Eva Green burns up the screen in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Eva Green has made a career out of playing dominantly sexual women.
Bold women willing to use seduction as a tool to influence men whose heads are too easily turned and whose minds are easily clouded by a smoking hot, often naked body.
Strange then that she told M she is shy by nature. In fact, she claims to be Hollywood's "ugly duckling".
Her latest role is Ava Lord, the Sin City sequel's titular Dame To Kill For.
Green fits the mould of the classic femme fatale. Too well, in fact, for the Motion Picture Association Of America.
It banned her racy promotional posters in the US for showing too much through her sheer gown.
Green had laughed off the hullabaloo, and it's pretty understandable too, considering that she spent most of the time topless in the movie, which opens here tomorrow.
The 34-year-old brunette, last seen as naval commander Artemisia in 300: Rise Of An Empire, told M that all the nudity and sexuality were no stronger than images found in more "cultural" places.
"It's like when you go to a museum and you see nude paintings," she said.
"It's like photography. It's not realistic. It's pure fantasy."
Green considered it ironic that she had the courage to strip for the camera, considering that she is anything but an extrovert.
"I think it's justified for Ava Lord since she uses her body to get what she wants.
"It's not as though it's nudity for nudity alone. It goes beyond that. It's for art."
The sequel to Robert Rodriguez's 2005 neo-noir Sin City - based on co-director Frank Miller's graphic novels - also sees the return of Jessica Alba as stripper Nancy Callahan, Mickey Rourke as the brutal thug-with-a-heart Marv and introduces Josh Brolin as Lord's lover Dwight.
Another reason Green did not mind stripping for her role was that she felt a connection with her character and wanted to portray her in all her glory.
"She's the perfect seductress. She has this incredible instinct, knows what men desire and she uses them as things to gain money and power.
"She's phenomenal and just fun because she's so evil - 100 per cent evil."
But Green didn't have much time to prepare for her role. She was cast at the movie's vamp only a week before production began. (For many years, the role had been assigned to Angelina Jolie.)
The Parisian beauty said she worked like a "mad woman" on her American accent while binge-watching film noir.
Being the newcomer on set at Rodriguez's Texas studio, Green admitted that she was a little intimidated by the big-name cast, and the fact that everybody seemed to know one other.
But Rodriguez's laid-back approach helped her feel at ease. That, and the welcoming vibes from everyone, especially co-star Brolin.
"I had the most scenes with him and he's just a great actor," she recalled.
"He was very supportive. He knew how anxious I was and helped to calm my nerves."
It's surprising to hear that Green still gets nervous on set, given that she has been acting since she was 23, making her film debut in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial The Dreamers 11 years ago.
"I'm very lucky to start with that film," the actress said.
"If it wasn't for that movie, I would not be doing this job.
"You never know what kind of success you'll have after one movie because you don't know what's around the corner from you.
Since that film, she's built an impressive resume, becoming a household name for playing Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006).
While she may feel the nerves on the set, she is determined not to succumb to the typical pressures placed on Hollywood's leading ladies - particularly when it comes to diet.
"I'm French, you know, so I like my red wine and my cheese," she said.
"I may run every day and all that, but life is too short not to indulge.
"Sometimes I feel like the ugly duckling because I don't have any crazy, drastic diet or something mad like that."
While she's entitled to think that she's an "ugly duckling", there's no denying that to the rest of the world, Green is stunningly gorgeous.
But being just another pretty face is far from Green's agenda.
Seemingly unaware of her own sex appeal, Green is flattered, almost bashful to be called beautiful, and would rather be "considered more as a good actress".
For Green, that means looking for roles that speak to her heart and characters that are fun to play and multi-faceted.
"It could be that in a few months, nobody will care about you, so it really all depends on the desire of the people. I'm lucky to be able to work, so I can't complain."
Alba reprises stripper role
If there are two labels that can be applied to Jessica Alba, they are "sexy" and "hot". She has been constantly described as such since she broke out in TV series Dark Angel.
And 14 years, a husband and two kids later, she is still smokin' hot.
Alba, 33, cranks up the heat in Sin City: A Dame To Die For, reprising stripper Nancy Callahan.
We look at the best of the Californian actress who also happens to be the head of a multi-million-dollar brand called Honest Company.
Dark Angel (2000-2002)
James Cameron handpicked Alba to star in his greatly hyped TV series where she played Max Guevara, a genetically modified supersoldier.
Men hailed Cameron a genius for putting Alba in skintight catsuits and getting her to straddle a motorbike each week.
The series limped to a second season before cancellation. But Alba went from a former child actress to lad mag regular almost instantly. In 2001, she even topped the coveted Maxim Hot 100 list.
Alba played the titular dancer who struggles to be a bona fide music videographer.
Let's be honest. This dance flick sucks.
But Alba popping and locking in tiny crop tops was enough to give her the big-screen break that she desired.
Sin City (2005)
Despite her "no nudity" policy, it's fair to say that Alba was extremely influential in helping Sin City become a global hit. As Nancy, the exotic dancer with a heart of gold, she showed that few can cut a sexier image in cowboy boots.
Into The Blue (2005)
A great example of creating an official excuse to get Alba into a teeny-weeny bikini. What else could it be? Paul Walker's buff bod? Eye candy is totally redefined, and the early underwater scenes are what gifs were made for.
The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Not an easy flick to stomach as it's very brutal in places, especially Alba's scenes. Her role as a prostitute into sadomasochism is a powerful reply to the critics about her acting ability.
- Joanne Soh
Many things can happen during a decade (okay, nine years). Where are the original Sin City fellas now?
Elijah Wood (Kevin)
He hasn't done much besides cable comedy Wilfred and a cameo in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Josh Hartnett (The Man)
Lead in acclaimed TV horror series Penny Dreadful, co-starring Eva Green.
Nick Stahl (Yellow Bastard)
A story that could fill pages. But in short, he got onto the wrong side of the law in 2012 and at one point went missing. Battling alcohol and substance abuse.
Clive Owen (Dwight)
This Oscar-nominee now headlines TV series The Knick.
Alexis Bledel (Becky)
This former Gilmore Girl popped up in Mad Men and made a sequel to Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants, to very little fanfare. Currently finding work on the independent circuit.
Devon Aoki (Miho)
Enjoying motherhood. Didn't reprise her Sin City role due to her second pregnancy.
Benicio Del Toro (Jackie Boy)
Played enigmatic role of The Collector in Summer hit Guardians Of The Galaxy.