Eva Green on Trapeze Artist Training for Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’

     March 31, 2019

Dumbo may be the most subversive Tim Burton film yet, as he literally appears to burn “Disney” to the ground. Hear me out… Dumbo, of course, centers around the titular elephant, an outsider mocked for his incredibly large ears. But that quality, those large ears, give Dumbo the ability of flight, and soon he becomes a media sensation lauded for what he once was mocked for. It’s hard not to see the titular elephant as a direct stand-in for Burton, the filmmaker himself — a once ostracized outsider (initially fired from Disney as an animator) who then becomes a highly lauded filmmaker, drafted back into the company that once deemed him unfit. At its heart, Dumbo feels like a movie where Burton struggles with his commercial success. I mean, are you still an “outsider” if they sell your memorabilia at every gift shop? The answer Dumbo (and by proxy Burton) gives is pretty brazen: the only way out of the corporate grind may be just to burn the entire thing down and start anew.


Image via Disney

In the film, Eva Green (in her third collaboration with Burton) co-stars as Colette Marchant, a trapeze artist in the circus, who becomes a confidante and unlikely partner to Dumbo. Green’s a perfect fit for Burton’s world-view, bringing just the right amount of weirdness and allure to this “children’s film,” yet another subversive element that sneaks on by in this DisneyTM feature.

In the following interview with Green, she discusses what makes her perfect for a Burton film, researching trapeze artists, and how much of a say she has in the look of the character. For the full interview, watch above.

Eva Green:

  • What is the worst nickname Eva Green’s ever been given (a la Dumbo)?
  • Does she notice any similarities between her roles in Burton’s films?
  • What makes Green the perfect fit for Burton’s oeuvre?
  • Does Green have a say in the look of her character (Colette)?
  • Does she ever get to take any of the costumes or items from set home?
  • How much research did Green do into trapeze artists?
  • What exercises did she perform to become a trapeze artist?

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