Alice Eve discusses 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and the role of Dr. Carol Marcus

Alice Eve, a newcomer to the 'Trek' films who stars in 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' talked about how she prepared for her role and how she tried to stay focused despite massive anticipation for the film from fans.

Fred Prouser/Reuters
Alice Eve stars in 'Star Trek Into Darkness.'

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.

Ben Kendrick blogs at Screen Rant.

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