Eva Green was really looking for an all-out villain to sink her teeth into, and she got that and more with the role of Artemisia in “300: Rise of an Empire.” Green (“The Dreamers,” “Casino Royale”) sat down with Metro to discuss playing nuts, using sex as a weapon and the allure the mystical side of things.
You’re playing more than just the typical villain in this.
Yes. I kill people, and I’m not very nice, yes. [Laughs] It’s pure villainy. You know, lots of actors will go, “No, she has cracks, she’s human.” And of course you learn about her backstory and how she’s been betrayed by her own countrymen and it has kind of hardened her heart big time. The only challenge is to find maybe some jubilation in this because yeah, she’s just… mental. She has no conscience and she can’t tolerate incompetence, and anybody who doesn’t follow her orders, just [snaps] “Off with his head!” You can’t do that in real life, really.
Not for very long, at least.
No. [Laughs] I think everybody would like to do that sometimes. She’s just so dark, she doesn’t care. She’s so disrespectful. She’s a real baddie.
You also have probably one of the more aggressive sex scenes in this.
I mean, it’s more of a fight than a sex scene, really. It’s so violent that it was kind of staged as a fight scene. I love when it’s kind of clinical. Even a normal sex scene, actually, when they go, “You put your hand here and you here,” “How do you do? We’re going to have sex.” [Laughs] And here it’s two warriors having sex. They deal with violence every day, and this is how they do it. It’s kind of S&M without the leather. It’s not very romantic, let’s say.
As a professional actress, how do you know when screen nudity is worth it? This isn’t a Bertolucci film, obviously.
Of course I never do things where I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’d like to show my boobs!” You always feel very vulnerable. I remember when the Bertolucci film [“The Dreamers”] came out, that’s the only thing that people talked about. I mean, it is about sexuality and the awakening of the senses, whatever, but I was like, “Why?” In this, it’s kind of a weapon. She thinks that if she f—s him, maybe he would join her and fight with her.
You’re also just wrapping up filming on your new Showtime series, “Penny Dreadful.” How’s that going?
This one, psychologically, it’s hard. I love it, but it’s so intense that I can’t wait to lie down on a beach and have a tequila very soon. [Laughs] I might end up in a cuckoo home after this TV series. But I know how to read the future with tarot cards now, which is kind of cool, to connect with the universe and all this, the elements — it sounds like kind of witchcraft, but it makes you more aware of yourself and be connected to the earth. I’m not a professional, obviously, but I’ve done some good readings. Even to myself, I’ll do it. It helps you. To learn how to combine all those cards together, and how to read them, it’s quite fascinating.
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