- By John Gellys
He starred in ‘Penny Dreadful’, a phenomenon of recent American television, was Bond girl in ‘Casino Royale’, and has worked with authors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Greg Araki or Roman Polanski. The actress Eva Green premieres in the Spanish cinemas her new work, ‘Proxima’, on the relationship between an astronaut and her young daughter in the days leading up to an ambitious space mission.
During the presentation of the film at the last San Sebastian Festival we could talk to her, the great media star, but also with the director behind ‘Proxima’, Alice Winocour. Screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated ‘Mustang’, when speaking with the French filmmaker we realized that in her film everything is much more measured than it seems, of her obsession with the symbols and the expiration of the body.
I cried when reading the script, my character is a superhero.”
E: How do you understand this stream of films that explore humanity from space? Denis or Gray’s latest works have been space dramas.
EG: Space is a fascinating place and astronauts are explorers who live by and for it. It is part of our nature to want to look beyond, but I think that before that we have to know how to look and take care of our planet; During the filming we met the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and he told us that he loved to take photos from space, photos that also served him to realize how fragile he is.
E: It’s a movie about the sacrifices we make to carry out a professional career. Have you felt that you had to do the same to survive as an actress?
EG: Yes, there is something very heartbreaking about her precisely because her profession prevents her from living full time with her daughter. My work is different, I travel a lot (it’s what I like most), but I don’t have the conflict that she has.
E: What made you join this project?
EG: Since I read the script I fell in love with the relationship between Sarah and Estella and it was what made me stay. It is something very powerful, there is a great bond, I even cried when reading it; She is a superheroine being an astronaut, but at the same time a mother courage.
E: Do you think an astronaut can symbolize a heroine per se? Simply by the fact of being able to fly.
EG: Yes, and that is what will make many women identify, since it is a very modern issue.Many women have to choose between growing professionally or making a family; The film aims to encourage that, the need to take care of the family but not live for her, in this case we have the character of her ex-husband who is a fantastic guy always willing to take care of his daughter.
E: How have you changed as an actress since the world discovered you as Bertolucci until you traveled to Russia to dress as an astronaut?
EG: I’m older [laughs]. I don’t know, really, but I’m very lucky to keep working and so many people count on me. It’s a very hard and stressful business, but yes, I’m still here; It is a job that requires a lot of energy, faith and strength. It is a masochistic work but I have been lucky because I have worked with many directors who have allowed me to explore different worlds.
E: Do you think there is machismo in institutions such as NASA?
EG: Surely, abuse of power and sexual harassment are two elements present in all companies and parts of the world. Yes, it is true that with the #metoo movement there are changes and improving some of the conditions of women, but we live in a world of men because they are stronger physically. When I put on that suit and got into a pool I realized that that was not meant for a woman and that they have to work harder and be stronger.
E: The film was filmed in real locations and it is true that you have previously worked outdoors but surely never in facilities such as those of the Russian Space Federation in Kazakhstan.
EG: It was truly amazing, it was like being on another planet because it is not a tourist destination at all and I felt very privileged. We recorded very early in the morning and it was magical.
E: Do you think that the change in the way you consume movies or TV has changed the way you act?
EG: I am really scared because the cinema is dying and I am an accomplice myself because I almost never go to theaters and watch everything on television. As Soderbergh said, yes, cinema has changed since we saw it on a mobile phone. I have not changed the way I act, the most difficult thing is to work with green funds, something that few actors like but time is money and is the way to save.
E: How did you work with the girl to get something so intimate and real?
EG: We had the luxury of rehearsing for a whole month and it was a fantastic thing because we could discover ourselves and find our intimacy. We look for the day to day, normality, the routine… she is a girl with a lot of charm and that makes her steal all the attention.