FILM & CULTURE “I WAS VERY SHY AT SCHOOL, I DIDN’T LIKE TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC. AND I’M AN ACTOR NOW. GO FIGURE!” calm, collected woman sitting here serenely amidst a studio bristling with camera equipment and filming crew. “Yes, I was very shy at school. I didn’t like to speak in public, and I panicked when a teacher asked me a question. The blood stopped going to my brain,” Green remembers. “And I’m an actor now, which doesn’t really make sense. So, go figure!” Once again tackling her fears, Green came to London, aged 17, to study at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. It was a bold step for a far-from-confident girl with, at best, a rudimentary grasp of English. “The workshop at Webber Douglas was really hard for me. My English was terrible at the time, and it was eight hours a day in English. We had to improvise in English, which freaked me out — sometimes I couldn’t understand what the other person was saying to me,” she laughs. “So I was just frozen, pretending I understood.” Green ploughed on for an academic year, before returning to France for three years’ further study at drama school. BACK IN BLACK If she took her love of acting from her mother, what does she think she took from her father? “I don’t speak Swedish and I really wish I could. So maybe my weirdness is Swedish, something from the mystic north?” she ponders. Expanding on this aspect of her character, she acknowledges once again how often she’s been cast as witches and supernatural beings, from Serafina Pekkala in Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass to the demonically possessed Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful, a performance for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. “I think as an actor you’re being put into a box. And lots of people have this image of me being all in black, gothic… but what does that mean?” she wonders playfully. “I have to embrace my gothicness because everyone’s saying it. But I think I’m many things. And maybe people are scared when they meet me, they think I’m really cold. But I’m not,” Green shrugs. “Yeah, I’m many people,” she smiles again. And what might be on her wish-list of roles? “Well, I’d love to do a road movie”, says Green. “There’s something about cars that is so manly, so to show a woman handling a very powerful car is quite empowering and sexy. I’d like to do that, but it has to be a good script. Charlize Theron in Mad Max was so cool.” If her old collaborator Ridley Scott decided to do a modern remake of his classic Thelma & Louise, would she slide behind the wheel? “I don’t think you can remake Thelma & Louise, but I would love to do something similar,” she replies. “It was such a beautiful love story, with two very strong, independent women.” As to who would be Thelma to her Louise, or vice versa, she decides that her mother would be the perfect driving companion. “But I would definitely be in charge of the music,” she laughs. “My mum and I don’t have the same taste, but I do love classical music, so sometimes it would be nice to have a bit of a requiem in the car. But you need a bit of rock’n’roll for a road trip.” From a rock’n’roll actress, we’d expect no less. Search ‘Jaguar x Eva Green’ on YouTube to see the new campaign. 48 THE JAGUAR
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