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“It’s interesting and it’s something I’m processing,” says newly single Benedict, sounding rather like Sherlock Holmes, the role he made his own in the BBC’s updated version of the Conan Doyle stories.
“It’s new to me and I’m sure I’ll get used to it and find a way of dealing with it, but at the moment, it is quite odd. I don’t know anyone on Earth who doesn’t, but I do find it funny.
She's just been to Russia on a promotional tour for what is easily the biggest film of her career to date – J J Abrams' sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness – and the blonde Brit wants to show me a gift she was given, a set of specially commissioned Russian dolls featuring the images of Kirk, Spock and other Star Trek characters. " she beams, proudly showing off memorabilia that would probably fetch a fortune at a Trekkie convention. "It's a very special moment in my career trajectory."Eve plays Dr Carol Marcus, a character who last appeared (as played by Bibi Besch) in 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I suspect if I hadn't gone all the way myself, then I wouldn't have the – pun intended – weaponry within myself to go and tackle something like that.
Rather, echoing her childhood – when her family moved to Los Angeles for her to try and crack the US market – she made a deliberate play and left for America. "Dedication and being sure of your dream and following it with steadfastness, with an absolute focus," she says.
"I was clear about what I wanted to do and the world I wanted to be a part of.
But her mind is on higher things, with the crew fighting Benedict Cumberbatch's villain. "I just took it that she was as clever if not the cleverest person on board."There may be a slightly gratuitous shot of Eve in her bra – even Abrams can't resist the sexy scientist cliché – but the actress admirably convinces as a brain-box. The daughter of actors Trevor Eve (of Shoestring fame) and Sharon Maughan, Eve has almost circumvented the traditional "costume drama" route taken by most British actresses.
Her screen debut may have been a brief appearance in Richard Eyre's film Stage Beauty, but there's barely a petticoat or lace glove on her CV.
I love films and I love the way they make them in Hollywood and I wanted to be a part of that, so I pursued it." It helped, she says, that she'd partly grown up there, that she understood the American way of life – which was hers until she returned with her family to England when she was 13.