It’s been a long time since Alice Eve donned a blue Starfleet uniform in the 2013 film from J.J. Abrams, Star Trek: Into Darkness, which skyrocketed her into the middle of a national conversation about female representation. Now, she’s proving how far away she’s gone from her role as science office Carol Marcus in a new Instagram photo.
SO, ABOUT THAT ALICE EVE INSTAGRAM
Alice Eve took to her Instagram last week to share a pair of images of herself sporting a skin-tight leopard print dress from the designer Galvan London, a brand that specifically caters to female designers to design clothes that are just for women. It’s a far cry from the uniform she wore when she was in one of the three installments of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek franchise, but it’s still a hell of a lot more clothing than she wore in her infamous underwear scene for the movie.
In a recent interview with Inverse, Alice Eve discussed how her role in Star Trek: Into Darkness thrust her into the middle of a worldwide debate about how women are portrayed in science fiction. It’s an argument that raged online, though she doesn’t necessarily feel a part of it, even after almost ten years.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH STAR TREK?
The scene in question saw Alice Eve’s brilliant scientist character forced to strip down to just her undies for no real reason other than to include a scene in the movie where Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk ogles her. J.J. Abrams even said as much during a past appearance on Conan, according to CBR, admitting he might do the scene over again if given a chance. Even co-writer Damon Lindelof admitted years later that the scene was a bit gratuitous and didn’t give male Star Trek fans much credit for being able to enjoy a movie without needing boobies to hold their attention.
Still, Alice Eve noted in her interview that, to her, the scene marks the culmination of a lot of hard work with a personal trainer. While she understands the criticism she and the movie faced, she can only look back at that scene with pride. She notes she agreed to voluntarily do the scene and was excited about the prospect of working with a trainer to get in crazy good shape. It ultimately helped her achieve a personal fitness goal.
It’s easy for the two male filmmakers to come out in support of critics who were making some really good points in calling the moment misogynistic. After all, no one really wants to be in those particular crosshairs, even in the pre-#MeToo-awareness society that rebooted franchise sequel came out during. However, Alice Eve’s thoughts on the matter are more complicated.
Star Trek: Into Darkness can be criticized for a lot of things, not the least of which being whitewashing the infamous TV show and movie villain Khan Noonien Singh. However, at the time of its release in 2013, Alice Eve’s underwear scene seemed to be at the forefront of the audience’s criticism.
WHY DIDN’T ALICE EVE STAY WITH STAR TREK?
Some found it telling that Carol Marcus was not included in the third film in the franchise, Star Trek Beyond in 2016. Did she simply have too much connective tissue to everything people thought was bad Star Trek: Into Darkness? Well, it’s hard to say for certain. Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the third and final film in the franchise, noted on a past episode of the official Star Trek podcast (via io9) that the canonical crew of the Enterprise that everyone remembers from the show was already making the film overstuffed. While Alice Eve’s Carol Marcus has her place in Star Trek canon, having previously been played by Bibi Besch, Pegg noted that he just didn’t have anything for her to do. So, rather than kill her off or explain her absence with clunky dialogue, he just left her out of the project entirely.
It’s worth noting to diehard Star Trek fans that, as Den of Geek notes the original version of Carol Marcus had Kirk’s ill-fated son around the time that Star Trek: Beyond is supposed to take place in a different timeline so…feel free to accept whatever on or off-screen explanation tickles you the best. Regardless, the end result is that Alice Eve couldn’t use the blockbuster franchise as the jumping-off point her colleagues could.
BLACK MIRROR AND BEYOND
Fortunately, you can’t keep a good science fiction actress like Alice Eve out of the game for too long. As stated, she didn’t go on to have the same post-Star Trek career as her co-stars like Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana in the franchise. That group got to be in a third movie.
Instead, Alice Eve got to do some pretty noteworthy indie projects, such as the 2014 romantic comedy/drama Before We Go which she co-starred in alongside Captain America himself, Chris Evans, who was also making his first and only directorial debut. Other than some small cameo work and a few shorts, she also starred alongside Ferris Beuler’s Day Off star Matthew Broderick in the 2015 comedy Dirty Weekend. However, Alice Eve wouldn’t return to prominence again until 2016 when she appeared on the hit episode of Black Mirror titled Nosedive.
After that, Alice Eve’s career remained steady before she landed another breakout role in the Marvel and Netflix series Iron Fist. She was brought on in Season 2 as the character Mary Walker, an assassin plucked right from the pages of Marvel Comics. She both befriends and tries to kill Danny Rand after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, giving her two distinct personalities.
Now, Alice Eve is getting back to her roots with the movie Warning, her collaboration with female filmmaker Agata Alexander. It’s yet another return to the science fiction genre. The film sees Alice Eve play a character named Clair in a Black Mirror-style story that takes place in a near-future setting in which technology has run amuck. In this case, an Alexa-like device has become humanity’s substitute for God. Alice Eve’s character ritualistically prays to her device and even confesses her many sins to it. However, when it goes on the fritz, she’s plunged into a bit of an existential crisis — as is the viewer.