People have to do certain things to be hypnotic. Eva Green just needs to be present.
Even 10 years after “Casino Royale,” the French actress’ piercing gaze and husky chords remain effective at disarming my senses like the sirens in maritime tales. It’s highly likely that the ethereal, somewhat supernatural aura Green exudes qualify her to embody the titular headmistress in Tim Burton’s newest film, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”
Green, however (and rather shockingly), possesses more quirkiness and frankness than the mystique that popularized her.
“I was not popular in school—I was a real geek, hugging the walls. I blushed whenever the teacher would ask me a question. I was paralyzed,” Green said to W Magazine.
Eva Green—the outcast. What?
“I’ve always felt like this as a child. I feel like I’m floating, a tiny bit,” Green said in a Q&A from VICE. “I wish I could be more grounded. I don’t know how to put it.”
That inner restlessness also bleeds into Green’s project choices, the majority of which are dark-themed, psychologically turbulent or even a warped, irresistible fusion of the two. Maybe an opportunity to undress, too, as those who have seen her acting debut might point out.
“When I did ‘The Dreamers’ I was not aware when I was filming it that all the questions from journalists afterwards would only be about the nudity,” she said to The Guardian in 2011. “I was asked all these questions about the sex scenes. I don’t know why people make such a fuss. Sometimes I feel like I’m a porn actress.”
One time, I queried my French cousins to see if it’s true that Europeans don’t mind nudity. Their answers could be summed up to there are more important stuff to consider than what’s on you.
It seems true in my brushes with European films (or foreign films, even) that the depiction of sexuality—in passing or full force, verbally or physically—is a natural, “c’est la vie” kind of topic. In message boards for films, especially those that made headlines because of rating appeals, it’s not hard to find a post where someone will point out how much of a milksop Hollywood cinema is compared to European’s.
Green was at the center of that argument at one point. Citing the fact that it was over-revealing, the Motion Picture Association of America decided to ban Green’s character poster for the “Sin City” sequel.
“I don’t really get it. I don’t understand all the fuss,” Green said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “Boobs have never killed anyone. I mean, you could suffocate somebody…”
On the subject of being naked, other than being semi-typecasted as the brooding femme, Green is spectacular at displaying vulnerability. I wouldn’t say I’m a “TV show” person, but Green’s compelling waltzing with the darkness in “Penny Dreadful” has, in a flash, made me a convert.
In the show, Green plays Vanessa Ives, a medium who is both powerful and susceptible to inhuman forces that roam Victorian London. I’m sure she knows this, but “Penny Dreadful” is, in some ways, her second time being a “Bond girl”—to the “Licence to Kill” version of the spy, of course.
“I will have to do more normal roles because I don’t want to be put in a box marked ‘weird witch’. People around me say, ‘You must stop doing dark roles,’” Green said to The Guardian in May.
So what if she follows that insane advice? What kind of films will we see Green in?
“I’d like to do something funny,” she said to Rolling Stone. “It would have to be a comedy that’s very sharp, and very black.”
No, “Dark Shadows” was not it.
“Miss Peregrine” is in theaters now.