Green at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival.
|Born||Eva Gaëlle Green
5 July 1980
|Parents||Walter Green (father)
Marlène Jobert (mother)
Eva Gaëlle Green (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɡʁeːn]; born 5 July 1980) is a French actress and model. Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in 2003 in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial film The Dreamers. Green quickly achieved greater fame by appearing in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and as Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). In 2006, Green was awarded the BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Since 2006, Green has starred in many independent films, including Womb, Perfect Sense, and Cracks. She has more recently appeared in the television series Camelot, and played Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's big-screen adaptation of Dark Shadows. In 2014, she is going to play Ava Lord in Frank Miller's and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and also Artemisia in 300 sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire.
Eva Green was born in Paris, two minutes earlier than her twin sister, Joy (Johanne). Green is the daughter of French actress Marlène Jobert and French-Swedish dentist Walter Green. Through her father, Green is the great-granddaughter of French composer Paul Le Flem. Her mother, a pied-noir, was born in Algeria. Green is Jewish, as is her mother. Green was raised without religion; she has said "I feel like a citizen of the world. Life and cinema don't have borders." She grew up in the 17th arrondissement of Paris where she attended the American School of Paris. Green has described her family as "bourgeois", and has said that her sister is very different from her. Green is a natural dark blonde; she has dyed her hair black since she was 15 years old. French-Swedish actress Marika Green is her aunt. The 1980s pop-star Elsa Lunghini is her first cousin, through their mothers.
Green was raised in France, attended and graduated from the American University of Paris, an English-speaking institution, and also spent time between Ramsgate, London and Ireland. Green was quiet in school, and developed an interest in Egyptology when she visited the Louvre at age seven.
At age 14, after seeing Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H., Green decided to become an actress. Her mother initially feared that an acting career would be too much for her sensitive daughter, but later came to support young Eva's ambitions.
Between 1997–2000, Green studied at St. Paul Drama School in Paris, and then spent 10 weeks at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Green also trained at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, before she returned to Paris, where she performed in several plays. Green stated that in drama school, "I always picked the really evil roles. It's a great way to deal with your everyday emotions." Green appeared on stage in Jalousie en Trois Fax (2001) for which she was nominated for a Molière Award. She also appeared in Turcaret (2002).
In 2002, Green had her film debut, when director Bernardo Bertolucci cast her in the role of Isabelle in The Dreamers (2003), which involved her in extensive full frontal nude scenes and graphic sex scenes. Green told The Guardian that her agent and her parents begged her not to take the role, concerned that the film would cause her career to "have the same destiny as Maria Schneider", and because of Schneider's traumatic experience during the filming of Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. Green said that with Bertolucci's guidance she felt comfortable during the filming of the nude and sex scenes, but was embarrassed when her family saw the film. Her performance was well-received, with some comparing her to Liv Tyler. Green expressed surprise when a minute was cut from the film for the American market, stating, "[T]here is so much violence, both on the streets and on the screen. They think nothing of it. Yet I think they are frightened by sex." Green's next film after The Dreamers was Arsène Lupin (2004), in which she portrayed Lupin's love interest, a light-hearted role she enjoyed, although she has stated that she generally prefers more complex characters.
Her performance in The Dreamers led to Ridley Scott casting Green in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), a film about the Crusades where she played Sibylla of Jerusalem. Green performed six screen tests, and was hired with only a week before principal photography began. Green found the atmosphere of coming onto a film so late tense and exciting, and also liked the film's ambiguity in approaching its subject matter. To her disappointment, much of her screen time was cut. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com praised her performance: "She doesn't quite know what to do with her character's stilted dialogue, but she carries herself so regally that you barely notice." Nev Pierce of the BBC, however, called her character "limp". Green was satisfied when her character's complex subplot was restored in the director's cut. Total Film noted the new scenes completed her performance: "In the theatrical cut, Princess Sibylla sleeps with Balian and then, more or less, loses her mind. Now we understand why. Not only does Sibylla have a young son, but when she realizes he's afflicted with leprosy just like her brother Baldwin, she decides to take his life shortly after he's been crowned king."
Green was considered for parts in The Constant Gardener (a role that went to Rachel Weisz) and The Black Dahlia. She was cast at the last minute in the role of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). Green was approached in mid-2005 but turned it down. Principal photography was already underway, and director Martin Campbell noted casting the role was difficult because "we didn't have the final script and a Bond girl always had the connotation of tits 'n' ass." Campbell saw Green's performance in the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and approached Green again. She read the script, and found the character of Vesper far deeper than most Bond girls. Green's performance was well received: Entertainment Weekly called her the fourth best Bond girl of all time; IGN named her the best femme fatale, stating "This is the girl that broke – and therefore made – James Bond"; and she won a BAFTA and an Empire award for her performance. Both awards were voted for by the British public.
Green portrayed the witch Serafina Pekkala in the 2007 film adaptation of The Golden Compass (which, coincidentally, also starred Casino Royale's Daniel Craig, although they did not have any scenes together). She found it difficult being flown on a harness because of her fear of heights, which led her to refuse to reshoot a scene on her last day of filming. Green hoped the religious themes of the book would be preserved, but references to Catholicism were removed from the film. Green next appeared in Franklyn, as Emilia, a schizophrenic woman whose multiple personalities are split between tormented artist (which Green compared to real-life figures Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin) and another, which she described as, "full of life, very witty, big sense of humor". She also filmed Cracks, the directorial debut of Jordan Scott, Ridley Scott's daughter, where she plays a mysterious teacher at a girls' school named Miss G, who falls in love with one of her pupils. In March 2009, she appeared in Womb, where she plays a woman who clones her dead boyfriend. It is a collaboration between actor Matt Smith and director Benedek Fliegauf.
She was considered for the role eventually played by Cécile de France in Un Secret (2007). Additionally, she was initially approached for the female lead in Lars von Trier's controversial film Antichrist (2009). According to Trier, Green was positive about appearing in the film, but her agents refused to allow her. The unsuccessful casting attempt took two months of the film's pre-production process. Anglo-French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg was subsequently cast in the role. Green later told she got along well with Trier, "but then we started talking about nudity and sex and so on. It got a bit too far... It was my dream to work with him, but it’s a shame it was on that film that it nearly happened. I’m sure I would have been trashed doing that film".
Green starred in the first season of Starz's series, Camelot, as the sorceress Morgan le Fay. Green stated, "This is such an iconic story and you have 10 episodes to explore a character. It's not a girlfriend role that you could have in a movie. It's a real ballsy character. She has some guts." In 2012, Green played a vengeful witch Angelique Bouchard who curses Johnny Depp's character into a vampire in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows.
Green considers herself nerdy: "When people first meet me, they find me very cold. I keep myself at a distance, and I think that's why I'm so drawn to acting. It allows me to wear a mask". Green supports UNICEF. She dated New Zealand actor Marton Csokas after meeting him on the set of Kingdom of Heaven, but the couple announced their split in 2009.
Green has expressed interest in returning to the theatre. She says she has no plans to work in Hollywood because, "The problem with Hollywood is that the studios are super powerful, they have far more power than the directors. My ambition at this moment is just to find a good script". She added that in Hollywood she would probably get typecast as a femme fatale.
In 2007, Green was voted the 6th sexiest movie star of all-time by Empire magazine. Empire also listed her character, Vesper Lynd as the 9th sexiest female character in cinema history. In 2011, Los Angeles Times Magazine listed Green at No. 18 for their 50 most beautiful women in film. In 2012 she was listed no.57 in AfterEllen Hot 100. In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked her Number 2 on its list of "the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world".
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