The Salvation (2014)

Character: Madelaine
Director: Kristian Levring
Co-Stars: Mads Mikkselsen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall, Michael Raymond-James, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Cameron-Michael, Nanna Øland Fabricius
Written by: Anders Thomas Jensen, Kristian Levring
Genre: Drama, Western
MPAA Rating: Rated R

In 1870s America, a peaceful American settler kills his family’s murderer which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.

Eva Green’s Role

Eva plays Madelaine, the mute widow of the gang leader Henry Delarue’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) brother, who’s been meaning to break free from the clutches of Delarue and his gang.

Gallery Links
Promotional Photos
Promotional Stills
2014 Cannes Film Festival Press Book
On The Set
On Set Footage
Blu-Ray Screen Captures
Online Links
IMDb Page
Official Japanese Website
Available on: DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming services
Exclusive Interview
Sean Cameron Michael

Kristian Levring

On casting Eva Green

“(Actually), I met Eva pretty quickly after Mads confirmed us his will to do it. I needed an actress with the necessary strength for the part, to play this mute character on screen. I had the feeling that Eva would be interesting in that way. When I met her, we started to talk about the part, she was very intrigued but a bit uncomfortable. For an actor, dialogues are very important. But she made her decision during this first meeting because she really wanted to accept that challenge. Working with Eva was very easy. She understood immediately what I was expecting from her to play Madelaine, how to communicate only with her eyes and body-posture.”


On the character Madelaine

“Her character was made after a classic western, The Searchers by John Ford. In his 50s movie, John Wayne goes looking for a woman who got kidnapped by the Indians. I love this movie, it’s a masterpiece. Madelaine’s story is mainly inspired by this character.”


On writing The Salvation

“Exactly. When we wrote the film, we have severely limited the dialogues. Sometimes a character had long dialogues but it was not true to the spirit of the Western. We had to shorten to go to the essentials. So we are left with very little dialogue – especially compared to what I used to do. It also was a challenge that was interesting to meet: Bringing more things with the fewest possible words. Suggest rather than show.”


Mads Mikkelsen

On working with Eva and still not exchanging dialogue in their scenes

“(That’s right), this is not the first time we made ​​this remark… In the film we had shot before, we had not hardly spoken to and in this one… I do not say a word either! You could say that we had an almost brotherly relationship. But Eva is a beautiful woman and a fantastic actress with whom I enjoyed reworking.”

Production Trivia & Facts
Has a run time of 1 hour and 32 minutes.

Is a British-Danish-Swedish-South African co-production.

Eva does not utter a single word in The Salvation.

The Salvation was shot on location in South Africa. The sets were built from the ground in the South African filming locations. A town set burnt down shortly before filming was complete.

The Salvation marks the second time Eva and Mads Mikkselsen has worked together. The first was in Casino Royale (2006). They played the Bond Girl and Bond Villain respectively.

Mads Mikkelsen (Jon) and Jonathan Pryce (Keane) have both played major Bond villains in the 007 series. Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006) and Pryce as Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

Both Mads Mikkelsen and Eva have played characters who were mute. Mads in Nicholas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising (2009) and Eva in The Salvation.

Both Eva and Mads Mikkelsen have played characters who have facial scars. Mads in Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale (2006) where he has a scar near his left eye while Eva has a scar across the right side of her lips in The Salvation.

The film had its world premiere during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival (May 17, 2014) where it had a Midnight Screening slot. It received a rousing applause from the audience.
Awards & Nominations

Chicago International Film Festival (2014)

Nominated (Audience Award)

Audience Choice Award – Kristian Levring

Svend Prisen Awards (2014)


Most Popular Danish Film

Best Actor – Mads Mikkelsen

Best international Actor in a Danish Film – Eva Green

Robert Festival (2015)

Nominated (Audience Award) – Sisse Graum Jørgensen (Prodducer) & Kristian Levring (Director)

Nominated (Robert)

Best Production Design (Årets scenograf) – Jørgen Munk

Best Cinematography (Årets fotograf) – Jens Schlosser

Best Costume Design (Årets kostumier) – Diana Cilliers

Best Make-Up (Årets sminkør) – Ann Elizabeth Bartels

Best Original Score (Årets score) – Kasper Winding

Best Visual Effects (Årets visuelle effekter) – Thomas Busk, Kim Fersling & Alexander Schepelern

Critics on Eva Green’s performance

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Green’s acting here is done entirely with her eyes, which say plenty.”

James Mottram, GamesRadar

“Adding intrigue is Eva Green, who plays Madelaine, the widow of the man Jon killed – left mute after Native Americans cut her tongue out. Green is marvellous – silent but deadly, with those alluring feline eyes put to good use.”

Travis Hopson, Examiner

“There’s also the dark presence of Eva Green as Delaru’s widowed sister-in-law. Her story is particularly brutal as she sports a noticeable scar from having her tongue cut out by an Indian tribe as a girl. It’s amazing how Green still manages to take over every scene without uttering a single word, but her presence looms over this film and threatens to steal it away from Mikkelsen.”

Sarah Ward,

“Mikkelsen and Green most successful at twisting recognisable roles into more than rote turns. Neither is given much to say, the former by stoic design that continues to suit the star of Valhalla Rising, and the latter by virtue of backstory that brings her expressive features and blazing glare to the fore. Neither needs dialogue to convey the moods and motivations of their characters, nor to channel the strength and fortitude necessary in a feature that writes a love letter to its genre.”

Brian Orndorf,

“Performances are terrific, watching the actors dig into stunned reactions and physical exhaustion, with Green managing to do something without the benefit of dialogue, while Mikkelsen portrays grief with deadly accuracy, refusing to overplay anything. Levring appreciates his talent, keeping much of “The Salvation” concentrated on pained faces and period attitude, leading to some authentically harrowing scenes.”

Jeff Nelson, DVD Talk

“Eva Green is phenomenal as Madelaine, even despite the fact that she doesn’t utter a single word of dialogue. Since the character doesn’t speak, she’s left to rely on her screen presence, which she has an abundance of. Green constantly steals the screen, as she once again proves to own the silver screen……….However, Eva Green is the ultimate powerhouse, as she manages to command our attention without muttering a single word of dialogue.”

Movie Mezzanine

“In The Salvation, Danish director Kristian Levering does not attempt to turn the codified structures upside down. Instead he delivers a very entertaining, pure breed, old school western with a modern twist – and mesmerizing casting including Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green. These are two actors who are proficient when it comes to expressing emotions without dialogue. Eyes and facial muscles are very busy here, as it’s their twitches and blinks, tension/release that dictate the pace of this classically narrated yet still very contemporary film…..Eva Green creates a character that’s interesting in terms of the Western’s gender politics – a mute, mutilated woman who despite her handicap is as strong a fighter as the men who surround her, consciously using her appearance to her advantage, as bait or as a shield.”