After months of build-up and downright divisive pre-release speculation, Star Trek Into Darkness has arrived in US theaters. The film has received an overwhelmingly favorable response from critics (read our Star Trek Into Darkness review) and is poised to make big bucks at the summer box office – in spite of high-powered hold-overs like Iron Man 3 along with a surprisingly strong performance from The Great Gatsby.
Last week, we had a chance to chat with the film’s stars, including Alice Eve who plays the much-talked about Dr. Carol Marcus to discuss the latest Star Trek film, her upcoming projects, and what it was like joining the iconic Star Trek movie crew. We’ve already posted our interview with Karl Urban (Dr. “Bones” McCoy) as well as Simon Pegg and John Cho (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott and Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, respectively). Make sure to check back in the coming days as we publish further interviews.
NOTE: The following is an abridged (and more concise) version of the interview with Alice Eve. You can read the entire transcript from our conversations with actress by clicking the link below:
- Alice Eve (FYI: The unabridged version contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the film)
Next to Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison, Alice Eve’s Dr. Carol Marcus was one of the most talked-about new characters prior to the Star Trek Into Darkness release. Fans poured over Eve’s haircut, uniform, and facial expressions in an attempt to figure out her role in the film ahead of time. Director J.J. Abrams even capitalized on fan obsession over the character – using a picture of Alice Eve in her undergarments to hide a viral marketing link.
However, the actress never let all the speculation distract her and, instead, tried to stay focus on the task at hand:
Alice Eve: I don’t follow that because it’s pretty damaging if you get too into that stuff. Obviously I have a bit of an awareness because I go to the internet like everybody else but I don’t get too involved in the details of those conversations just because it can hurt you if you stumble on something that’s not nice […] Even with the internet aside there’s an element of JJ making an environment where you’re able to feel safe. If you feel safe there’s no fear or pressure. You feel that you’re just there to do your job and serve the movie that everyone’s making. There are thousands of people that go into making a movie like this. There’s us [the actors] but there’s the preproduction, there’s the post production and that amounts to a lot of eyes and ears and minds so you’re just a part of a big journey and a big bandwagon. You take it day by day.
In preparation for her role, Eve went back and rewatched the first season of the classic Star Trek series, along with several of the original films. Like many of the Star Trek reboot stars, the actress wanted to find a balance between developing her own interpretation of Dr. Carol Marcus while paying homage to the version played by Bibi Besch:
Alice Eve: I enjoy any sort of preparation. I love what I do. The process to doing what I do is to research it and to look into the depths of the person. Especially if there’s an established cannon such as there was with Star Trek so I enjoyed that process. That’s the process I enjoy; that’s the creation, that’s the building part of it. That’s why I do what I do.
Elaborating on what exactly she picked-up from Besch’s portrayal, Eve asserted that it was important to include “purpose” and “strength,” elements that are clearly on display in Star Trek Into Darkness:
Alice Eve: I think that when Bibi [Besch] played her in the 1982 films with a real directness, a purpose and a strength. I definitely wanted to bring that to my Carol. But because JJ [Abrams] kind of split the timeline in 2009 it gave us a bit of room for our own interpretation. So obviously that was sort of liberating at the same time it was taking on the hallmarks of who she was as a person […] She’s very strict with Kirk in the film in ’82… when they have that screen conversation she’s very strict about what she wants Kirk to do and the fact she has information at her disposal so with that information she’s direct to Kirk and I guess pedagogical is the word.
Still, there are major differences in the two versions of the character – most notably the addition of Eve’s English accent. In fact, Abrams was so concerned that the change would be a sticking point (Marcus had an American accent in the original series), he actually shot an expository scene where the character explains her own backstory – a scene that was eventually cut:
Alice Eve: There was one scene that we shot that didn’t make it into the film. That was about me explaining why I had an English accent; my mother moved to England when my father stayed in San Francisco to run Starfleet. I think that JJ felt that plot point wasn’t necessary and that you didn’t question it beyond the first moment. I think that made sense and we had a certain license with the split timeline.
WARNING: The following segment of the interview contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Star Trek Into Darkness. If you haven’t seen the film, avoid spoiling yourself, and scroll down past the warning for the rest of the interview which is spoiler free.
In the original series, Dr. Carol Marcus not only plays a large part in the Khan Noonien Singh storyline, she’s also a love interest for Captain Kirk – and the mother of his son. Given that the alternate timeline allows for major changes to the series storyline going forward, nothing is set in stone and it’s certainly possible that we will not see Chris Pine and Alice Eve couple-up in Star Trek 3. However, Eve asserts that a potential Captain Kirk and Carol Marcus love story informed how the two played their Star Trek Into Darkness characters – and is absolutely a possibility for a sequel:
Alice Eve: Yes that was implicit in the trajectory and what had already been established that there was an element of chemistry there between the two of them. There is chemistry mainly because they’re quite similar in their determination to achieve their end goals. So I think that they come together in that way. And they see a kindred spirit in each other.
At the end of Star Trek Into Darkness Dr. Carol Marcus joins the Enterprise crew – so fans should be able to expect the actress will return in the next installment. This entry serves as an origin story for the character – helping to layout the differences between the alternate timeline version and the original. However, in our interview, Eve also touched on where she’d like to see the plot take Marcus in Star Trek 3 – claiming that she’d even like a crack at the Captain’s chair:
Alice Eve: obviously now I’d like her to take the chair [laughs]. I’d like her to continue with that sort of lacerating clarity she has about what’s right and what’s wrong. Which is the main focus of Star Trek as a moral line and having everyone walk that moral line. I’d like it to continue to be a force of reason on the enterprise.
For many moviegoers, Dr. Carol Marcus is likely to be Eve’s most recognizable role but the actress has been active in Hollywood for an entire decade – in films such as She’s Out of My League, The Raven, and ATM. That said, TV viewers should easily recognize Eve from her supporting role in HBO’s Entourage, as journalist Sophia Monk, a love interest to Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier). Recent reports confirmed that the Entourage film has moved into production, and given the important part Sophia plays in the final season, it’s likely that the filmmakers would bring Eve back to reprise the role – an opportunity the actress is certainly interested in:
Alice Eve: you know I really loved working with those guys on Entourage. I definitely know they are looking to make a movie and I’m excited to see where that goes – to see the script. Hopefully it’ll happen. I know I’d go and see it even if I was in it or not. I enjoyed [being on the show], it was great.
For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors, check back soon for our Star Trek Into Darkness episode of the SR Underground podcast. As mentioned, we’ve got more interviews with the cast and filmmakers that will go live in the coming days. However, if you’re eager for more Star Trek Into Darkness info right now, make sure to check out our Star Trek Into Darkness news archive – which includes the following featured articles along with much more:
- ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Review
- ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Spoilers Discussion
- ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Interview: Karl Urban on Secrecy, ‘Dredd 2′ & ‘Star Trek 3′
- ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: Simon Pegg & John Cho on Spoilers, ‘Star Trek 3,’ & ‘Star Wars’
Star Trek Into Darkness is now playing 2D, 3D, and 3D IMAX theaters.
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