Alice Eve is involved in a number of upcoming genre films, including Men in Black 3, Star Trek 2, and The Raven. During a recent press junket for The Raven, Alice Eve talked about her attraction to genre films, her love of Edgar Allan Poe, and working with John Cusack.

I noticed that you've been attached to a number of genre films recently. Are you drawn to those types of movies more than a drama or romantic comedy?

Alice Eve: I did this movie called She's Out of My League, and I'm very proud of it, but I made a decision that I wanted to play women that are a little more three dimensional. Interestingly, those kinds of women do exist in genre films. They seem to be allowed to have vulnerability, strength, spirit, and intelligence.

What was it about The Raven that made you interested in joining the cast?

Alice Eve: What drew me to The Raven was that it was 100% about Poe. I studied English at university, so it was great to be in film that was centered around a literary hero of mine. The concept was also interesting to me, where they made Poe sort of an action hero. Also, I liked that Emily is a damsel in distress, but not before she's the most intelligent man's equal.

How much research was done for your role in the film?

Alice Eve: Emily Hamilton is an amalgamation of three or four of Poe's muses. One of them was Virginia Clemm Poe, his 13 yr old cousin, who died of tuberculosis. She was dying for 5 years and was at Poe's house, at his expense. Emily had the innocence and weakness of Virginia, and that's why she needs him so badly.

He also had a period at the end of his life where he was a bit of a philanderer and was dating two women. Those women needed him less, and that was more like Emily at the top of the film.

I also researched the women of 1850 Baltimore, which were plentiful.  I learned that women that were unmarried and without a mother could never be seen out alone. I also learned the Chopin piece on the piano, which was great.

Do you think that this film will appeal to horror fans as well as a casual audience?

Alice Eve: The script read as an intelligent thriller to me, which I think will satisfy any human mind. I think the fact that it is a love story definitely helped to contribute it. There is a love story there and Poe is doing everything he does in the second and third act out of love.

You spend part of movie buried in a coffin. What was it like to go from playing a very regal role to being a victim? How was it to shoot those scenes?

Alice Eve: I enjoyed the fact that there was this regality, but it was imposed on her and was required by society.  She was a member of Baltimore's high society and her father was very strict. It was all impacted and broken down, and was interesting to see the journey of a human being forced to face their fears.

Shooting the coffin scenes was really difficult. The thing about being an actor is that most of the time you have an amazing life and a very lucky one. You get to have days where you laugh every hour on set. Sometimes you have days or weeks that are hell and I did have to be buried alive, and James did throw dirt on my face. My most exciting part of the day was the shower.

What was the most fun scene for you to shoot?

Alice Eve: The ballroom scene... although the carriage scene was fun too. I've never really been in a carriage before, and it was a real carriage on a cobbled street. The horse was dragging us along and it got really bumpy. I just don't know how these guys went the hundreds of miles they went. It would give you whiplash.

Working with John was a real pleasure, because he is such an accomplished actor. He's so confident and interested in what he does, that there was no shortage of inspiration. His process is very investigative and he likes to talk everything through. It was really collaborative and he likes to hear your point of view. I've never really worked with another actor who has that level of commitment to the material and is invested in that way.

What do you hope audiences take away from this film?

Alice Eve: I hope they take away an interest to read Poe because he is one of the seminal literary figures of American history and it's nice to see him immortalized in our modern poetry, which is cinema. I hope they will be a little bit freaked out about the imagery and I hope they are scared when I'm buried alive.


In case you missed out on our earlier coverage, here are links to our recent coverage of The Raven, including interviews with James McTeigue and John Cusack: