Don’t be mean to Alice Eve. Even well-intended sarcasm can be problematic, because she’s all business when talking shop; if that joke doesn’t go off as intended, she’ll call you on it and you will feel bad. I mean, not that I speak from experience or anything.
Of course, if she’d been talking to someone showing a bit more professional decorum, the results may have been different. But that’s academic, at this point, because the fact of the matter is she was talking to me, and some deep-seated, pathological need for attention forces me to try to make people laugh when I do an interview.
Alice Eve, on the other hand, is a consummate professional, showing great patience with this idiot writer with whom she was generous enough to share her time. She also shows great passion for her craft and understands entertainment — in all its various forms — on a psychological level.
She isn’t afraid to swim in deep waters, either, and seems to embrace the fact that life is a perpetual learning process.
Basically, she’s out of my league. Yours too, no doubt.
All of which we talked about.
Alice Eve: Hi Kevin.
Kevin Tall: Hi Alice, how are you doing today?
AE: I’m doing good, how are you?
KT: I am great! I mean, I get to talk to Alice Eve; it’s not a bad Wednesday.
AE: Where are you?
KT: I am in Tampa, Florida.
AE: Okay, well that’s cool.
KT: So, I know we’re working with a limited amount of time. Let’s talk about ‘Bees Make Honey’; it’s your brother, Jack’s, first feature-length project and it’s coming out soon.
AE: Yeah, you know, it’s a movie we made together. I believe in family; I believe in the importance of family, so it was a really interesting experience to get to make a movie, you know, with my dad in it and my brother directing.
[It’s] something that we kind of would talk about 24/7 in the house over dinner. It never went away. So it’s kind of an all-immersive experience and a really cool one.
You know, the film is about a woman whose husband died and she is trying to protect the house, the aristocratic house they had, from being taken by the Nazis and so stages a Halloween party to find out who the killer is and expose the bad guy.
KT: Right. Story-wise, isn’t it being billed as a dark comedy?
AE: Yeah, a dark comedy or spoof; I mean, it is a comedy…
KT: I mean, a murdered spouse, Nazis, it sounds hilarious, right?
AE: A murdered what?
KT: I’m sorry, I’m being sarcastic.
AE: I know, that was mean, Kevin. I don’t know what that was.
[Editor’s note: A poor and regrettable attempt at humor is what it was.]
AE: It’s a comedy that’s dark, which is is usually how you would…
KT: Right. I’m sorry. From the still images that I’ve seen, visually, it looks like it’s got some real film noir elements to it.
AE: Yeah. Yeah, it does.
KT: I’m not too familiar with your brother’s work, is that something that’s kind of signature to his style or just something he’s experimenting with?
AE: I think you have to ask him about his relationship with darkness, but…
I think that most stories and most truths come out of pain and pain can be experienced as darkness and so that’s definitely a human commonality; we all know what it is to feel pain. There’s tragedy and comedy, traditionally in storytelling; there are only two options really and I guess there are various hybrids, but those are your baselines.
KT: That’s a great answer, and it’s really interesting to see the subject material get translated visually. What was it like taking direction from your little brother on set? Or, younger brother?
AE: You know, it’s complicated. He is my little brother and my younger brother, and I definitely, like, had to learn how to be bossed around by him and I’m not sure I ever learned well enough. But, you know, we produced it together too, so it was quite nice to have like a shorthand communication, and, as much as it was difficult, it was also wonderful to know exactly what he wanted in very few words.
KT: As far as having a family member on the other end of it, does this give you a different appreciation for the relationship between actor and director?
AE: I do think I did learn a lot from the experience. Certainly it was the first thing that I produced, obviously with AJ [Andrew Riach] and Jack and the producers. But I did learn a lot from it, in terms of… well, there’s a line in the film — which is ‘Never insist, always persist’ — and I think that that is kind of a great slogan for a producer or really for life to get anything done. You can’t force someone to do it for you, but you can certainly do your best to persuade them through slow persistence and that can be a useful sort of way to think about producing.
KT: You’ve been a part of some larger-than-life franchises in the sci-fi/fantasy realm — ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Men In Black’ and obviously ‘She’s Out of My League’ was set in some kind of weird dystopian timeline (that’s a joke) — does it feel like your career is trending that way?
AE: [Laughs] Trending what way?
KT: Towards science fiction and fantasy.
AE: I definitely believe in populism. I believe in entertainment. I mean, films have always been an escape for me, so moving the conversation away from the dark stories into the light ones… I grew up on romantic comedies and love watching those films. They were, like, a real joy and a source of great pleasure and an escape. So to be part of anything that serves that purpose for people, which I find to be very restorative myself, I really do jump at the chance. I don’t see an elitism about entertainment; I believe in its value wholeheartedly.
KT: OK, speaking of ‘Star Trek,’ your character, Carol Marcus, was notably and sadly absent from the most recent film; are we going to get to see her in potential future installments?
AE: I mean, you’ll have to ask J.J. [Abrams], I don’t know yet.
KT: Do you have his number? I will… No, I’m kidding.
AE: I have his email but he might send a hitman ’round if I give it to you.
KT: Well hopefully it would just be a smoke monster from ‘Lost.’ What can you tell me about your role in the upcoming season of ‘Iron ‘Fist’?
AE: Unfortunately for me, I can’t tell you anything, although I can tell you my feelings about the role, which are genuine excitement. I truly loved my character and had a great working experience with Jeph Loeb at the studio and learned a lot in that process, actually, even though we filmed it during a grueling New York winter, which I’m sure all of the cast would attest to. It was kind of a special experience.
KT: How about your role in ‘Replicas’ with Keanu Reeves?
AE: You know, ‘Replicas’ is a really interesting story about the way we’re moving in science and the cloning conversation. You know, we’re at a very interesting point in human history where we’re kind of facing playing God, and, in the film, Keanu faces playing God and has to deal with the difficulties therein, you know? God doesn’t have an easy time of it, it turns out.
KT: Right, and can you recreate a person just by recreating their likeness?
AE: Exactly, and can you do it without guilt, and what happens to your feelings and your shame and are they the same and is it your own mind and is it or is it them? It’s a very interesting, kind of endless subject that can be explored, and I think they do it really well in ‘Replicas.’ I, for one, loved working with Keanu the King. King Keanu.
KT: Alright, well, Alice, I thank you very much for your time; I think I’m running out of it, so, again, thank you very much for taking a little bit of time to talk to me.
AE: Alright, Kevin, it was a pleasure; have a good afternoon.
KT: Thank you, you too.
AE: Okay, bye bye.
Alice Eve stars in Bees Make Honey, available on-demand starting July 2.