She has earned international praise for her work in both blockbuster releases (Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale, Dark Shadows) and diverse independent films. Now Eva Green sets the screen on fire as Artemisia, the ruthless commander of the Persian armada in 300: Rise of an Empire.
Based on Frank Miller‘s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield–on the sea–as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.
Themistokles’ very formidable adversary is Artemisia, a woman who has no use for diplomacy. Cunning and bloodthirsty, she tolerates no excuses and accepts no defeat. Any failure is met with the most severe consequences.
Director Noam Murro asserts, “Artemisia is also driven, but not by anything as idealistic as democracy; instead her brutality is born of vengeance. They both believe deeply in their causes, as different as they may be, and that makes it an interesting dynamic.”
Taking on the role of the stunning but ruthless warrior, Eva Green says, “I was able to do some research on her because she actually existed, although she’s quite a bit different in our film. But a woman commander all those years ago was rather unusual, so she had to have been exceptionally strong.”
From the start, the filmmakers had only one actress in mind for the pivotal role. Producer Mark Canton confirms, “Eva Green was the only name we discussed, and she was everything we could have imagined and more. Eva’s Artemisia is a thousand percent woman and a thousand percent badass naval warrior. And she is dazzling as both.”
“She’s dangerous, she’s beautiful, she’s sexy, she’s conniving, and she has a sword and knows how to use it. It’s really simple: Don’t mess with her,” Murro laughs. “For Eva, it was about creating a woman who is unapologetic about her goals or her ruthlessness in achieving them.”
In fact, Green embraced her character’s dark side, noting, “I love playing evil characters, but especially those who are complex and have a reason to behave in such a way. It’s always more interesting.”
Though born a Greek, Artemisia was betrayed as a young girl by her own countrymen who, in their cruelty, unknowingly sowed the seeds for the death and destruction to come in their own land. “That explains why she harbors such hatred for Greece,” says Green. “What I like about Artemisia is that she’s ballsy and utterly fearless. Her tragic flaw is her obsessive need for revenge.”
Despite being mortal enemies, Themistokles and Artemisia come to develop a mutual admiration. Stapleton attests, “It is two soldiers respecting each other’s tactics. If they had met under different circumstances, they might not be trying to kill each other, but they are plainly on opposing sides, and this is how it’s got to be.”
Green offers, “Themistokles turns out to be such a fierce adversary, and so clever, that Artemisia comes to admire him and will do anything to bring him to her side. She wants to possess him, but things don’t go as planned so she reverts back to the battle at hand, more determined than ever to defeat him.”
Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 6, in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D, 2D and 30mm format, 300: Rise of an Empire is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.