When celebrities hang out with Bustle writers, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. The rest is up to them. This time, Replicas star Alice Eve is leaving her mark in the Bustle Booth.
Alice Eve isn’t afraid of the future, even though her new film, out in theaters now, could reasonably give a person cause for concern. The actor, who also played Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness, Typhoid Mary in Iron Fist Season 2, and starred opposite Chris Evans in his directorial debut Away We Go, essentially plays two characters in Replicas: Mona, a doctor and mother who’s supportive of her husband Will’s (Keanu Reeves) research into a new form of life extension and the “replicated” version of Mona that Will creates after she and their children die in a car accident. It’s an unsettling notion, the idea of being brought back to life in a lab. But Eve, who believes that “the only thing that will avoid our extinction is thinking forward,” isn’t so sure that an advancement like that would fundamentally change humanity.
“This is often the case with evolution. It might not be as big a change as we think. We might suddenly move into replication and be like, ‘Yeah, Grandma’s back,'” she reasons, laughing. “We can kind of adapt. We’re so adaptable as a species.”
Though her credits also include West End and Broadway stage productions, romantic comedies, and period TV dramas, Eve keeps returning to science fiction for this very reason. The questions that films like Replicas raise about “playing god,” cloning, and “the ethics of these things” are personally interesting to her. “I like to think ahead,” she says, rightfully pointing out that the scientific community is already wrestling with these ideas.And, like any self-respecting science fiction buff, Eve is a huge fan of her most recent costar, legendary in the genre for his work on the Matrix films. Working with Reeves is the first draw to Replicas that she mentions, though she had to put some work in when it came to forging a personal relationship with the famously reserved actor.
“He’s a super private guy, and he’s definitely hard to get to know. But also very polite, so it’s not like he’s unpleasant in any way,” she says. “So, it definitely began where we wouldn’t talk, and then I just decided, ‘I’m just gonna tell him everything about my life, because otherwise we’re not gonna be friends.’ And then he became a confidante of sorts, and he was able to express his interests and his questions about romance and his questions about his dating life.”
The young actors who play the couple’s children, meanwhile, were mostly interested in “what Keanu did on his motorbikes and how he did these rides that gave him these scars,” Eve remembers.
On the professional side, the actor recalls adding her input to ensure that Mona didn’t seem to be “serving her genius husband,” but rather was seen as an equal intellect, who advises him from her own position of expertise. Having Mona be a physician wasn’t a point of contention, it seems, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t some healthy discussion on the set between her and Reeves, who’s also a producer on the film. “I would say, ‘I don’t want to do it like that,’ and he would say, ‘I think you should,’ and maybe we would get heated but we never fell out,” she says. “But I definitely held my corner, and I felt that he was supportive.”
Particularly, Eve questioned the way that post-replication Mona responds to hearing what happened to her — she seems to take it in stride. “I feel like I personally would have held more of a grudge and found it harder to forgive, but at the same time, if somebody brought you back from the dead, you’d be a bit like, ‘Damn, you love me,'” she says. In a strange, twisted way, Eve thinks it’s “kind of the most romantic thing you can do.”
“And compromises can be made,” she adds. “If you did bring someone back, and they weren’t completely the person they were or the person you hoped they would be, maybe you might learn to love that person anyway.”
From the heightened near future of Replicas, Eve will be seen next playing someone from our politically and socially heightened present. In Jay Roach’s Fair and Balanced, she plays Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt. And though the actor hasn’t met her real-life counterpart, she did, during her research, “fully immerse” herself in the channel, the behind-the-scenes of which the movie dramatizes. Taking in that much cable news sent Eve, who also recently swapped her iPhone for a “little Nokia” (she only misses Uber and her GPS, she tells me), back to written news, which she finds more inclusive of conflicting viewpoints.
“The news all feels like a movie to me now, even CNN,” she says. “I just feel that it’s bombastic, and so I just watched it like I watch… E News!” The movie will explore not only the fervor that Fox News has stoked in its viewers, but also the company culture under Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO who died in 2017, not long after he was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct — and of cultivating a misogynistic working environment — by several women who’d been employed by the network. (He denied all allegations.) The biopic is not a movie for just conservatives or just liberals, however. If viewers are interested in “the people inside” the news behemoth, they’ll find something in Fair and Balanced, Eve predicts, “regardless of how they think healthcare should be run.”
Still, cable news isn’t Eve’s thing. But her Bustle Booth answers reveal what she is into, including Matthew McConaughey movies and random Bill Murray encounters.