Eva Gaëlle Green, born 5 July 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 modeled for numerous brands.
Eva Green was born 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. Green
has a fraternal twin sister named Joy, who was born two minutes earlier
than she was. Green described her family as "bourgeois", and says that her
sister is very different from her. Green is a natural dark blonde; she
dyed her hair black aged 15. French-Swedish actress Marika Green is her
Green was raised in France, and spent some time 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 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.
At 17, 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. 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 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 was nominated for a Molière Award for her performance in Jalousie en
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. Green performed extensive nude scenes, which she said felt
natural on set, although she 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, 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 said she had fun playing,
even though she generally prefers more complex parts.
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. 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 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 at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in London's Royal Opera
House (2007)Green was considered for parts in The Constant Gardener (a
role which 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 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
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. 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". 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 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.
In addition to her acting career, Green has modeled for Breil, Emporio
Armani, Lancôme, Heineken, and Christian Dior SA's "Midnight Poison"
perfume, in an advert directed by Wong Kar-wai. She followed in her
mother's footsteps by supporting Unicef. 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." She added she would probably just
get typecast as a femme fatale there.
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 has dated New Zealand actor Marton Csokas since she met him
on the set of Kingdom of Heaven.
She has no particular fitness regimen, because, "I'm French and I'm lazy,
which means I smoke and I don't exercise", though she does run and she
practices 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; she particularly likes Chinese and Indian
architecture, and framed displays of butterflies and other insects. Green
enjoys music, listening to film soundtracks and classical music when
preparing for roles, and she plays the piano.
[about shooting nude scenes
for The Dreamers (2003):] "I am a very shy person in life, very
reserved, but you know, it's Bertolucci. I've seen Last Tango and
it's not pornographic, it's not vulgar, it's not sick, so I trusted
him. He's a master of love and eroticism, but it's good because I
stopped being self-conscious. I felt like I was on drugs or
anaesthetised because you have to be. You have to let yourself slip
away and forget everything, forget the sound guy and all that."
[February 5, 2004]
[about the sex scenes in The Dreamers (2003):] "It must be very
shocking for the American people, but what I don't understand is why
they are so crazy about that. I don't understand why you can't see
naked people on screen but we can see a baby being killed. It's
quite strange. They're too puritan, too uptight." [February 5, 2004]
"It's a way to exteriorize all my shit. To scream and cry and laugh
on-screen, it's almost like black magic. You can do anything. I'm a
dreamer, so that's a good job for me. Onstage is the only place I
can fully express myself."
"For me, acting is like a therapy. I can express myself fully when I
am acting and have blood in my veins. Even when I'm not working, I'm
always living in my own world, imagining characters."
"At drama school I always picked the really evil roles. It's a great
way to deal with your everyday emotions."
"Onstage, every night you create something new. Plus, you have your
audience right there - it's like performing for the gods."
[About Sybilla, her character in Kingdom of Heaven (2005):] "Sybilla
suffers from numerous frustrations. She's an heroine, not a
"I am many things. I can be quite mad, and young, but I'm not the
kind of person who goes out to nightclubs and goes crazy. I am more
like lying on my bed and listening to classical music to relax."
"I have Algerian, Turkish, Swedish, Spanish blood: I feel like a
citizen of the world. Life and cinema don't have borders."
"I don't want to be a Hollywood star. I just want to do my job and
enjoy it. My aim is to find my true identity and to remain true to
I'd rather be thought as an international actress rather than a
French one. Because I don't know what's coming up for me, my
ambition is not to be typecast. So I'm working on my English accent,
as well as my American one. I don't want to be like 'Okay, I'm
French, and I want to succeed in Hollywood!' Juliette Binoche has
set a good example of what I want to do, because she works all over
the world, and that's what I want to do as well
I don't have a problem with someone having plastic surgery, but I
think it's crazy for everyone to have the same body
"I don't believe in awards. It's very good for the ego, I suppose."