“Bees Make Honey,” the stylish debut from writer/director Jack Eve, is a true family affair. His sister Alice Eve (“Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “Black Mirror”) headlines the cast, while their father, Trevor Eve (“Troy”), is featured in a supporting role. Pic mixes 1930s period decor with modern music, flashy photography and energetic editing in a dark comedy. Alice Eve spoke with Variety about her work on “Bees Make Honey.”
How did “Bees Make Honey” originate?
It was born out of my brother’s wild imagination and his love for movies in general. He knows me very well, and knew I’d be well suited to the part. There are bits that are certainly inspired by films we’ve loved, but this is his creation.
What was it like working with your brother considering that it was his feature debut, and you’re one of the producers?
My focus was on giving exactly the performance that he desired to see on screen, and being there for him if he needed anything from a creative standpoint. And as a producer, I was trying to keep the film moving along as efficiently as possible.
Your character in “Bees Make Honey” is fascinating because you play off of the inherently theatrical qualities of the narrative, and yet there’s still a sense of modernity. What was that like for you as an actress?
It was exciting! My greatest joy in life comes from entertaining other people, and making them happy. My character grounds the narrative, especially when it gets stylistically crazy. I’m a big believer in truth, so it’s always about finding the truth in any given scene or moment that appeals to me as an actress.
When did you first get interested in acting? Do you have any favorite films, or movies that have inspired you?
I’m a huge fan of classic cinema, and both of my parents are actors, so it was incredible to have dinnertime conversations about the craft and business, as I was definitely interested early on. I love “Chinatown,” and Faye Dunaway is one of my favorite actresses. I could watch Marilyn Monroe or Carole Lombard any day of the week, and I remember David Lean’s “Summertime” with Katharine Hepburn making a big impression on me when I was younger.
Considering that you’re one of the producers of “Bees Make Honey,” what was the biggest challenge?
We made the film for a half a million pounds [around $664,000], and thanks to an extremely dedicated and passionate crew, we squeezed every dollar for all its worth. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears on this production, and it was a true collaborative journey to get it made. And when you work with family, emotions are involved and run high, and you don’t want to disappoint anyone. There was a belief in each other that was required. My brother loved everyone on the crew, and nobody got paid their full quote. It’s a labor of love.