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||Twenty-two-year-old Eva Green is Bernardo Bertolucci's most recent
ingenue. Richard Kern interviewed her in Paris this summer.
RICHARD KERN: Is Eva Green your real name?
EVA GREEN: Yes. A lot of people think it's a stage name, but it's not. My father is Swedish and my mother is French.
RICHARD: So your father wasn't a hippie who gave you a hippie name.
EVA: My father is a dentist. He has nothing to do with acting. He is proud of me. I come from a bourgeois family, like the family in The Dreamers. My mother is MarlÂne Jobert an actress in France, quite famous. She did movies with Godard and lots of other great directors. She tried to discourage me from becoming an actress because she knew that I was sensitive, and acting is a very hard world.
RICHARD: Has that been your experience?
EVA: It's a roller coaster. Success is very ephemeral. You depend entirely on the desire
of others, which makes it difficult to relax. My mother was scared for me at first, but now she trusts me, I think.
RICHARD: Is she still working as an actress?
EVA: No. She writes children's books. Look on the internet.
RICHARD: Were you familiar with Bertolucci's work before you did The Dreamers?
EVA: Yeah. I loved Last Tango in Paris.
RICHARD: Did you feel that Marlon Brando was disgusting in Last Tango?
EVA: No. He was desperate.
RICHARD: That film caused a tremendous scandal when it came out in the United States. I saw it when I was a teenager and it really shocked me. But I fell in love with Maria Schneider. Bertolucci must be pretty old now.
EVA: He's sixty-three, and very energetic, totally involved in his work.
RICHARD: There's lots of sex in The Dreamers, right?
EVA: The sex is very pure. But I heard that in America people under eighteen aren't permitted to see the film.
RICHARD: I think it's X-rated.
EVA: That is very stupid. It's not sick or sleazy or whatever, it's not like Last Tango. Last Tango is tragic it has all this fear of loneliness and death. The Dreamers is much lighter.
RICHARD: Did the nudity make you think twice before taking the role?
EVA: Of course we are naked in some of the scenes, but the film is not dirty. Our characters are young teenagers who are learning about sex. I trusted Bernardo completely. He is a master of eroticism. I was nervous before those scenes, but once I was doing them, I realized that they are no more difficult than the others. I felt like I was sleepwalking. It is another form of expression, another language.
RICHARD: Even the premise of the movie is extreme.
EVA: It's about a twin sister and brother who have a passionate, almost incestuous relationship. They meet an American student at a concert and become friends with him. The three of them start playing mind games involving sexual forfeits, based on the movies. They try to reach beyond the limits, to see how far they can go. They experiment with their emotions, their sexuality. It is very Bertolucci.
RICHARD: In the '60s, all the new young directors said, "We're going to show sex," and people were like, "Fine, let's see it." Then in the '80s that door closed again. It's been closed for a long time. But now sex seems to be making a comeback.
EVA: The Dreamers is not about sex, it's about love.