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Alice Eve Talks Filming Star Trek Into Darkness

The actress takes us behind-the-scenes on portraying the Kelvin Timeline version of Carol Marcus.

Theatrical poster of Alice Eve as Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness

Alice Eve has been on the cusp of major stardom for a while now, having acted in such films as Starter for 10, She’s Out of My League, Sex and the City 2, The Raven and Men in Black 3. She may have just found the role and the film that could nudge her into the Hollywood stratosphere — Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Eve, the 31-year-old Brit, nails the part, playing her as smart and feisty (shooting down Kirk’s romantic advances). recently caught up with Eve for a conversation, and here’s what she had to say.

Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness theatrical poster How on your radar was Star Trek?

Alice Eve: I watched it when I was younger, with my grandfather, so I knew about the universe a little bit. And J.J. (Abrams), with the 2009, made Star Trek reach a wider audience. So I definitely was aware of it. But I didn’t know who Carol Marcus was. What did they give you to work from during the audition process?

Alice Eve: I didn’t get a script. I got a few pages of this character’s scenes and a scene that was kind of imagined, that wasn’t in the movie. It was just so well constructed and so well imagined and so truthful that I wanted to be part of this group of people that told stories in that way.

Bibi Besch as Carol Marcus Did you go back and look at Bibi Besch’s performance in Star Trek II or did you avoid it like the plague?

Alice Eve: I looked it at. I thought she played her very determinedly, but she was also more mature than I am. So there was some artistic license that I could take. How daunting was it initially for you to walk on to this set? And how quickly were you embraced by the cast?

Alice Eve: I was really embraced by the cast. It’s like the first day at school; it’s daunting in the anticipation of it. But once you walk on a set, that’s what it is and you become familiar with it quite quickly.

Star Trek Into Darkness The scene in which Marcus disables a torpedo is a nail-biter. How tricky is it, on set and in the moment, to create heightened and growing tension for an extended sequence like that?

Alice Eve: J.J. will take nothing but the best you have for as many takes as are needed. It is intense to create tension, especially with an IMAX camera on you. It’s a very demanding camera to work with. It’s very noisy and you only have 90 seconds of film. So, you get tired after those days, but they’re incredibly rewarding. How did you enjoy working with Peter Weller, who plays your father, and also Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto?

Alice Eve: Peter Weller was fantastic. I loved working with him. I think he’s a professor. He has a doctorate in the history of art. So he’s very well-versed in all things historical and will share his information freely. I learned a lot. Chris and Zach are great. They’re my good friends now. We became friends on the set and I’ve spent a lot of time with them doing this promotional tour, and I adore them both.

Carol Marcus smiles with her head tilted downward on Star Trek Into Darkness You are reading the audio-novel version of Star Trek Into Darkness. What was that experience like, and what fresh insight about the story did you gain from reading it aloud and, in essence, playing all the characters?

Alice Eve: Absolutely, 100 percent, I discovered a lot reading the audio-novel. When you break a film down to several hundred pages, you can really go into the minutia and the details. That lets you see how epic the tale it is and how beautiful and multifaceted it is.

So, reading the audiobook was, for me, before the press tour, before I spoke about the film, a great way of consolidating what the story was and how intricately it was woven. I just enjoyed it so much. I went to university and spent three years solidly in a library, so sitting in a dark room reading is kind of my thing.

Star Trek Into Darkness Tell us one thing you learned from the audio-novel that you’d not realized while shooting the film?

Alice Eve: I guess I didn’t quite know the parallels between the alpha-male masculinity of Pike’s character and Kirk’s character. Maybe I wasn’t tracking that story so closely when we were filming. I was tracking the story with my father. But Kirk has a parallel story with a father figure in Star Trek Into Darkness. I think that’s why Carol and Kirk see each other in the way they do. Will there be an action figure of you?

Alice Eve: I haven’t seen one yet. But I would like one. Scenes always end up on the cutting room floor during the editing process of a film. What did you shoot that got cut?

Alice Eve: There was only one scene that I did that didn’t make it in. It’s a scene where I explain why I have an English accent, but I don’t think it was my favorite scene.

Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus and Chris Pine as Kirk If there’s another Star Trek feature and if you return, what would you like to see for Marcus?

Alice Eve: I’d like to see Carol take the (captain’s) chair for at least an hour. How about in terms of Marcus and Kirk?

Alice Eve: These heavy story points are in the embryonic stage, and I’d have to talk to the guys about what they were thinking. Obviously, in the canon, Carol and Kirk go on to have a child. Whether that happens in J.J.’s split universe has yet to be decided. But I’d love any eventuality with Carol. I love playing her. I love her strength and independence of mind. So I’d like to continue to see that. You mentioned that you auditioned with a scene that’s not in the movie. What was that scene?

Alice Eve: It was an extended dialogue scene between my father and I.

Carol Marcus attended the re-christening ceremony of the Enterprise along with her crew mates in Star Trek Into Darkness Was it was helpful to you in understanding Marcus?

Alice Eve: It was, but the plot points made it across in the scenes we did have. It’s just that the construction of that particular scene wasn’t what we used.

This article, which originally was published on May 12, 2013, has been edited and condensed.

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