Eva Green is the first to admit she has dealt with a paralyzing fear of heights. Even getting on a 10-foot platform was dizzyingly difficult for the “Penny Dreadful” star.
But Green soared through the air seemingly without effort playing beautiful trapeze artist Colette Marchant in “Dumbo” (opening March 25).
“It’s terrifying,” Green tells USA TODAY. “But I went slowly and slowly.”
The once “absolutely petrified” star trained every day for two months to shoot scenes for director Tim Burton’s movie, in which Marchant is paired with the famed flying elephant Dumbo in a dramatic act of flight.
It’s a CGI elephant in the movie. But Green really shot aerial scenes she never would have dreamed were possible months earlier. (A stunt double was used in the more complicated shots.)
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“Eva didn’t have to learn. But she did. And she didn’t like heights. Getting her on a 10-foot platform was tough in the beginning,” says Burton. “But she was incredible. She can trapeze.”
Green explains that first it was all about gaining strength — in the core, arms and abdominal muscles. Then it was a matter of working her way up in height with a very patient crew of trainers.
“Swinging up high is terrifying,” she says. “I thought it was physical, but it was all in my head. It’s about breathing and remaining focused.”
Naturally she learned a few tricks, which include singing in French and swearing before making the leap into the air.
“But I surprised myself,” says Green. “It was a miracle.”