London native Alice Eve is fairly new to American film, apart from her American debut in the independent drama Crossing Over. Her previous works include many British TV dramas on the BBC like The Rotters' Club, Poirot, and Hawking, as well as films like Stage Beauty, Starter For 10, and Big Nothing.
Now the 28 year-old has attained her first major Hollywood role as "perfect 10"Â Molly McCall in the comedy She's Out Of My League. Eve explained for us how she got the part.
"Well, I mean, you probably have to audition like I did and I very happily won the part, which was a nice surprise,"Â Alice recalls, "I think it depends on the situation, the director, the studio, what they want. I was doing a play on Broadway at the time, we had a show on a Sunday afternoon, and I flew out early Monday morning, did the meeting, then flew back, did the show on Tuesday. I guess you have to be there, but sometimes, you can tape from England to get the job."Â
What sets apart Molly McCall from other Hollywood dream girl characters is that she's not just a pretty face, but a smart and sweet girl.
"I think that's what makes her the 10, she's all the things that make a good person,"Â Eve says of it, "I think for it to be taken away that she's just a perfect 10 aesthetically would be missing the whole point of the movie, the 10 is the complete human being. [It's] incredibly rare, it was great. I thought the paradigm of this role was more of a male lead, she had the money, the power, the desire."Â
"I didn't find it a stretch,"Â she adds, "You take it on and you engage with the role and you do the work that you always do, but I very much enjoyed playing her. She was really nice and it's very rare that you get such a nice girl in cinema without any faults or bitchiness or edge. She was just pretty straightforward."Â
Eve pointedly says, however, that she felt no pressure to live up to the role of a perfect girl.
"They can cover acne up,"Â Alice remarks, "I think Jay [Baruchel] is playing down and we're both playing roles. It's acting. I think if it was a catwalk, I think it would be different, but it's a fantasy land and we're both pretending."Â
We asked the Londoner if she soaked up enough "Americana"Â during the filming of She's Out Of My League.
"Definitely, definitely, yeah, it was an American experience,"Â Eve replies, "The people were incredibly welcoming in Pittsburgh, which was a really nice relief, but yeah, I was surrounded by Americans. It was me and Jim [Field Smith] and the only thing on the set that was English was the PG Tips, which was a tea."Â
Eve also described what it was like working with her cast.
"It was high energy,"Â she describes, "There was comedians as well as actors on set, so there's a lot of sparring, a lot of competition between comedians. So that would just up the ante and raise the bar and sometimes, it would fall into complete hilarity. We had some producers around."Â
Alice describes working with Canadian actor Jay Baruchel, who plays Kirk, who pines for Molly in the film.
"It was great,"Â Eve says, "Jay is very talented as well as that and he's a very talented actor. He obviously could take on the physical comedy and all of that stuff and took that into stride, but then, when he got to doing the serious stuff, it's like a game of tennis, acting. You're only as good as your opponent. It's very important that you have a good player opposite you and he was a wonderful player."Â
She wasn't shy in regard to inquiring minds who wanted to know what the kissing scenes with Jay in the film were like for her.
"It was perfectly pleasant actually,"Â Alice answers, "I enjoyed it. He's very clean. He smells really good, Jay. It's never hard to have to kiss though. Kissing's the nice bit."Â
One comedian in particular, Alice says, caused her to break character.
"Kyle Borneheimer was the funniest, for me, he was hilarious because he was normal and straight and like a family guy and then he'd deliver these lines and the way he delivered them was incredible,"Â she remembers.
Eve also described working with first-time feature film director Jim Field Smith, a writer and actor and fellow Englander.
"I like first-time directors,"Â she says, "They have a fire and an enthusiasm that is really refreshing and especially since he kept a very calm set. And it does come from the director, the energy on set, and he keeps it very well. At the audition we did the scene where she is going through security and the guy is trying to strip-search her."Â
"And he was saying, 'Oh, and he's this guy,'"Â And I said, 'Oh, he's a wanker,' And he said, 'Oh, there you go,' and so that was the common language,"Â Alice adds, "So that was the common phraseology apart from anything else, you guys, you douche."Â
Doing the film proved to be particularly special for Eve as her own parents, actors Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan, play Molly's parents in the film. She described for us how it felt working alongside her parents.
"Incredible,"Â Alice says, "It was very odd watching it back at 6 foot by 10 foot, seeing us all standing in a row there like that. That's my family! But it was great, it was wonderful to have them there, bossy dad."Â
We wondered if Alice had memories of any real-life embarrassing moments with her parents like with Molly's in the film.
"My mind is very kind and if I did, I've forgotten them,"Â Eve replies, "So I don't have an answer, I'm afraid. I don't think so."Â
Alice says that it took little difficulty to develop an American accent for Molly.
"I went to school in California, and when I was younger, I just wanted to fit in, so I spoke and I developed an American accent,"Â she says, "So, then, it was sort of in my sense memory and I just returned to it. So I didn't find that too much of a challenge."Â
Eve says, however, that her British vernacular was often imitated on set, with one particular British vulgar word in particular.
"Bollocks,"Â Alice reveals, "Krysten [Witter] would go around and say, 'Oh, this is bollocks!' [T.J. Miller] said, I was trying to talk to the director in the hockey scene and I was like, 'Maybe I should say the world brutal.' And T.J., when he first heard that, he made a face, he was like, 'Brutal.'"Â
"And he couldn't understand how it would fit in American and I said, 'It's brutal,"Â' she continues, "Then you said it in the American, of course, it would make sense, almost like you never heard the word when you hear it in English and then, it's given light in an American accent."Â
Eve discussed for us the fundamental differences between American and British humor and what makes She's Out Of My League funny from her perspective.
"English humor is a lot more sarcastic, undercutting and American humor can be broader and more universal in its nature,"Â she says, "It's often very visual and I think because America entertains the world, that sort of conditioned it to understand and present humor that can be translated even without language."Â
"So that was great to see and experience,"Â Alice adds, "I found the movie very funny. I think the pace of the movie is what keeps it funny and sets it apart from maybe other movies that fall into the same category. I think, even state to state, it's interesting to see what people like and what people respond to."Â
We asked Alice what she was most shocked by what the American test audiences were responding to.
"I think that, thank God, no one was laughing at the movie,"Â Eve replies, "I think that it was pretty clear what's funny. I think the biggest laughs was the man-scaping and the coming early."Â
Eve discusses her most difficult scene in the film, which was Molly's glamour shots scene.
"Well, that day was pretty stressful because one guy wouldn't turn his head no matter how hard we tried to get him to look round when I walked past,"Â Alice explains, "So it was a lot of making sure, coordinating that people did turn round, which is totally the opposite of what it looks like it was. Please look! And obviously, if you got a lot of dialogue to learn, your mind is more engaged."Â
"But that day was weird because I'd been watching models walk the catwalk because I had a long strip to walk and so I kind of was looking at how they put their feet in front, one in front of the other, and of course, they make it look easy,"Â she adds, "It's not easy. My legs were killing me the next day. So it was physically enduring that day in those high heels."Â
Alice also described the oddity of doing a love scene that involved a dog licking Jay's character's crotch.
"The whole thing of acting is that you have to sort of experience each moment as if it was new every single time,"Â Eve says of it, "If you ever anticipate the audience, the audience is incredibly discerning, never underestimate your audience and you can't anticipate, so no, this was raping Jay and the doorbell went."Â
She's Out Of My League is not the only Hollywood film Eve will be a part of this year. She will also be in the highly-anticipated Sex In The City 2, which comes out May 27, as Charlotte's nanny.
"I play Irish in that,"Â Alice says, "(In Irish accent) 'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.' Relentless accents, I seem to be doing. I wouldn't hire a hot nanny."Â
We asked Alice how she felt working on a film under heavy secrecy, in comparison to the one she has out now.
"It's terrifying,"Â Eve says of it, "Every time anyone brings the thing up, I have to put my head on and worry I'm going to say the wrong thing. It's all going to come gushing out. I like erased it from my mind, so I won't slip up and tell you the entire plot."Â
We also asked Eve, who also does theater acting back home in Britain, which medium she herself prefers acting in.
"It is always based on the project,"Â Alice says, "I think to do film or theater is a decision. You kind of know which medium you want to be in next. I knew, when I wanted to do Sex In The City, that's when I wanted to do a movie. Before that, I did Cyrano de Bergerac, that's when I wanted to do a play then. But with that, you don't specify and you choose the right thing within that."Â
Alice also shared with us what she has planned for the future.
"Well, we'd like to take Cyrano to Broadway,"Â Eve reveals, "I don't know if Broadway's ready, because they just had Kevin Kline. But with what we had, Joe Fiennes was Cyrano and we were proud of that production. I know I want to do a movie next. I'm just looking at what's the right thing to do next."Â
We asked Eve if she prefers doing comedies or dramas.
"No, I don't find comedy harder,"Â Alice says, "I find comedy easier. I guess it's just my instinct. I'm an instinctive actress and I think that it's, instinctively, where you live, if you know where your energy lives. I enjoy comedy. I do enjoy drama, too. I made a movie called Crossing Over which is incredibly dramatic and I love doing that."Â
"But I wouldn't separate the two, I wouldn't,"Â she adds, "When I get a script through, obviously, I understand if one is funny and one is not, but I don't specify that I want to do a comedy next. I just say, as I said, film and theater."Â
Finally, Alice admitted that whenever she's in California for a certain length of time, she finds it hard going back home to England.
"I do, yeah,"Â Eve says, "We're divided by a common language. The sun never shines there. It really doesn't, even though we say it does."Â