Eve Hewson is a force to be reckoned with. With her role as Maid Marian in the upcoming remake of Robin Hood as well as her work as Franny Winters in indie film Paper Year, she’s proving to Hollywood and everyone watching that it’s only the beginning. From realizing she wanted to be an actress to filming a short film directed by friend, Dakota Fanning, Hewson takes a deep dive into the variety of work she’s done and what it means to express herself in film and on social media.
You star in the upcoming film Robin Hood. What was it like to recreate this iconic tale?
This one is a lot of fun. We didn’t want to do what was already done, in terms of genre or style; we wanted to make a movie for the superhero era. We recreated our Robin Hood to be more like a comic book action hero rather than the typical character from English folklore. There’s a lot of action: stunts, horse chases, we shoot arrows like AK-47s… This is a new Robin Hood for the video game generation. And we have Jamie Foxx. Who doesn’t love Jamie Foxx?
Your character Marian isn't like her predecessors. How did you prepare for your role in the film?
I wanted to play Marian because some of the best actresses in the world have played her. Olivia de Havilland, Cate Blanchett and Audrey Hepburn. I just wanted to share a character with them. When I got the part, it felt like a big pat on the back from Hollywood to be trusted with this role. She’s iconic.
Our Marian is a little different from the Marian you have seen before because she’s a fighter. She’s not just a beautiful helping hand; she gets involved. She’s ambitious, strong-headed and has a little bite to her. And she’s Irish. That’s probably the coolest thing about our version. Our Maid Marian is Irish, and I’m so proud.
In terms of my prep, this is an action film so I got to do some stunt training and that was my personal highlight of the whole experience. I found out that I’m insanely talented at stunt fighting and I’m basically Tom Cruise. I definitely want to do another action film soon.
We also had to learn how to ride a horse and before this film, I hated horses. They scared the bejeezus out of me. But I committed myself to it, trained for hours every day and somehow I ended up enjoying it. Now, I love horses. They’re the fucking best. I’m a crazy horse lady and I’m not ashamed.
You also starred in the recent movie Paper Year, a vastly different movie. Tell us about that experience and how that differs from Robin Hood.
I love that movie (Paper Year). We shot it in 3 and a half weeks up in Toronto with absolutely no money or time but we had such a laugh. I’ve always wanted to do a romantic comedy because those are the movies I grew up on. So I read Rebecca’s script and clicked with it. It’s about your first love, how important someone can be to you but how easy it is to grow apart. It felt personal and I’m so proud I did it. Plus, Avan Jogia. We are not worthy!
I’m really happy that Paper Year and Robin Hood are coming out at the same time. They are so different from one another and I hope my career continues to unfold that way. I want to try every genre, play all sorts of characters and make people feel a whole lot. That’s the dream.
Did you always know you wanted to be an actress?
I didn’t. I always wanted to be a musician. Growing up, I played the piano and the drums and all sorts of instruments but I would never practice. I was a terrible student. It wasn’t until I started acting in school plays that I realized I could spend all day long going over my lines and it didn’t bore me the way practicing scales did. That’s when I realized I’d be a much better actor than musician. Thank God I figured that out early.
Tell us about how you got started with your career. What was your first job?
My first job was when I was 15 in a movie called The 27 Club. My tutor, who was assigned to help me concentrate in school, wrote the movie and offered me a part in it. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I got to leave school and spend 2 weeks on location in North Carolina. So, I was thrilled! I didn’t realize those 2 weeks would change my life. It took one day on set and I didn’t want to go home. It was the best feeling in the world. So, I’ve spent the last 10 years chasing it.
You've done work that takes place in different eras as well as contemporary work. Do you have a preference for either? Why?
I do love a period piece. There’s something very magical about acting in a costume and on a set that is literally nothing like what you’ve ever experienced. And there’s a history to those projects that is fulfilling too. I love learning about how we used to live. Contemporary work is also great because it’s a more familiar arena, and there are so many fascinating contemporary characters to play too. Like, lifestyle bloggers and Instagram stars, I am dying to play a lifestyle blogger someday soon. I want to know what that’s all about.
You've also done a short film for Miu Miu directed by Dakota Fanning, Hello Apartment. What was it like to work with her and for Miu Miu?
Dakota is a great friend of mine. We got to know each other while shooting in Budapest. She was there for The Alienist, I was there for Robin Hood, we were both the only girls on our sets so we met and stuck to each other like glue. When we moved back to New York, she asked me to do her film for Miu Miu. I was so honored she asked me to be in her directorial debut. Dakota is such a talent as an actress but she’s also a beast of a director. I learn so much from her. And the first pair of heels I ever owned were Miu Miu, so they hold a special place in my heart. I was very happy to be a part of their women’s tales.
Looking through your Instagram, you have fun with your style and beauty. How do fashion and beauty play a role in your life?
Well, I’m a real boy at heart. I think I dress like an 11 year old boy on his way to the sickest party of the summer. I love a good pair of jeans, boots and an old t shirt, but now that I’ve had to do so many red carpets, I’ve been exposed to so much good fashion. I’m starting to venture more into dressing like a lady. Slowly but surely… in terms of beauty, make up is my crack. I’m an Irish girl, so I really do love a good make up look. I love bold liners and crazy eye shadows and dark lipsticks. I’ll literally try anything. My make up artist Briggitte Reiss Anderson loves me for it because she gets to use all the stuff her other clients won’t touch. If she has anything neon, I want it all over my face.
Is there a particular designer you're eager to wear? Why is that?
I’m a die hard forever fan girl of Chanel. I just love Chanel. Alexander Wang. Givenchy. Simone Rocha. And I love these new bags by an Irish designer Arran Frances. They are so beautiful. And Gucci, I have a Gucci problem. I need to go to Gucci rehab.
You vocalize political views on social media. Why do you think it's important to use these platforms to share them?
I’ve always vocalized my views on everything. That’s just who I am. But now that we have social media, and all these people follow me, it’s just another way to get my message across. I live in America, but I’m not a citizen so I can’t vote, but I’m still angry. I’m so so angry at what is happening in America right now. it affects me because I live here but also because I’m a human being. How is this happening? I can’t help but post about it.
If you had a soundtrack to your life, what songs would be on it and why?
This is a really serious question so I’m submitting a really serious playlist. The lyrics explain everything.
You Get What You Give—New Radicals
Free Your Mind—En Vogue
Ghetto Supastar—Pras feat. Mya
Let Me Blow Ya Mind—Eve feat. Gwen Stefani
Breath—Blu Cantrell feat. Sean Paul
The Way I Are—Timbaland
Thank U, Next—Ariana Grande