Over the past few years, Alice Eve’s hard work and dedication to her craft have established her as an actress on the rise in Hollywood. Best known for her roles in ‘Sex and the City 2’ (2010), ‘The Raven’ (2012), ‘Men in Black 3’ (2012) and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (2013), her career continues to gain steam with every new project she takes on. One of her latest endeavors, ‘Before We Go,’ pairs her with one of the hottest leading men in Hollywood, Chris Evans. The film focuses on a chance encounter between strangers sparks a life-changing nighttime adventure in New York City. Nick (Evans) is a musician who spends his nights performing in Grand Central Station. It is there he meets Brooke (Alice Eve), a young married woman who finds herself stranded after her purse is stolen and she misses the last train out of the city. Starting as convenient acquaintances, the two soon embark on a journey, growing closer as they confront past loves and present fears, and take control of their lives. A throwback to romance films of the past, the project as serves is the directorial debut of Chris Evans. Jason Price recently caught up with Alice Eve to discuss the making of ‘Before We Go,’ the challenges involved and her superb performance in the short film, ‘Lithgow Saint.’
One of your latest projects, the directorial debut of Chris Evans, is “Before We Go.” How did you get involved with the project and what made it one you knew you wanted to pursue?
Chris reached out to my agents and they got in contact with me. They said he was going to be directing a movie and the script had at one time been on the black list and they were big fans of the script. It is certainly a story that used to be made more often, one about a girl and a guy falling in love and the complications. We see less and less of these screenplays around. I had just come off of more of an action film and I really liked the idea of the intimacy, the exploration into character and the love story. I love to watch a love story! I spoke with Chris, we had a meeting, and I liked his ideas, so I went for it! What I loved about the script is that it was a classic love story. Some of my favorite books and films are about love and I find those are the ones that stay with you.
How did you approach bringing the character from script to screen?
In terms of building out the character, it was the same process that it always is for me, which is basically complete immersion and almost osmosis! You read it and you kind of wonder how this person would react to situations that you are in and then we built it together. We had long conversations and really discussed what love meant to each of these people in this movie. It was very different from what either of us thought love was personally. We built an infrastructure around what romance was in this universe and I really enjoyed that.
Chemistry is important in any film but especially in a romance story. How did you and Chris go about building that chemistry that plays so well on screen?
We filmed in New York, so we both went there before filming started. We went out to a couple of lunches and told each other a little about ourselves and shared our experiences and stories of love. We both made a genuine effort to connect and get inside each other’s heads a little bit.
I think it definitely paid off as the two of you are a great pairing.
Chris is not only the leading man in the film but the director as well. What challenges does that pose while on set?
For me, the biggest challenge was that we were on a night schedule and it was cold. I don’t feel there were that many challenges in terms of him doing both because he had come very prepared and knew what he wanted in terms of the technical side. I think that he had a very good dialog with his cinematographer, John Guleserian. To be honest, I felt very involved in the whole process. I was there and came up with a few ideas and never felt there was comprise for that.
You worked with plenty of talented people in your career. Having seen a lot along the way, what do you feel Chris Evans’ strengths are as a director?
He is very, very confident, Chris Evans. That goes a long way. He is very sure of what he wants, so in terms of running a set, that is incredibly important. Also, he is capable of juggling a few things at the same time. He can have a few balls in the air, which is important, certainly, if you want to act in the film as well. Hopefully, he will get another chance.
You mentioned shooting in New York, a larger than life town that adds ambience to any film. What did the city bring to the film?
New York is one of the most magical places in the world, isn’t it? You always like it more than you think you will, if that makes sense, Jason. You like it more each time you go back. That is certainly the case for me. Every time I go there, I think, “My god, this place is incredible!” Just the fact that we were able to have it as a backdrop of the movie was a big part of the appeal. New York City has a lot to offer.
It is great to see a love story like this one on screen again. As you said, stories like these are becoming more of a rarity. In terms of romance, what speaks to you the most these days?
Being proposed to is very romantic. When someone is saying, “OK, let’s go for this for a long time.” That is an amazing moment. And you know, anytime anyone buys you flowers it is always a nice thing!
You know what, Alice? You are absolutely right. I am definitely going to buy my girlfriend some flowers today!
Yeah! Buy her some flowers! That would be lovely. I really hope you do!
I definitely will!
That would be lovely! I love it!
Back to the movie for a moment! [laughs] What is the best lesson you took away from this project?
Don’t do night shoots in the freezing cold again! [laughs] Just don’t do it! In creative terms, this character is very, very different for me. I really enjoyed playing her. I enjoyed learning how committed she was to her marriage and the feeling that is inside, which I accessed through her. She has a deep commitment which was beautiful.
Your work as an actor continues to be very diverse. How have you most evolved as an actor through the years?
Every time you get to do a movie, you learn, you grow and you get more feathers to your bow. I consider it a great privilege to get to do what I do. I am aware as jobs go, this is a very, very good one. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do what you love. Even though it is not every day or the year, maybe half the year, it is a great privilege.
Another project of yours that I am excited about is “Lithgow Saint.”
It just popped onto my radar. I am super excited about it. For those unfamiliar, what can you tell us about it and what impact has it had on you?
I am really glad you brought that up. That is a movie I am very proud of. It is a short film that was inspired by an interview that Helen Mirren had with Michael Parkinson on his show in 1975. At the time it was shocking and I think it still is shocking if you watch it on YouTube. It was an idea my husband had. He said, “What about if you were to kind of remake that?” I called my brother and said, “What do you think about that?” He said, “Let me think about it.” He came back with this screenplay and we asked Jason Isaacs if he wanted to be involved. He said, “Yeah, I want to play him Scottish.” It is a very interesting discussion and dialog on what happens in interviews and whether we have kind of moved on from this potentially exploitative format where humans can be put on the spot but maybe, in some cases, women are put on the spot in ways they maybe shouldn’t be. (Visit the official site for ‘Lithgow Saint’ at this location – Click Here)
What goals do you have moving forward as an actor?
I am doing a movie next year with Ben Lewin, who did “The Sessions.” It is with Dakota Fanning and it is about autism. To me, movies that explore topics that maybe haven’t had much of a public voice or been understood completely and the emotional effects they have on people, as autism does, is something very valuable in cinema. I am looking forward to that and it is called “Please Stand By.”
I know our time is short, Alice. Before I let you go, what is the best lesson we can take from your journey so far?
Keep calm and carry on as we say over here! [laughs]
That works! Alice, you are a true delight. I wish you continued success and can’t wait to see where your journey takes you in the future!
Thank you, Jason! All the best!
‘Before We Go’ will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 3rd. Follow the adventures of the amazing Alice Eve on Instagram,
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.