Eva Gaëlle Green born July 5, 1980) is a French actress, raised in Paris and living partly in London. She has been noted by Vogue for her "killer looks, intelligence and modesty", and described by The Independent as "gothic, quirky, and sexy".
The daughter of actress Marlène Jobert, Green performed in theatre before making her film debut in The Dreamers (2003), which generated controversy over her numerous nude scenes. She achieved greater fame for her parts in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for which she won a BAFTA. She has also modelled for numerous brands.
Green was raised in France, and spent some time as well in Ramsgate, London and Ireland. Her school was English-speaking. Green was quiet at school, and developed an interest in Egyptology when she visited the Louvre at age seven. Green aspired to become an actress when she saw Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H. at the age of fourteen. Jobert initially feared the effect an acting career would have on her sensitive daughter, but she soon supported her ambitions.
It was her performance in The Dreamers that convinced Ridley Scott to cast Green in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), a film about the Crusades where she played Sibylla of Jerusalem. Green performed six screen tests, and was hired with only a week before principal photography began. Green found the atmosphere of coming onto a film so late tense and exciting, and also liked the film's ambiguity in approaching its subject matter. To her disappointment, much of her screentime was cut. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com praised her performance as "She doesn't quite know what to do with her character's stilted dialogue, but she carries herself so regally that you barely notice", but Nev Pierce of the BBC called her character "limp". Green was satisfied when her character's complex subplot was restored in the director's cut. Total Film noted the new scenes completed her performance: "In the theatrical cut, Princess Sibylla sleeps with Balian and then, more or less, loses her mind. Now we understand why. Not only does Sibylla have a young son, but when she realises he's inflicted with leprosy just like her brother Baldwin, she decides to take his life shortly after he's been crowned king."
Green was considered for parts in The Constant Gardener (a role which went to Rachel Weisz) and The Black Dahlia. She was a piece of last-minute casting for the role of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). Green was approached in mid-2005 but turned it down. Principal photography was already underway, and director Martin Campbell noted casting the role was difficult because "we didn't have the final script and a Bond girl always had the connotation of tits 'n' ass." Campbell saw Green's performance in the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and Green was approached again. She read the script, and found the character of Vesper far deeper than most Bond girls. Green's performance was well received: Entertainment Weekly called her the fourth best Bond girl of all time; IGN named her the best femme fatale, stating "This is the girl that broke and therefore made James Bond"; and she won a BAFTA and an Empire award for her performance. Both were voted for by the British public.
In addition to her acting career, Green has modelled for Breil, Emporio Armani, Lancôme, Heineken, and Christian Dior SA's "Midnight Poison" perfume, in an advert directed by Wong Kar-wai. She has also expressed interest in returning to the theatre, and has no plans to go to work in Hollywood because, "The problem with Hollywood is that the studios are super powerful, they have far more power than the directors. My ambition at this moment is just to find a good script."
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