By Donald Clarke
The Penny Dreadful star takes a break from psychic meltdowns as the eponymous lead in Tim Burton’s new film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“It’s so great to hear the accent,” Eva Green says to me. “Where in Ireland are you from?”
Dunno. Blftnbrgh. Sgrlingham. What’s my name again?
Green has that sort of presence. Over the last decade or so, after debuting in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, the French actor has become our era’s most potent purveyor of gothic glamour. Nobody else does what she does. Nobody else can lower her brow and stare as if focussing the wrath of a thousand unsettled souls (or something). You get quite a bit of that in her performance as the title character in Tim Burton’s imminent Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
“I am so sick of this femme fatale thing,” she says in a perky voice. “I don’t know what it means. I suppose I played one in Sin City – 100 percent evil. I see that. But Penny Dreadful is dark and tormented. That’s different. There are many layers to that. I find that very meaty. So maybe I should dye my hair blonde and do an American comedy.”
I had read that she was actually a natural blonde.
“Yes! That’s right. I am a dark blonde. I think I need to be careful. I don’t want to be seen as being too sophisticated.”
I must apologise. You probably didn’t want to read that Eva Green – recently so distraught and demented on the TV series Penny Dreadful – turns out to be in no way intimidating. This is, however, very much the case. She looks magnificent. Wearing something black and diaphanous, the trademark eye make-up shockingly in place, she is unlikely to be ignored in a crowd. But she is still very much up for a nice chat.
“Ireland is so real and funny,” she almost gushes. “I shot the movie Cracks there. I always had a happy time. Then three years of Penny Dreadful. And Camelot. I feel like I have something Irish thing going on within me.”
By Will Lawrence
Eva Green is no stranger to the big screen. Her film repertoire includes Casino Royale (2006), Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (2012) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014). Next up, Green plays the title character in Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (September 30). Based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs, the movie follows the birdlike, shape-shifting Miss Peregrine as she protects a group of fantastically gifted children.
To celebrate the upcoming movie, Parade sat down with Green to discuss her character, working with Burton and all things peculiar.
What is Miss Peregrine’s journey in this film?
She is very strong. She runs the home a bit like a commanding general, rather than a governess. She will do absolutely anything for her children and then they do find themselves in a tricky situation. She doesn’t want them to be scared. Everything is falling apart, but she is there to protect them. It is the mission of her life.
So she is a strong character rather than a stern one?
Totally. She is very good. She is like a mother to them. But she does have a lot of authority as well. She wants to be respected. All the children have to be on time because if one of them is not on time—it is quite a complicated story with this time loop. Everything has to be on time. It is all extremely organized so she, as I said, is like a general but it is all for the good of the children.
The “peculiar” in the title, does that just refer to the children’s special powers or are they are actually quirky, unusual children in themselves?
They don’t have special powers but peculiarities. They can fly and become invisible, but at the end of the day it becomes quite normal. They are actually like normal children. They can be sad, happy, playful. I don’t think they are weird.
The way he talks about his own childhood and the fact that these children find it hard to fit in, one suspects it is a very personal film to Tim. Did you get that impression?
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be premiering on September 30! In celebration of the film’s premiere and Eva Green introducing us to her new character in the name of Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine, we, in cooperation and kindness of Quirk Books, publisher of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine book series, will be giving away FREE authentic Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children merchandise to loyal and lucky Eva Green and Miss Peregrine series fans!
We will be giving away the following prizes:
- A copy of The Art of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Leah Gallo and Holly C. Kemf, with forewords by Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs
Witness the genesis of peculiardom! This visual tour of the movie world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, created by iconic filmmaker Tim Burton, is sure to be a must-have for fans of the series. A companion book to the film, it features behind-the-scenes images and set information from two of Burton’s longtime collaborators, including details on costume design, cinematography, set design, concept art, and more. This beautiful hardback edition makes a perfect gift or collector’s item.
- A copy of Miss Peregrine’s Journal for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Life is full of surprises. Things are rarely what they seem. We have all the secret hidden talents. These are some of the lessons that Miss Peregrine’s students learn, sometimes the hard way. You may not have an ymbryne as your guide, but now you can map your days, record your most peculiar thoughts, and bare your soul in this beautifully designed journal that’s right out of the world of peculiars. Featuring vintage black and white photos, with quotes from all three books in the bestselling Peculiar Children series, it’s the perfect companion whether you’re travelling peculiardom or caught in a loop.
- Original Miss Peregrine Funko Doll
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