy tales can be a wonderful teaching tool as well. And I think children also sometimes like to be a tiny bit scared. It makes it quite exciting.

What do you think makes it relevant today? I mention that also because there were a couple of references in this movie to not having the animals in captivity.
Yeah. I mean, animals should never perform in captivity. We should not have aquatic shows. In America, it still exists, and I think we’ve seen in documentaries like Blackfish and things like that, that these beings have souls, and they cannot be in captivity. I just hope this movie kind of makes people want to care for those wild animals, and want to stand up against poaching, and protect them.

This is the third time you’ve worked with Tim. You’ve worked with a lot of great directors. What makes him distinctive in his style of filmmaking?
It’s always kind of bigger than life. Everything is colorful, and there’s always that mixture of humor and haught, and it’s always fun because I’ve always been a big fan, so I can’t believe I’ve worked with him three times. But it’s just that you know that it’s going to be a character that’s going to be “other,” that is something that you’ve never played before, and that’s always very exciting for an actor.

Dumbo is out in theaters this Friday (March 29).

 
 
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G   /   March 26, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Sabina Graves
 
 
ComingSoon sat down with Dumbo‘s high flying performance partner, Eva Green, to talk about the film’s timeless themes, how she savors the challenge of playing roles that help her face her fears and how characters like Dumbo always inspire bravery and courage.

Director Tim Burton has reimagined the story of Dumbo for a new generation. Filled with whimsy and a menagerie of new friends, the story of the little flying elephant expands to tell a heartwarming and emotional tale. Among Dumbo’s new friends are the Farrier children played by Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, Colin Farrell as their father Holt, and aerialist Collette Merchant played by Eva Green. Together with the rest of the circus, they come together to protect Dumbo when he reminds them of the innocence they once had in the face of a cruel world.

In your body of work, you’re known for taking on both emotionally and physically challenging roles. And you’ve shared that heights is one of your fears, which playing an aerialist in Dumbo allowed you to face. Is that something you found appealing about taking on the role?

It was interesting because it was a character that my approach was mainly physical for in this role. I really committed to it and trained and trained. I didn’t know I would be able to go up there and pretend to be an aerialist and do real stuff. It was such a long interesting process, you know the circus people were really very patient and gave me lots of confidence. I had great teachers and we went step by step. We started to work on the strength first and then they lifted me higher and higher everyday. It’s crazy.

It started with a hoop, so you had to kind of sit on it. It’s very uncomfortable for the butt. And then you know most of my performances were on a chandelier, I trained straight on it and it’s very hard to just even hang on to it. It requires you to be have very strong shoulders and use unknown muscles. The abs have to be so strong and then the lyra which is a very old swing that they used in those days, beautifully shaped and you kind of go upside down and arch yourself and you have to go back up which requires lots of core work.

(She demonstrated this by lifting herself on the chair. It was awesome.)

In the film Collette works closely with Dumbo as a partners in a flying act. Both sort of forced into working together after Collette was used to working alone. In the beginning you almost don’t know if she’s to be trusted but as she works with Dumbo, she changes because of him. Do you think it’s because Collette sees a part of herself she had long forgotten?
When you first meet her, you don’t really know who she is. She’s covered in makeup and quite cold and she’s Vandervere’s girlfriend. And we learned through the story that she used to be a street acrobat on the streets of Paris and Vandervere discovered her and brought her to America and made her a superstar. So you would imagine that she kind of blinded for a while by the life of luxury that he offered her and he gave her a chance as well to be an aerialist in the most prestigious circus in the world. I’m sure she pretended her life was great but when encounters Dumbo she realizes she’s been lying to herself and her life changes drastically and she becomes who she is. A simple woman who loves Dumbo, loves his trainers and family and this simpler life.

I really loved seeing the joy in Colette’s face when she flies with Dumbo. It’s exactly like she sees who she truly is reflected in him. Were there characters in your real life that you would say you recognized yourself in and gained the courage to embrace what made you different as what makes you unique?
Yes, certainly Dumbo and talking about Tim–definitely Edward Scissorhands. You know feeling awkward and not fitting in and seeing that you can use your flaws or your weirdness for good things. I feel that lots of people identify with those characters. We live in a world where we think we have to look a certain way in order to be loved. And that’s not good, it’s quite boring. It’s good to be a bit brave as well and intelligent enough to embrace who you are and it is hard to believe in yourself. I don’t believe in myself very often and it is hard. For example like this fear of heights, doing this gave me a tiny bit of confidence that is like ‘Okay, I can actually do that.’–rather than overthinking and destroying yourself. It’s when you face those fears that you overcome them.

After Miss Peregrine’s and now Dumbo, we’re seeing more of you in a wider range of genre films. Do you have plans to maybe join other universes like do more in the Superhero realm or Sci-Fi/Fantasy?
I really like physical stuff, actually. Even 300, I loved doing the training. It was thrilling to play that very strong woman. You get out of your head as an actor and you find the character through physical training. I’d love to do more of the superhero stuff, be more strong women in fantasy.

Dumbo opens March 29th.
 
 
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G   /   March 26, 2019   /   0 Comments

by Hayley Maitland
 
 
As she prepares to take to the skies in Dumbo, Vogue catches up with Eva Green about playing trapeze artist Colette, her edgy wardrobe, and the key political message behind the Disney remake.

How did you prepare for the role of Colette?
The character was actually based on Colette Janine Marchand, the ballerina and actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1952 version of Moulin Rouge – although I had no idea of that when I accepted the part! In the film, she’s really a bird in a cage – and quite an enigmatic one at that.

What was your training like for the aerial scenes?
I’ve always been completely terrified of heights, and I had to do a lot of my own stunts. I trained with circus performers just outside of London. Those people are equal parts crazy and talented and generous. I had to learn how to trust myself up on the platform and just…let go. It’s actually great for strengthening your core. There were moments when I thought I was going to have to quit. I would come out of practice covered in bruises – especially behind my knees. Then, one day, it just clicked. It’s all in the mind really.

How important were the costumes to your role?
Incredibly. Our costume designer Colleen Atwood is a genius. [Atwood studied the collections at both Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida, when conceiving her designs.] I felt like a Disney princess sometimes, especially in the performance outfits with the long trains, crazy headdresses, and fitted waists. I just needed a wand, and that was it.

What were your favourite moments on set?
Well, it was nice the first time that I did a stunt on set because everybody applauded. Usually, you have to be on stage for that to happen! I had been so nervous and worked for so long to fly though that everyone was clapping. Obviously, a lot of the film is CGI, and I had to work with somebody in a green suit and a sort of mechanical bull to stand in for Dumbo…So many illusions! What made filming special though was that there were so many really over-the-top sets. It felt like going back to the golden age of Hollywood, particularly the scenes with all of the acrobats and spectators in Disneyland.

How do you feel the 2019 version of Dumbo compares to the original 1941 film?
I must have first watched the original Dumbo when I was about five, and it’s been a while since I revisited it. The relationship between the mother and the baby elephant gets me every time. I actually feel like the 2019 version of the film is more emotional. The elephants are so beautiful and realistic that it’s impossible not to be moved. I hope it makes people aware of how remarkable and majestic these creatures are – and encourages them to fight to protect them. It’s wonderful that Disney is promoting animal-free circuses with this film. Then there’s poaching to fight against as well.

Your style has been particularly impressive recently; do you have a secret formula that you rely on?
It’s wonderful to dress up for the red carpet…If Alexander McQueen gives me a dress, I’m going to enjoy wearing it. That said, I have to feel like myself in my clothes. I work with the stylist Leslie Fremar. She’s a little bit edgy, and she really listens to you. I always prefer a dress that feels original, whether it’s Iris Van Herpen or Tom Ford. Original, like Dumbo! In terms of day-to-day style, I’m all about being comfortable. I prefer flats to heels, and I wear a lot of Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester – leggings and flowing tops, especially. If I’m home though, I may just stay in sweatpants…

Finally, how do you stay looking fresh when you’re on the road constantly?
No. 7 from boots. My skin is quite dry, and their cream is incredibly nourishing. It’s boring, but I also drink lots of water and eat well. That makes more of a difference than any product. That said, I do love a sheet mask…

Dumbo is in cinemas from March 29.
 
 
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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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