Eve Hewson on the Netflix Drama’s Wild Twist

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The mystery thriller Behind Her Eyes follows Louise (Simona Brown), a young single mother who becomes romantically involved with her boss David (Tom Bateman), only to then become friends with his seemingly perfect wife Adele (Eve Hewson). As she learns more about their complicated marriage and Adele’s past, lies are uncovered and secrets are revealed and Louise realizes just how dangerous this love triangle really is.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, Eve Hewson talked about initially misreading what this role would be, her reaction to learning about the shocking twist, getting to work with one director for the series, learning to trust her instincts as an actor, and the different character dynamics she got to explore with Adele. She also talked about her experience on the Steven Soderbergh series The Knick, working with Steven Spielberg on Bridge of Spies, having Eva Green as a scene partner in The Luminaries, and whether she’d like to do comedy.

Collider: When this came your way, what were you told about it? How much did you know and how much did you not know?

EVE HEWSON: It was a weird way of coming to the story and the character because I came in really late in the game. I was shooting a movie and they were trying to get me to put myself on tape. I was in upstate New York somewhere, in the freezing cold, and I was like, “I can’t do it. I’m shooting.” So, I think they went with another actress, and then that fell apart, and really last minute, they came back to me. I had time to read the first script on set, and then I went home and made a tape in the middle of the night.

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Image via Netflix

Now looking back, my tape was not the right take on the character, at all. I thought I was doing a very different show. And I remember I got on Skype with Erik [Richter Strand], the director, and he was like, “Yeah, so about your tape, it was really good, but that’s so not the direction we’re going in. Actually, this is the twist and this is the show we’re making.” And I was like, “What?!” I could not see that coming, at all. I went back and had to read all the scripts. I got to London and I realized what I was actually making. I was a weird way to get to know the story. Most people had read the book or they found out the twist through reading the scripts and they had that build-up, but I didn’t. I was just told flat out what I was doing. It was really bizarre, but also fun. It was so fast and furious and I didn’t really have any time to prepare too much. It became a more spontaneous thing, which was actually really fun to do.

How did you feel about the ending, when you learned what it was? What was it like to shoot?

HEWSON: I genuinely loved this character so much, mainly because of the twist. I’ve never had more fun playing a character in my life. If I could play Adele until the day that I’m dead, I wouldn’t care. It was just so much fun because there was an element of heightened drama that was theatrical. Erik would say, “We’re going in more of a camp direction with the show and the character.” There were so many possibilities because of the twist, for how I could interpret Adele, and that just gave it more life. It’s so not what you see is what you get. Also, the idea of tricking the characters and tricking the audience, and all of those layers, was glorious. I really enjoyed it.

RELATED: ‘Behind Her Eyes’ Trailer Reveals Trippy, Likely Addictive Psychosexual Netflix Thriller

How was it to tell this story with the same director throughout?

HEWSON: The way that they shoot limited series now, you don’t really shoot episodically. You do it like a movie, by location, so we had to shoot it with one director. Thank God we shot it with Erik because I really believe in him. I think he’s going to do everything. I think he’s going to be a huge director. He just has elements of bringing in the strange, bizarre, silly element to it. We really, really clicked. I’ve only had one other relationship like that with a director, and that was when I did The Knick with [Steven] Soderbergh, where we really just understood each other. Erik and I were on the same page, I felt like I didn’t have to explain to him what I wanted to do and I didn’t have to perform it for him. We just had this secondhand, where I felt like he was reading my mind. He almost knew what I wanted to do before I did. That just allowed us to explore the character in many different ways and to try new things and come up with the craziest things to do, just for fun and to see if we could do it. I couldn’t imagine doing this part without him. It was so important to have him there and to feel encouraged by him. I was not shamed by the things that I wanted to do. I really, really cherish that relationship.

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Image via Netflix

I was such a fan of The Knick. It’s a fantastic show and everybody was fantastic in it. What are the memories about that show that stand out the most for you?

HEWSON: Working with Soderbergh, and [showrunners] Michael [Begler] and Jack [Amiel], the writers, and the cast. That was my first job coming out of Tisch and I was totally the baby on set. I just remember feeling really looked out for by the cast. Juliet [Rylance] and Cara [Seymour] were like older sisters to me, and all of the boys were like my older brothers. I remember having scenes and going, “Oh, my god, I don’t know what to do. I’m too scared.” And they would call me up and give me a little pep talk. It just felt like a really beautiful way to enter into the film/TV stratosphere. I couldn’t think of a better job, honestly, to be introduced to all of that. I just think of it very fondly. I really love all of those people. We still have a group chat and we still talk to each other. We were texting each other yesterday.

RELATED: A New ‘The Knick’ Season Is Coming from André Holland and Barry Jenkins

And you also did Bridge of Spies. What was it like to work with someone like Steven Spielberg so early in your career?

HEWSON: Oh, God, E.T. is my favorite movie of all time. When I was younger, I cut off all of my hair and called myself Elliott. I was so obsessed with that movie that it was a true dream come true. That was wild. It was weird because I went from Soderbergh, who is the camera operator and edits everything himself and it’s a very indie approach, to doing a three-camera set-up on this big Hollywood production where Spielberg was directing with a megaphone. It was just so incredible, this big almost fantasy-like way to shoot a film. I just remember being in awe of what was going on and just tried to not show that I was really excited to be there. I was trying to play it cool.

A character like Adele has so many interesting layers to her. The more acting roles that you tackle, do you feel that you’ve come to trust your own instincts more when it comes to the characters that you’re playing, or is that something you’ve always done?

HEWSON: It’s interesting, I’m still questioning that and trying to figure out what my approach is. I’ve found that with some characters, you really need a lot of preparation and you want to do a lot of research, go through each moment and each scene, and do your backstory, and be a really good acting student, and that can be really, really helpful. And then, there are some jobs where I feel really warmed up and I just roll into it and don’t second-guess myself. I feel great doing it that way, as well. I’m going back and forth. And I also think that every job is different and every character requires a different sort of preparation. Each director wants to prep with you in a different way, so I try to just be open to whatever’s going on and how much time you have to prepare and whether the director wants to sit down and walk through every scene with you, or doesn’t want to rehearse it, at all. So, I don’t know. The answer is that I haven’t a clue. I’m going with it, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s the way it is.

Behind Her Eyes
Image via Netflix

In Behind Her Eyes, there are three very interesting relationships in Adele’s life, that we get to see playing out over these episodes – the one with her husband, the one with this new woman that’s come into her life, and this friend from her past. What was it like to explore her through her actions and interactions with each of those characters?

HEWSON: It was interesting. The first stuff we shot was up in Scotland, and it was all the younger Adele and Rob stuff. Rob Aramayo, who plays Rob, is an incredible actor. We always made fun of him because he’s really serious and method. I found Adele through him, at the beginning. I actually find it the most challenging to play this younger, more naive version, and keeping it buoyant and fresh. I found that really hard and weirdly found the more psychotic Adele much easier, which is probably not good to admit. Her relationship with David – me and Tom [Bateman] – we did most of our stuff all together in that house. We really got into the relationship, every day, and we got to know each other so well that we could explore it together. And then, the last stuff I did was the relationship with Louise (Simona Brown). That was really interesting because that was the most performative side of Adele that you see in the series. That’s when you see her trying to be this shiny version of Adele and trying to reinvent herself through Louise. It was interesting, it came in three stages. I’m glad that it did because otherwise, it would have been way too complicated, going back and forth between all of the different personalities.

You also have The Luminaries out now, which looks absolutely gorgeous. How did you find the experience of working with Eva Green? How did she most challenge you, as a scene partner?

HEWSON: Oh, my God, she’s incredible to act with. She’s truly a movie star. She’s just really good. When you go up with someone like that, you just don’t want to be shit. You want to be good. And she’s really inventive and has really got the character down. She’s so like focused and detailed. We actually ended up having a lot of fun because that dynamic with the relationship is slightly messed up and sadistic. I’m on the other end of the spectrum, with the character of Anna. We did loads of rehearsals together. I think I went out to New Zealand a month before, and we talked through all of the relationships and we put it on its feet a lot. It was a very different kind of grueling experience, actually, but I think it really served the show and the relationship.

The Luminaries
Image via Starz

You’ve been doing a lot of very serious and intense drama. Would you like to do some lighter comedies? Is that something that you want to do, or does comedy scare you?

HEWSON: I would love to do comedy. Can you please call Seth Rogen and just tell him that I’m looking? It’s really a compliment when people want to give you those bigger, more dramatic roles because that’s the dream, but sometimes, I’m just like, “Oh, gosh,” when I’m burying my dead baby or doing something really dark and disturbing. I’ll say, “I wish I was doing a rom-com right now.” I would love to try that. I honestly just want to try lots of different genres. That’s what I’m interested in. I think you can learn the most from just putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, working with new people and doing things that scare you. That’s just the right way to go. If you stick to the same thing, it’s boring.

Behind Her Eyes is available to stream at Netflix.

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