By the end of 2022, Eve Hewson was already having a very good year by virtue of being one of the stars of Sharon Horgan’s “Bad Sisters”, a very serious and very funny series about a group of four sisters from Dublin who plan to kill the man who is abusing his fifth sister. Then the “Nepo Babies” furore erupted after a December article in New York magazine, and Hewson, whose father is Paul Hewson aka U2’s Bono, posted a couple of hilarious tweets and came off as one. one of the few who handled everything with ingenuity. and perspective
Then came January 2023, when the 31-year-old Irish actress headed to the Sundance Film Festival with “Flora and Son,” a charming and moving musical drama from “Once” director John Carney. Playing Flora, a single mother who begins taking guitar lessons as a way to connect with her surly son, Hewson earned rave reviews while the film landed the festival’s biggest contract, with Apple winning a bidding war that reached the top spot. high of $20 million.
Hewson is now filming Susanne Bier’s miniseries “The Perfect Couple” for Netflix and preparing for season 2 of “Bad Sisters.” The next season will find the five sisters (Hewson, Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle and Sarah Greene) back to deal with the aftermath of the death of “The Prick”, as they called the abusive husband played by Claes Bang. Hewson spoke to TheWrap via Zoom about why she connected so strongly with two of her recent roles and why her dad is following in her footsteps these days.
What drew you to “Bad Sisters”?
Sharon, definitely. And the script, but that’s Sharon. I mean, the idea that there were five new, exciting, layered characters coming out into the world, when a lot of what we see now isn’t original IP, it’s like superheroes and books and blah blah blah. But she had written these five characters and they felt so real and so familiar that they had never had their moment on film. And I felt an instant connection with Becka. I had a lot of fun doing my audition. He just knew what he had to do.
He was a bit similar to Flora, you know? Some parts where you go, “Hmm, I don’t think I get that. How do I figure out this person?” But then some parts just come out of you. [Laughs] And Becka came out of me. Flora came out of me. Some things click. It’s like you’re just a vessel, and that person is raging from your soul.
Becka is a wild child, just like Flora. Are you drawn to roles like that, or are people drawn to you when they’re being cast?
[Laughs] I’m a little wild, to be perfectly honest. I’m not going to lie about that. I am a wild child, but I am many other things. And the interesting thing about Becka is that she wasn’t just one thing, you know? There is so much of her that she feels inadequate and helpless and directionless, the baby of the family. But it’s really interesting that she’s also a girl who can walk into a bar and get any man to buy her a drink.
I’d always thought I’d be good at playing these kinds of roles, but they don’t really get written that much, you know? And especially with Irish characters. There’s something about playing a character where you’re from, it’s so instinctive and it’s in your blood, and I never really thought I’d be able to do that. I thought that I would always be playing English or American characters. And now there’s been this massive wave of creativity in Ireland and I’ve really benefited from it.
Why did it take so long? Everybody knows that the Irish are the best storytellers.
Of course! I thought everyone knew. Sometimes people ask me, “Why do you think these Irish characters are so interesting?” I’m like, “Because we’re the most interesting people on the planet. Hey!
The tone is very deceptive in “Bad Sisters”. Some people were surprised when it signed up as a drama series for the Emmys, but they would probably be surprised if it signed up as a comedy as well..
Exactly. I mean, essentially the story is quite dark and dramatic and it deals with domestic abuse and I don’t think they can really ignore that and just present it as comedy. But the way we approached the tone was, it’s a drama with jokes. We had to find the truth of the story, the truth of the sisters, and then also have funny lines and ridiculous moments. Because life is fun, even in the most dramatic moments, life can be really, really fun.
The humor is necessary because if you take that away, it’s, you know, a bunch of women conspiring to kill someone. And yes, you could say they deserve it, but without humor it might be harder to cheer them up.
It would have been too much, I think. I don’t think it would have been successful as a show if it was just drama. You know, we’ve seen stories about domestic abuse and women going out to find the bad guy. But the beauty of Sharon and this show is that we’ll also make you laugh every time we do it. And you’re going to feel conflicted about it, you know?
Did you have to stay away from Claes on set?
O Claes. [Laughs] Claes sometimes needs a wide birth, I’ll say. I learned to choose my days. Some days he could be very, very funny and cheeky. Some days, I stayed away from him. I think he had a hard time playing that part because it’s hard to be such a jerk and then have all these women coming at him all the time.
What were the biggest challenges of the role for you?
Honestly, the biggest challenge was the emotional cost. I found it really hard to stay in that place, and then also get out of it and do the comedy side. Staying in head space, you know… I’m not a Method actor at all, I’ll never be a Method actor, it doesn’t work for me. But we had a long, long shoot. And when you think about the mindset of a character, you say, “How would this person feel?” In these moments where Becka feels so down and down with herself, it was hard for me to have those thoughts for an extended period of time. And I think she ended up breaking me down.
At the end of the shoot, he needed rehabilitation. [Laughs] It’s a joke. But it was really hard, and I couldn’t understand why it was so hard for me emotionally. I think maybe it was because I felt so close to Becka. We are different, but there are so many similarities that the two worlds collided and my brain got confused. So it was more of a challenge than I think I let on on set.
So how was your rehab after it ended?
My rehab consisted of going to Los Angeles and lying in the sun for a month and hanging out with my friends. It was a perfect kind of rehab.
You obviously come from a family that is into the arts. Did you know from the beginning that acting was what you wanted to do?
Yeah, I mean, I always thought I was going to do something acting-wise. I loved music and played guitar, piano and drums when I was younger and had a band, and I thought maybe that’s what I wanted to do. And then I also did theater, and I knew I was good at it. And then I got a tutor and he put me in a short film, and then he wrote a part for me, and I did this independent film when I was 15 years old. And that’s when I fell in love with the process of making movies. That was it for me.
I got home and was absolutely determined to do it. I started taking acting classes and I got an agent when the movie came out, and then I said, “How do I get out of Dublin? full time and studying at NYU. I was very rudimentary about it and moved on. And here I am. [Laughs]
Do you still have the kind of passion you did then?
Yeah. I mean, there’s definitely a love-hate relationship, I’ll say it. There are moments when I just think: “What’s the point? I could be doing something else that is more important.” But I have to say that I still feel… I’ve had some bad experiences, but I’ve also had some good experiences. And even on a timid day on set, I still don’t want to be anywhere else.
And now that things are going so well for me, I have these moments when I remember the years that went by without getting a job. Walking into a listening room and feeling completely invisible. Feeling like I had something to offer and that people were seeing right through me, you know? And that was so hard. And so, whenever I’m exhausted and tired on set, I look back on those moments and feel very proud of myself.
“The Knick” must have been a pretty good project for your first major role.
That was, in my eyes, like getting my master’s degree. It was two years with Steven Soderberg. It was hands down my favorite experience I’ve ever had working. I was 22 years old, six months out of college, and it was the best education you could get.
Where is “Bad Sisters” going in season 2? Does it pick up at the end of season 1?
I’ve heard some things, but I can’t say. [Laughs] I’ve heard from people who read Episode 1 that it’s great.
After seeing “Bad Sisters” where all the sisters frequently go swimming in the Forty Foot area of Dublin, and after seeing the documentary “Bono & the Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman”, I have to ask : Is it the goal of the Hewson family to make the Forty Foot big all over the world?
I have not seen the documentary. Is there?
Yeah. Letterman visits and talks to the people swimming there, and then your dad and Edge write a song about him called “Forty Foot Man.” And at the end of the document, Dave goes back to Dublin and participates.
Therefore, it is an important location in both projects..
Well, it’s an important place in Dublin. I guess “Bad Sisters” must have put him on the map, and obviously my dad likes to keep up with all the cool kids.