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Eva Green

Eva Gaëlle Green (born July 5, 1980) is a French actress, raised in Paris and living partly in London. She has been noted by Vogue for her "killer looks, intelligence and modesty", and described by The Independent as "gothic, quirky, and sexy".

The daughter of actress Marlène Jobert, Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in The Dreamers (2003), which generated controversy over her numerous nude scenes. She achieved greater fame for her parts in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for which she won a BAFTA. She has also modelled for numerous brands.

Early life

Eva Green was born in Paris, France on July 5, 1980, the daughter of French actress Marlène Jobert and Swedish dentist Walter Green. Green has a fraternal twin sister named Joy, who was born two minutes earlier than she. Green described her family as "bourgeois", and that her sister is very different from her. Green is a natural blonde; she only went brunette during her teens. French-Swedish actress Marika Green is her aunt.

Green was raised in France, and spent some time as well in Ramsgate, London and Ireland. Her school was English-speaking. Green was quiet at school, and developed an interest in Egyptology when she visited the Louvre at age seven. Green aspired to become an actress when she saw Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H. at the age of fourteen. Jobert initially feared the effect an acting career would have on her sensitive daughter, but she soon supported her ambitions.

Career

At seventeen, Green enrolled at Eva St. Paul Drama School in Paris for three years, and then spent ten weeks at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Green stated that at drama school, "I always picked the really evil roles. It's a great way to deal with your everyday emotions." Green trained at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, before she returned to Paris, where she performed in several plays. Green was nominated for a Molière Award award for her performance in Jalousie en Trois Fax.

Director Bernardo Bertolucci discovered Green in 2002, and found her "so beautiful, it's indecent". She accepted his invitation to star in The Dreamers (2003), despite her parents' initial objections because of Maria Schneider's traumatisation after filming Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. Green performed extensive nude scenes, which felt natural once on set, though she was embarrassed when her family saw the film. In addition to performing, Green was also credited with writing the score. 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, as "there 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 followed up The Dreamers with Arsène Lupin (2004), in the light-hearted part of a love interest which she had fun playing, though she generally preferred more complex parts.

It was her performance in The Dreamers that convinced Ridley Scott to cast 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 screentime was cut. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com praised her performance as "She doesn't quite know what to do with her character's stilted dialogue, but she carries herself so regally that you barely notice", but Nev Pierce of the BBC 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 realises he's inflicted 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 which went to Rachel Weisz) and The Black Dahlia. She was a piece of last-minute casting for 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 Green was approached 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 were voted for by the British public.

Green portrayed the witch Serafina Pekkala in the film adaptation of The Golden Compass (2007), and will return to shoot two sequels if she wishes (coincidentally, it also stars Casino Royale's Daniel Craig, although they do not have any scenes together). Green hoped the religious themes of the book would be preserved, but references to Catholicism were removed from the film. Green next appears in Franklyn, playing Emilia, a schizophrenic woman. One personality she portrays is a tormented artist (which she compared to real-life figures Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin) and Green described the other personality as "full of life, very witty, big sense of humor".

In addition to her acting career, Green has modelled for Breil, Emporio Armani, Lancôme, Heineken, and Christian Dior SA's "Midnight Poison" perfume, in an advert directed by Wong Kar-wai. She has also expressed interest in returning to the theatre, and has no plans to go 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."

Personal life

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." She moved to Primrose Hill, London in mid-2005, She prefers the "village-like" atmosphere of the London neighbourhood: "I feel more centred when I'm [there]." She lives alone, jokingly referring to her border terrier, Griffin, as her "husband". She is an atheist, having not been raised to follow any religion. She is currently dating New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, whom she met on the set of Kingdom of Heaven. She has no particular fitness regime, as, "I'm French and I'm lazy, which means I smoke and I don't exercise", though she does run and practises pilates. Green finds dieting too stressful. She thinks of herself as an international actress: she can speak both her native French and English fluently, and is also learning Japanese as well as perfecting an American accent.

Green's favourite film is Cries and Whispers, and she is a fan of directors François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Tim Burton, Lars von Trier, David Lynch, and David Fincher. She admires the actresses Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Jeanne Moreau, Cate Blanchett, Juliette Binoche, and Helena Bonham Carter. She credits Blanchett and Kirsten Dunst as her fashion influences, describing her own taste as, "bright pink lipstick, hot pink or geisha colors. Make up is allowed to be a bit weird, I feel." Her favourite artists are Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, and she is a keen museum visitor. Green enjoys music, listening to film soundtracks and classical music when preparing for roles, and she plays the piano.

Filmography

Film Year Role Notes and Awards
The Dreamers 2003 Isabelle Nominated - European Film Awards for Best Actress
Arsène Lupin 2004 Clarisse de Dreux-Soubise
Kingdom of Heaven 2005 Sibylla
Casino Royale 2006 Vesper Lynd Won - BAFTA Rising Star award
Won - Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - National Movie Awards for Best Best Performance by a Female
Nominated - Irish Film and Television Awards for Best International Actress
The Golden Compass 2007 Serafina Pekkala
Franklyn 2008 Emilia post-production
Cracks 2009 Miss G post-production

References

External links

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