Eve Hewson: “James Gandolfini took me in and looked after me”

The daughter of Bono and rising actress remembers her on-set stint with Tony Soprano

There are many great things about Netflix’s creepy-as-anything new psychological thriller, the Hitchcockian Behind Her Eyes, which looks at a strange threesome that develops between a grumpy psychologist, his lonely wife and the psychologist’s office assistant. But one of the best is that lonely wife, played to eerie perfection by Eve Hewson, the Brooklyn-based, Ireland-born actor who last year made waves in BBC One’s gold rush drama The Luminaries.

We spoke to her about shooting the show in London, having rock ’n’ roll genes – her dad is U2 frontman Bono – and working with the late, great James Gandolfini.

Behind Her Eyes
‘Behind Her Eyes’ arrives on Netflix February 17. CREDIT: Netflix

So you’re usually based in New York…

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“I live in Williamsburg, or I did I guess, until the pandemic. I’ve been living in New York for 10 years and I hadn’t spent much time in London ever until we shot this and I fell in love with it.”

What one place in London are you missing?

“I’m probably going to say something snobby, like the Chiltern Firehouse! I miss going down into the smoking area. If you go past the girl’s bathroom there’s a whole other world down there and you meet all these mental characters.”

Your Behind Her Eyes character, Adele, is very icy – I was getting Kim Novak in Vertigo energy. Who was your inspiration?

“There were a few people that I’ve met in my life actually! Real people. But also, I’m obsessed with this movie The Orphan. I watched it years ago in college and was just obsessed with Isabelle Fuhrman’s performance. I kept referencing it when we were shooting, even though everyone was like: ‘I don’t know that movie, what are you talking about’.”

Behind Her Eyes
In ‘Behind Her Eyes’, Hewson plays the wife in a strange threesome that develops. CREDIT: Netflix

Adele sports some very chic looks. What do her fashion choices say about her character?

“That she’s probably not doing much with her day! I think the creams and the satins and the silks and all the dry cleaning that would have to go into keeping up a wardrobe like that means she’s not running around doing many errands. She’s just sitting at home painting her nails.”

There’s a scene where you’re painting to a Razorlight soundtrack…

“I love that song! [It] reminds me of being 14 years old and going to music festivals for the first time.”

Speaking of music, your brother is in Inhaler – are you a proud sister? Do you go to all of their gigs?

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“Yes, embarrassingly! They call me their ‘mom’. I go to their gigs and I’m like a mum, filming it all on my phone and putting it on Instagram. I’ll go backstage and think I’m being cool, hanging out with all the lads and they go, ‘Hey, Mom’ and automatically I feel like an old lady.”

Bono
(L-R) Alison Hewson with her husband Bono, and their two daughters Eve and Jordan Hewson. CREDIT: Getty

What’s been their greatest ever show?

“Their best was at the Roxy – when they were supporting Blossoms in LA. I’ve never seen my brother like that, he was on fire. I was crying. I brought all my friends, and I was saying: ‘Wait until you see my brother, he’s so incredible on stage.’ They’re going, ‘I’m sure you’re just being biassed’. And they came on and they looked at me like, ‘What is going on, this is unbelievable!’”

You were at David Byrne’s American Utopia show on Broadway at the end of 2019 too…

“That was actually the third time I saw that show! It was magical. He’s a genius. I’m such a fan. I just sat in the front going, ‘I was in a movie with that guy once’ because the first movie I ever did was called This Must Be The Place and David Byrne was in it.”

Live music must be in your blood. Were you taken to your dad’s shows when you were little?

“Yeah, I was just a little blob and they just put big earphones on me.”

Eve Hewson
Alongside James Gandolfini in his final film performance ‘Enough Said’. CREDIT: Alamy

What’s this I hear about you being a Kings of Leon stalker?

“Did they say that I was a stalker?! Here’s the thing, they used to drop mine and my sister’s names in interviews back in the day and it used to piss off my mum and dad a lot, so I should really get them back! They used to tour with U2 when I was 13 and my sister was 15. We obviously had a huge crush on them, but they were 18 so we just sort of ran after them and got kicked out of a few after parties!”

You played James Gandolfini’s daughter in his last ever film, Enough Said. What was it like working with such a master?

“It was beautiful. I look back on how lucky I was. I was 20 at the time, playing his and Catherine Keener’s daughter with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s just a joke. It was a magical, magical time. He took me in and looked after me. I just remember him being a very generous, warm presence and everybody adored him. He walked into a room and everybody wanted to be around him. He made you feel safe and it was exciting acting with him. He was always doing something new and trying something new. It’s really sad that we lost him and so soon after we worked together. I was so hoping that we would have a really good friendship.”

‘Behind Her Eyes’ debuts on Netflix tomorrow (February 17)

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