Alice Eve is the stunning British actress who has made quite an impression in the last few years with turns in films like SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, SEX AND THE CITY 2, MEN IN BLACK 3, and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Let's face it, you know who she is. She's one of the most beautiful women walking the planet at the moment - and a really talented actress to boot.
Now she's tackling a much different role in COLD COMES THE NIGHT, which sees Alice playing a down and out motel employee who finds herself up against an aging hitman played by Bryan Cranston. This is not the glamorous Ms. Eve we're used to fawning over, her Chloe is a world-weary single mom making desperate choices in a desperate situation. I spoke to Alice about the complex character, working with "the great" Cranston, that scene in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (you know the one), her surprising guilty pleasure TV show, and her even more surprising choice for celebrity crush. (Hint: Math nerds, you've got a fan in Alice Eve!)
Hi Alice, thank you for taking the time to chat today.
No worries, Eric. I might take you downstairs to the kitchen to make some coffee if you don't mind.
It would be my pleasure to accompany you there.
Thank you, I didn't want to go alone.
Are you in L.A. now?
I live in L.A. and London but I'm in L.A. now.
I'm in frigid New York. What is it, like 70 degrees where you are?
I can't believe your weather, it's all over the news. I have to say, it's not a beautiful day today. I mean, it's nothing like New York. Let me step outside.
I don't want to hear about it. I'm sure you're in a t-shirt.
Oh, I'm definitely in a t-shirt. But it's overcast, so you can console yourself.
I guess it's a good time to talk about the aptly-titled COLD COMES THE NIGHT. Congratulations on the film, I just saw it and enjoyed it. We've never really seen you in a role like this before, what was the appeal of the character for you?
I've never really explored an individual like her before. She goes through some major shit and deals with it, she has to deal with it because she has a child, which changes everything. I wanted to explore that.
She is in a pretty precarious situation in the film but she handles it like a pro. Do you think you'd be as strong if you were in her position?
You never know how you're going to respond to life until life starts to happen to you. She's pretty tough; I don't know if I'd be that brave. You never know, she's got a kid, she doesn't have any money or any choices, she's living on the edge of society and that's not easy. Hopefully I'd respond in a strong way, but maybe I wouldn't make the same choices. She was pretty tough to play, a pretty complex character, and a pretty lonely character as well.
You got a chance to work with the great Bryan Cranston, who is just about the coolest person on the planet.
You're the second person today to call him "the great Bryan Cranston!"
There's no other way to address him. What was working with him like?
Well, he's the great Bryan Cranston. It was pretty special, he's a very committed actor, he's absolutely present. It was a great pleasure working with Bryan.
You do a spot-on American accent. What's the secret of perfecting that?
I think having spoken like that as a child is the secret. I was raised by two actors who would always do impressions, where you assume the identity of the person you're impersonating. But the fact that I went to school in Los Angeles and I spoke with that accent, an American accent, probably prepared me for it.
Is it a little more gratifying as an actor to be in a smaller film like this as opposed to the big-budget ones, like Men in Black 3 or Star Trek?
Not sure if gratifying is the word, because you get a different set of pleasures from being a smaller part of a big machine. But there's something to be said for being in a position where it's your story they're telling, you're the protagonist, and therefor you're really able to make the decisions regarding what this person would or wouldn't do. That's interesting in some ways, but it's also interesting to have someone telling you you can't make those decisions, because making decisions is a challenge sometimes. There are merits to both systems for sure.
Can you pass along any major STAR TREK 3 spoilers that you might have?
I don't think we have any yet. Fortunately for me.
Were you surprised at all the flack JJ Abrams took for your underwear scene in Star Trek? What did you think of that?
I thought it was interesting, I suppose. I don't think J.J. deserved it. It was like I wasn't there, but I was there, I was part of that process. I guess I would have liked the shot to have been my whole body, so you'd see a less flattering shot. It would have been more realistic. (Laughs) It was what it was.
It seems like you've been in just about every kind of movie - is there a role or type of film that you haven't done yet that you want to?
I guess I'd like to do a period piece. Something Victorian in England, maybe one of those Thackery type women. A plucky woman who is in a different world from the one we know. Something where the women were working within different constraints.
What kind of film do you like to watch the most?
Romantic comedies. "How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days", "He's Just Not That Into You". Obviously, it's just pure entertainment. I also love "Michael Clayton" and "Good Will Hunting".
I'm happy you said Michael Clayton, that's a great film. What was your favorite movie of 2013?
"The Wolf of Wall Street" I loved. That I would say was my favorite.
Do you have a favorite TV show?
Hmm. I don't really watch that much TV. "Love and Hip-Hop in Atlanta"? (Laughs)
Really? I haven't checked that one out yet, I'm going to have to.
Now you're going to have to! "What the f*ck is this girl talking about, Love and Hip-Hop in Atlanta?!" It's just these crazy love triangles that they're always in.
Is this a guilty pleasure?
I guess it is; are we not allowed to entertain ourselves? I suppose I feel a bit guilty after watching it. I don't watch it frequently enough, that's the thing. I think if I watched it relentlessly, then yeah, you should feel a bit guilty about it.
What do you have coming up that you're excited about?
Well I was really excited about Some Velvet Morning, the movie I made with Neil LaBute. I had a great time working with both Neil and Stanley [Tucci]. I just wrapped up a couple of films at the end of last year but they won't be out for a while, so maybe I'm excited about doing another one.
Are you on sabbatical now?
No, I just had a Christmas holiday, but I'm not on sabbatical… I'm reading this great book at the moment called "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides, he also wrote a book called "Middlesex". Have you read any of his?
No, I don't think so. I'm getting some great recommendations here, I'll have to check them out.
I don't think you'll watch "Love and Hip-Hop," I don't know what your taste is, but if "Michael Clayton" is your favorite movie then maybe I shouldn't have said "Love and Hip-Hop".
But you like both "Michael Clayton" and "Love and Hip-Hop" so you never know!
That's true, that's true!
I was a big fan of "Breaking Bad" starring the great Bryan Cranston.
"Breaking Bad" is great but it's nothing like "Love and Hip-Hop". (Laughs)
I wouldn't expect it to be.
But read "The Marriage Plot", it's really good. It's the first book I've read on iPad.
Are you just getting into the iPad stuff? Were you a book traditionalist for a long time?
A long time, even though I had this irrational fear that a piece of paper was going to leap out and slice my eyeball in half. But now I don't have that fear because I've moved to the iPad.
I think that's a perfect advertisement for the iPad. "No more irrational fear of having your eyeball cut by a piece of paper."
Final question: who is your current, or all time, celebrity crush?
All time, eh? Arthur Miller is probably all time. Who else could I say? Einstein. I do love a good brain.
That's an excellent answer! Well, thank you so much for your time. I hope you enjoy your lovely weather and your coffee. I'll be inside for the next two months.
(Laughs) Okay, enjoy your books and your freezing cold and your "Love and Hip-Hop".
You can visit Alice's Facebook page HERE (although she doesn't appear to update it very regularly).