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Stars That Died

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Who is Eva Gaëlle Green?

Who is Eva Gaëlle Green?[1] Green is know as a French actress, raised in Paris and living partly in London. She has been noted by Vogue for her "killer looks, intelligence and modesty",[2] and described by The Independent as "gothic, quirky, and sexy".[3]

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 modeled for numerous brands.

Eva Green was born 5 July 1980 in Paris, the daughter of French actress Marlène Jobert and Swedish dentist Walter Green. She grew up in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. She is of Algerian, Turkish, Swedish, and Spanish descent.[4] Green has a fraternal twin sister named Joy, who was born two minutes earlier than she was.[5] Green described her family as "bourgeois",[6] and says that her sister is very different from her.[7] Green is a natural dark blonde; she dyed her hair black aged 15.[8][9] French-Swedish actress Marika Green is her aunt.

Green was raised in France, went to the American School of Paris where she graduated, and spent some time in Ramsgate, London and Ireland.[10] Her school was English-speaking.[8] Green was quiet at school,[7] and developed an interest in Egyptology when she visited the Louvre at age seven.[11] Green aspired to become an actress at age fourteen, when she saw Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H.. Jobert initially feared the effect an acting career would have on her sensitive daughter, but she soon supported her ambitions.[10]

At 17,[12] Green enrolled at Eva St. Paul Drama School in Paris for three years, and then spent 10 weeks at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[1] Green stated that at drama school, "I always picked the really evil roles. It's a great way to deal with your everyday emotions."[13] Green trained at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in New York City,[2] before she returned to Paris, where she performed in several plays.[10] Green was nominated for a Molière Award for her performance in Jalousie en Trois Fax.[14]

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 accounts of being traumatized while filming Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris.[10] Green performed extensive nude scenes, which she said felt natural on set,[15] although she was embarrassed when her family saw the film.[10] Her performance was well received, with some comparing her to Liv Tyler.[2] 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."[10] Green followed up The Dreamers with Arsène Lupin (2004), in the light-hearted part of a love interest which she said she had fun playing, even though she generally prefers more complex parts.[14]

Her performance in The Dreamers 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.[1] 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.[13] To her disappointment, much of her screen time was cut.[1] Stephanie Zacharek of 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."[16] Nev Pierce of the BBC, however, called her character "limp".[17] Green was satisfied when her character's complex subplot was restored in the director's cut.[18] 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."[19]

Green was considered for parts in The Constant Gardener (a role which went to Rachel Weisz) and The Black Dahlia.[10] She was cast at the last minute in the role of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006).[11] Green was approached in mid-2005 but turned it down.[18] 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,[20] and Green was approached again. She read the script, and found the character of Vesper far deeper than most Bond girls.[18] Green's performance was well received: Entertainment Weekly called her the fourth best Bond girl of all time;[21] IGN named her the best femme fatale, stating "This is the girl that broke — and therefore made — James Bond";[22] and she won a BAFTA and an Empire award for her performance. Both were voted for by the British public.[23]

Green portrayed the witch Serafina Pekkala in the 2007 film adaptation of The Golden Compass (coincidentally, it 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.[9] Green hoped the religious themes of the book would be preserved,[18] but references to Catholicism were removed from the film.[24] Green next appears in Franklyn, playing Emilia,[25] a schizophrenic woman.[26] One personality she portrays is a tormented artist (which she compared to real-life figures Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin)[27] and Green described the other personality as "full of life, very witty, big sense of humor".[26] 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.[9] In March 2009 she begins filming Womb, where she plays a woman who clones her dead husband. It is a collaboration between actor Matt Smith and director Benedek Fliegauf.[28]

In addition to her acting career, Green has modeled for Breil, Emporio Armani, Lancôme, Heineken,[11] and Christian Dior SA's "Midnight Poison" perfume, in an advert directed by Wong Kar-wai.[8] She followed in her mother's footsteps by supporting Unicef.[9] She has also expressed interest in returning to the theatre,[15] 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."[29] She added she would probably just get typecast as a femme fatale there.[9]

Green considers herself nerdy:[11] "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."[12] She moved to Primrose Hill, London in mid-2005,[5] She prefers the "village-like" atmosphere of the London neighbourhood: "I feel more centred when I'm [there]."[10] She lives alone, jokingly referring to her border terrier, Griffin, as her "husband".[11] She is an atheist, having not been raised to follow any religion.[30] She has dated New Zealand actor Marton Csokas
since she met him on the set of Kingdom of Heaven. [31]

She has no particular fitness regimen, because, "I'm French and I'm lazy, which means I smoke and I don't exercise",[32] though she does run and she practices pilates. Green finds dieting too stressful.[29] She thinks of herself as an international actress:[14] she can speak both her native French and English fluently,[10] and is also learning Japanese[33] as well as perfecting an American accent.[14]

Green's favourite film is Cries and Whispers, and she is a fan of directors François Truffaut,[34] Ingmar Bergman,[11] Tim Burton,[34] Lars von Trier,[11] David Lynch,[35] and David Fincher.[35] She admires the actresses Lauren Bacall,[11] Marlene Dietrich,[11] Bette Davis,[11] Jeanne Moreau,[7] Cate Blanchett,[7] Juliette Binoche,[7] and Helena Bonham Carter.[7] 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."[29] Her favourite artists are Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele,[2] and she is a keen museum visitor;[36] she particularly likes Chinese and Indian architecture, and framed displays of butterflies and other insects.[31] Green enjoys music, listening to film soundtracks and classical music when preparing for roles,[37] and she plays the piano.[38]

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