By Hillary Weston
“I’m very shy and awkward, so playing all these characters and taking on these different roles from myself makes me feel alive and gives me blood,” Eva Green tells me when I ask about the mysterious and darkly seductive roles she’s known for in contrast to the person she is off-screen. “I’m breathing and alive when I’m acting, and I’m confident when I’m acting—I’m not always in real life.” But for the alluring French actress, her intense sensuality and cunning intellect have made her one of Hollywood’s most sought after women, from her breakout role in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers and her turn as a bond girl in Casino Royale to starring on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and her latest role in Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard.
Starring Green alongside Shailene Woodley, Araki’s film (King of Teenage Doom) takes us back to the late 1980‘s to tell his dark suburban dream, based on Laura Kasischke’s novel of the same title. In White Bird, we follow Kat (Woodley), a 17-year-old girl whose emotionally unstable mother, Eve (Green), vanishes mysteriously one afternoon. Caught up in her newfound sexuality and exploration of desire and emotion, Kat represses the confusion and anger of her mother’s haunting disappearance, as her father (played by Christopher Meloni) continues on with his life in the shadow of Eve’s absence.But as the story unravels, we’re given insight into Eve’s life, with surreal flashbacks and snow-covered dreams, revealing the natural of Kat’s uneasy relationship with her mother and how deeply miserable Eve was in her caged-in life as a homemaker.
And although she is but a mere decade older than Woodley in real life, Green manages to elevate her Mommie Dearest-esque character to someone untethered by time, a ghost haunting their lives. Wonderfully theatrical while not going entirely over the top, Green plays up the ugliness of Eve’s alcoholism and anger to age herself, adding a sense of hyper-melodrama akin to one of Fassbinder’s women on the verge. So with White Bird in a Blizzard now out on VOD and in theaters next week, I stole some time with Green to chat about her fears about playing Shailene’s mother, her ability to make herself invisible, and acting inside a dream.
As a new actor to the world of Gregg Araki, how did you become involved in the film?
I remember I was in Bulgaria doing the 300film and my agent was like, “My god, you need to look at this I’m sure you’re going to love this.” And then I just really loved the story, and it was so unusual and frustrated and it had such a great conflict with the daughter. I was very moved by it, so I said yes straight away!
Had you been a fan of his past films?
Yeah, I remember I saw Mysterious Skin in the cinema when it came it. It was dreamlike and very tormented. There’s something in his films that are a bit David Lynch in a way. Seeing the film in the cinema I remember it was like a dream and fucked up and I loved that very much. His other films are all teenage trashy bonkers funny and this one, White Bird, I find more grown up. It’s in another category of its own.
How was the experience of turning in this character and playing a woman who was written significantly older than you? Did you read the book to get of the feeling of who she was?
When I found out my daughter would be played by Shailene, I was like, oh my god! It’s a bit unbelievable; we look more like sisters. But Gregg was like, don’t worry, it’s a bit surreal and you’ll have another hairdo. I was worried that it would not be believable, so I loved her journey. You see her young in her 20s and then it ages me. But I tried to portray that aging more in her character. She’s an alcoholic and her body changes and her voice changes, so it was a challenge.
She only exists in these surreal memories and in flashbacks, so in a way she felt ageless.
There’s something about your character that also felt out of time and very rooted in melodrama, like she belonged to films of the past, in opposition the natural cool of the teens.
It’s true. She’s kind of a mixture of a lot of women. She could have been a movie star but she didn’t fulfill her dreams and got trapped like a bird in a cage. Sometimes it felt like, am I going completely over the top, a complete alcoholic kind of thing, but Gregg allowed me to go there because it was a dream. You have all these teenagers and they’re cool and I had the excuse of being in a dream.
You’ve worked with a lot of great directors, but what was the experience like working with Gregg Araki?
In the beginning it was a struggle to find the money for the film and then the actors. But it’s nice that this film was made all with heart, and Gregg is very open and he’s so passionate. He’s like a child on set, with this passion and he’s so loving. He’s really all about who these characters are and the story. It’s all fun. There’s no judgement or games or bullshit. It’s pure joy and we all loved it.
How was Shailene as a co-star and daughter?
I was intimidated at first. I thought, oh god am I going to measure up? Is this going to believable? But Shailene was so great and she calmed me down and made me feel confident. She was very supportive. She’s very wise and very mature, an old soul. And she’s also very aware of the world and extremely bright and amazing.
Looking back on the roles you’ve played, there’s been a lot of characters that fall into the darker, more dramatic realm. Do you tend to gravitate towards these roles or do you find that people approach you for them because that’s how they perceive you as an actor?
You take what you find, but I am always looking for something that’s complex and something that’s interesting. I also don’t want people to put me in a box of one character also. So I always hope people have enough imagination. But I am always drawn to something complicated. It’s jubilating in a strange way, but you also have to be careful.
Do you find that you’re a much different person off-screen and not the mysterious woman we often see you play?
Oh, yeah. No one ever really recognizes me really. I take the tube all the time and it’s fine. I can make myself invisible, I have that power. I’m also very shy and feel so awkward that playing all these characters and taking on these different roles from myself makes me feel alive and gives me blood. I’m breathing and alive when I’m acting and I’m confident when I’m acting. I’m not always in real life, but I would like to be. So I think I’m very different for sure.
What are you working on now?
I’m going to Ireland to shoot the second season of Penny Dreadful. I get to play a very gifted and fabulous character. It’s an interesting character and one of the most interesting I’ve gotten to play. She’s in the dark but she’s fighting to get to the light and she goes through such an amazing, rich journey.
Here are some more reviews on Eva’s performance in White Bird in a Blizzard. Click on the Source links for the full film review.
……She’s matched in intensity by Eva Green, who is such a delicious mess as Kat’s mentally unwinding mother that I missed having her on screen.
– Scott Feinberg for scottfeinberg.com, Sundance Review: White Bird in a Blizzard
As I’ve already harped on, the casting in this movie is brilliant. Just imagine Eva Green as a misanthropic housewife, someone who would be jealous of her daughter’s looks, because she’s getting old. This is a woman whose chest was too hot for a Sin City 2 poster, and that’s precisely why it works so well. Eva Green embodies Eve Connor, the miracle homemaker turned miserable, listless drunk, with a husky voice and a sliver of the possessed version of her Vanessa Ives character in Penny Dreadful, and it’s arguably more terrifying to find her in 1980’s suburbia. Eva Green is as magnetic an actor as there is working today (is there a more interesting one? Envision a movie that costars Green and Adam Driver…), and her absence is felt as much as her overwhelming presence in this one.
– Andy Greene for Popinsomniacs, Film Review: ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ and Shailene Woodley Subvert Expectations
……current vamp-for-hire Eva Green, meanwhile, is all stylized hauteur, as if playing Joan Crawford under Todd Solondz’s instruction. (She’s pretty great, in other words.)…….Her mother Eve (Green) has no such reticence, posing at every given opportunity in slinky, ridge-shouldered femme fatale dresses and flirting lasciviously with local boys. (She extends a dinner invitation to one, cooing that she makes a mean “crab thermidor” — Green says the words as if offering sex on a popsicle stick. It’s the most delicious moment in the entire film.)
– Guy Lodge for HitFix, Review: Shailene Woodley and Eva Green spark in disappointing ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’
Christopher Meloni and Eva Green do just as strong work as Woodley. Eva Green continues her streak of manic strong women here in the role of Woodley’s mother Eve. Green’s over the top delivery works well here as a protrait of a mother who’s looks are fading as fast as her atrophy for the life she lives is growing inside of her. To see something as deranged as 300: Rise of an Empire and White Bird in a Blizzard and how she is able to gel into both perfectly is a testament to her prowess as a performer. Both films show that Green appears to be just beginning a very interesting and arresting career……The final moments between Meloni and Green are as heartbreaking as one will see this year.
– Adam Kautzer for FilmDispenser, White Bird in a Blizzard – Film Review (2014)
Eva Green took on the role of the disappearing mother, Eve. As always, Green was amazing and managed to make herself feel present on screen even though she was not the lead. Ever since I saw her in The Dreamers I can’t get enough of her!
– Nina Chabel for Montreal Rampage, Review: White Bird ina Blizzard at Fantasia
Per Showtime’s email confirmation to EvaGreenWeb, we can confirm that the rumor swirling around the internet about Penny Dreadful’s January 2015 Season 2 Premiere is NOT TRUE. Showtime has not announced a release date at this time. They will however inform us the second they announce it and you can be assured that we will relay it to you all once we have the definite date from Showtime.
Here are some more reviews on Eva’s performance in White Bird in a Blizzard. Click on the Source links for the full film review.
French actress Green, an underused talent, has always had something crazed behind her large, popped eyes, a ferocious energy that serves her well here as a woman disappointed by life and content to rage against it until everyone in her wake is as miserable as she is.
– Beth Hanna for Indiewire: Thompson on Hollywood, Sundance Review: ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’
Eva Green goes deliciously unhinged in Gregg Araki’s latest!
– Peter Debruge for Variety, Sundance Film Review: ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’
Because it must be said—Eva Green isn’t exactly the star of ‘White Bird,’ but she gives one hell of a performance. With the small running time she’s in, she doesn’t just chew up the scenery, she devours it whole (including every actor that shares space with her). Her vicious maw is as staggering as her talent threatens to overshadow everyone who dares to come across her path……All in all, “White Bird in a Blizzard” is worth seeing for Eva Green’s performance alone, and to experience the dreamlike quality of Gregg Araki’s individual, highly unique vision of cinema.
– Chase Whale for Indiewire: The Playlist, Sundace Review: Gregg Araki’s ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’
Eva Green’s performance is unbelievable. She’s intense, beautiful and creepy at the same time. Her face, her voice and attitude transpires so much, how come this woman does not have an Oscar? Or is not a goddess in a Marvel movie?
Green walks a fine line between composure and lunacy, although the director pushes her to one or two over-the-top moments.
– Todd McCarthy for The Hollywood Reporter, ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ : Sundance Review
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Let’s talk about your latest, very exciting, project – the television series Penny Dreadful. How did you get involved?
This is a good question. I’m not quite sure. It was the fortunate turn of events that Showtime approached me with an offer to write the score. Not the opposite, as it usually happens. There were apparently a few people who recommended me. Firstly, John Logan, the writer and creator of Penny Dreadful, knew and appreciated my work. Secondly, it was Juan Antonio Bayona who directed and shaped the series. Eva Green would play my music on the set, while they were shooting. She was a great ambassador (for my music).
I got invited to Dublin for meetings with Bayona, Logan and Eva Green. It was a great feeling, that my music was expected and requested. Also, seeing all the sets, built with such astonishing level of detail, was really a great experience.
Read the rest of his interview HERE.
Source: Films On Wax
||11 September 2014
||Deauville Film Festival
||25 September 2014
||Video on Demand / Limited Release
||26 September 2014
||Vancouver International Film Festival
||15 October 2014
||16 October 2014
||London Film Festival
||24 October 2014
||7 November 2014
||12 November 2014
||20 November 2014
Chuckie is always such a supportive contributor, so please let’s take the time to thank her once again and pay tribute to her fansites. If you don’t know them yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! She always has the latest scoops on her celebs and her devotion truly shows! She’s been constantly working behind-the-scenes to bring you the best galleries out there.
– Andrew Woodall
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– Michael Anderson Sr. and Jr.
– Michael Shannon
– Paul Higgins
– Rory Kinnear
– Rupert Evans
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By Kevin Woods
We were big fans of Showtime’s gothic horror series “Penny Dreadful” here at AITH, bringing you our reviews of the acclaimed first season throughout its run. If you missed it when it originally aired or just want to revisit the series again then you’ll be excited to hear that “Penny Dreadful” The Complete First Season” is heading to DVD and Blu-ray on October 14. If you’re the kind of collector who is into exclusive box art collections then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on the Target Exclusive release, and we’ve got your first look at the box art below!
Eva’s mother, legendary film actress and author Marlène Jobert, has written an autobiography wherein she chronicles her amazing life and career and it’s due out next month, October 23, 2014.
“Les Baisers du Soleil” is now available on Pre-Order HERE and HERE.
White Bird in a Blizzard will be shown during BFI’s London Film Festival next month which runs between October 8-19.
- Director Gregg Araki
- Producers Pascal Caucheteux, Sebastien K. Lemercier, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Pavlina Hatoupis
- Screenwriter Gregg Araki
- With Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe
- USA 2014
- 90 mins
- UK distribution Altitude Film Distribution
As soon as the Cocteau Twins’ shoegazing ‘Sea Swallow Me’ kicks in over the luminous haze of the opening credits, it’s clear we’re in Gregg Araki territory, and with his latest creation the New Queer Cinema alumna continues to explore his favourite obsessions; sex, mortality and adolescence. An impressionistic adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s novel, the film follows Kat, a sexually adventurous teen dealing with the fallout from her mother’s unexplained disappearance. Battling her own teenage crises, Kat must make sense of her broken family, and face the dark realities that exist at its core. Styled with a dreamy sense of hyper-reality, and featuring a deliciously unhinged performance from Eva Green, White Bird in a Blizzard is every bit as formally exciting as we would expect from Araki, and every bit as rebellious in its examination of the agonies and ecstasies of young adulthood.
– Michael Blyth
Here’s the screening schedule during the festival:
- Oct 16, 2014 9:00 PM
- Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
18-09-2014 10:00 AM
- Oct 18, 2014 1:00 PM
- Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
|On sale18-09-2014 10:00 AM
Festival Full Film Programme List HERE.
The Salvation will be released in Russia on November 6, 2014.
Other release dates:
October 2, 2014 – UK
October 9, 2014 – Germany
November 6, 2014 – The Netherlands
Future release dates to other countries and territories will be posted here once they are available.
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By Tim Kenneally
Showtime psychological thriller also adds other guest stars and ups two cast members to series regulars
“Penny Dreadful” is beefing up its cast big-time as it prepares for its second season.
The “Showtime” drama has cast Patti LuPone as a guest star for Season 2. The two-time Tony Award winner, whose television credits include “American Horror Story” and “Life Goes On,” will play play a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s (Eva Green) past.
LuPone will be joined by fellow newcomers Douglas Hodge, Jonny Beauchamp and Sarah Greene, who are also coming aboard as guest stars for “Dreadful’s” second season. Hodge (“La Cages aux Folles”) will play Bartholomew Rusk, an intense Scotland Yard investigator on the hunt to discover who is responsible for the terrible murders that have been plaguing London. “How to Make it in America” actor Beauchamp will play a young man with a singular past, while Greene will play Hecate, Evelyn Poole’s powerful daughter.
The series has also upped cast members Helen McCrory and Simon Russell Beale to series regulars, as seductive spiritualist Evelyn Poole and eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle, respectively. In the upcoming second season, Poole will pose a unique threat to the series’ protagonists.
Season 2 of “Penny Dreadful” begins production in Dublin, Ireland for a 2015 premiere.
Source: The Wrap