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The Crazy-Hot Life of Eva Green

September 30, 2014



In the decade-plus since her debut as a mentally unstable young Frenchwoman engaged in an incestuous menage a trois with her brother and an American student in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, Eva Green has carved out a niche for herself playing, well, crazy-hot women. Right from the start, her willingness to appear fully nude on-screen has set her apart from her contemporaries. But Green is more than just her voluptuous figure, as she proves in her newest film, White Bird in a Blizzard. True, she’s playing another madwoman—in this case, an ’80s mom who abandons her family—but she leaves the nudity to her younger costar, Shailene Woodley, as her daughter. Instead, Green creates a revealing portrait of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown without shedding her clothes.

Okay, there is a brief dream sequence in which Green’s character lies naked in the snow (hence the title?), but that’s tame compared to her 3-D IMAX full-frontal scenes in a pair of this year’s guiltiest cinematic pleasures, 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The MPAA even banned her poster for the latter for being too sexy. She reunites with Christopher Meloni, who played the moth to her flame in Sin City, in White Bird, in which he’s well-cast as her seemingly feckless husband. Call it typecasting, but in all three of these films, Green exudes an intimidating sexuality. “Lots of men are going to be scared of me from now on,” she said after 300. “I’m like a little bird in real life, so that’s why I enjoy playing those ladies.”

Green has taken on more traditional female leading roles in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven and has done her obligatory stints as a Bond Girl (Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale) and on an explicit Starz period piece (Camelot). Yet her Brigitte Bardot-meets-Wednesday Addams sensuality can overwhelm even the seemingly weirdest of projects, like Tim Burton’s ill-conceived Dark Shadows. She’s been put to best use on the small screen, as the possibly possessed vampire hunter Vanessa Ives on Showtime’s Gothic shocker Penny Dreadful. Next she’ll be seen opposite another masterful TV creeper, Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen, in the Danish Western The Salvation. Word is Green doesn’t speak a word of dialogue throughout the entire film. Which seems fitting, since her performances often leave me gleefully speechless.

“I don’t want to be a Hollywood star,” Green has said. “I just want to do my job and enjoy it. My aim is to find my true identity and to remain true to myself.” One can only hope her true identity is saner than the characters she plays, but this much is certain: She drives me crazy in the best possible way.

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