Roles in ‘The Raven’ and ‘Men in Black 3’ make her One to Watch in 2012.
By Kara Warner
Alice Eve has been flirting with crossing over into the big time for a while now. The British actress has been stealing scenes and impressing co-stars left and right from her first big feature “Starter for 10,” to “She’s Out of My League,” “Sex and the City 2” and last year’s stint on “Entourage.”
We recently caught up with Eve to talk about her plans for 2012 and what she loves about her upcoming roles:
MTV: What are you most looking forward to this year?
Alice Eve: Apart from the fact that I have two very cool movies coming out that I’m proud of? It’s great, because that doesn’t happen every year, but I’m always a little reluctant to embrace a new year too much, because I think it puts pressure on to have expectations. I’m just glad to see another year through hopefully. I think I am a realist. I hope for the health of my family and friends, and other than that, just keep doing what I do.
MTV: In this day and age, more people might be familiar with “Men in Black” than Edgar Allan Poe and “The Raven.” How would you explain Poe and “The Raven” to those who aren’t familiar with either?
Eve: Poe is kind of the godfather to the modern horror genre as championed by Tim Burton. It’s very much in the tradition of dark, deep anxieties imagined and then writ large, like having a man buried underground alive and the “Tell-Tale Heart,” which is incredibly readable, it’s so short. That’s a good entry into [Poe’s] work. Our movie is called “The Raven,” after his poem, which also deals with anxiety. In that period, there was Freud and this birth of cognitive consciousness and people realizing we have complicated minds. He was a father of darkness in a way, and my Emily Hamilton fell deeply in love with him, as we do. Women like dark. John Cusack played a dark and great Poe, and my character came from the light and got taken down to the dark.
MTV: How would you describe the universal appeal and intrigue of dark men?
Eve: It’s just sort of honest. To pretend we don’t have a deep, dark soul inside all of us — everyone pretends it’s happy, but there’s always another side to that story. A dark man gives license to that side of yourself. I’m not sure it’s a great commitment for life — I don’t think Edgar Allan Poe would have been the man I would have hoped my daughter would marry — but you can’t help who you love. And he’s brilliant. The character I play fell in love with a brilliant, talented man, who, as we’ve seen, will be remembered for centuries, so you can forgive her for that.
MTV: Is “The Raven” a standalone film, or is there potential for prequels or sequels?
Eve: I say in a very proud way that I think it is a one-off, but I don’t know if there is hope for a sequel. I know that it is a standalone story with a really magnificent script that was cleverly engineered, so it is a complete thriller. I don’t think it is a cliffhanger, but you never know, do you? It’s nice to do a movie that is a standalone piece. Hopefully, it is a satisfying thriller.
MTV: With regard to “Men in Black,” you play a young version of Emma Thompson’s character. What was your reaction when you heard you were playing a young Emma Thompson?
Eve: I was so happy, because she’s an icon, she’s wonderful, and she’s also that multitalented triple, quadruple threat. She’s won an Oscar for screenplay and actress. She’s magnificent. And so I was so happy that I actually got to spend time with her, which is what it meant when I got the role. I did spend time with her, and she was everything and more that you hoped she would be, with an incredibly quick mind. It was great. “Men in Black,” for me, was a wonderful experience. They shot it in New York. Anything that takes you to New York and pays you to do it is ridiculous. Amazing. Then Will Smith is the most entertaining man; he doesn’t stop. I don’t know where his energy comes from, but he has a lot of it. For me, it was so positive. I just saw a tiny bit of it today, and it looks fantastic, because it goes back in time, which is a very clever ploy.
MTV: Did you have to do much CGI or green-screen work?
Eve: There wasn’t for me. My character is very much based in a sexist ’60s reality, so there’s not much going on except an office chauvinistic environment that I work in, which also gives birth to comedy.
MTV: Watching things from that era always reminds me how grateful I am to have been born when I was.
Eve: Aren’t we lucky? We are so lucky. It’s crazy what women had to put up with.
MTV: So is this role a one-off for you as well, or is there potential for more Agent Oh in future films?
Eve: I think that if they make a fourth one, she could carry on, yeah.
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