The Verge: Alice Eve
In the new film She's Out of My League, actress Alice Eve's looks are evaluated on a ten-point scale, and they almost break the system. Certainly, Eve is a blond bombshell in the Christie Brinkley mold, but there's more to her than just that; for starters, the 28-year-old actress has a lovely British accent in real life (and among Brits attempting to emulate a sun-kissed blonde aesthetic, she's unique in her ability to not resemble an orange gorgon). She plays American in League, and she'll play Irish in the upcoming Sex and the City 2, where her pretty nanny has the potential to play spoiler in Charlotte's marriage.
So how does Eve feel about her coronation as one of the most beautiful starlets in Hollywood? Conflicted, as she told Movieline.
I first saw you in Starter for Ten playing James McAvoy's dream girl, and now in She's Out of My League, you play Jay Baruchel's dream girl. Do you enjoy that sort of typecasting, or does it make you feel a little self-conscious?
I don't feel self-conscious, no, but playing "the object," I'd like to not play that again. It's an honor, but I'd like to try something else next. I'm sure I won't mind it when I'm older, though! [Laughs] I'm sure I'll look back and be very happy about it.
So at this point if you read a new script and it says, "Slow-mo pan up her body as she enters the room," it's a deal-breaker?
You know, that's never in the script! That's the funny thing about it. Everybody's like, "Oh, how do you feel when you read that moment?" and I never do! You're just suddenly on set, and they say, "You know what? Let's get the wind machine." And you're like, "OK, here we go." If you think about that stuff too much, you won't be able to work -- I wouldn't be able to, anyway.
You were raised in both LA and the UK. What kind of cultural whiplash happens when you're shuttled between the two?
That's exactly the phrase. "Cultural whiplash." I'm gonna use that. You know, we're divided by a common language, even though we're meant to have been from the same place. There is a definite shift when I get on the plane and I land. It's very Puritan here, and it's a different culture in England and much more European in its belief system. [In the United States], it's quite strict.
You studied literature at Oxford. At that point, did you know that you wanted to become a professional actress?
I did, and I did my first movie at Oxford. It was Stage Beauty, during my summer vacation.
Were you parents supportive of that?
I think my parents would have liked me to have done a PhD. Their prerequisite was that I complete my education, and then once I'd been taught, they didn't mind what I did.
In fact, they play your parents in She's Out of My League!
It was amazing, actually. The director said, "How would you feel about your parents playing your parents?" and I said, "I would love that." My mom and I had always wanted to work together, and I've often had women playing my mom in projects and you get really close to them. They said yes, and then they were on set in Pittsburgh. We're all actors, and we've spent two decades sitting around the table talking about it. I know how they feel it, so it was more of a joy than a threatening situation.
Does it seem obvious to you know that you would end up an actress? Were there knowing smiles exchanged between your parents when you announced it?
I think there probably were, yeah, although I didn't know it. When I was about three, I used to organize all the chairs in the living room and do a 45-minute ballet show. I made everyone sit and watch, so I must have always been a performer.
You said before that you don't want to be perceived as just "the object." Have you been able to play different roles on the stage?
I just did Cyrano de Bergerac, and [beforehand] I'd had a conversation with Trevor Nunn, who I'd worked with on Rock and Roll on Broadway, about doing a new project. I said I didn't really want to be the object, I wanted the woman to have some of the power, so he chose Cyrano. Roxanne is complicated, and she's a young woman who has her own vocation, but she's still defined by the male leads. You know, I'm not complaining about that -- in time, you change what you portray.
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