There's a scene in Paolo Sorrentino's new film, This Must Be the Place, in which Sean Penn, who stars as a reclusive, aging Robert Smith-esque rock star, is asked why he never had children. "Rock stars shouldn't have kids because you run the risk that your daughter becomes a wacky stylist," he snorts. Actress Eve Hewson, 21, who costars with Penn and is the daughter of U2's Bono, says she's pretty familiar with that assumption. Mostly because, well, it's true. "I thought that line was actually quite accurate; you're either a model or a jewelry designer," Hewson says of her fellow rock star spawn and their eventual careers. It's harder to fake it as an actress, she says, "because if you're really bad, then you're just really bad. People are going to be more accepting of you if you're actually talented." And Hewson is. Her restrained performance as the sullen Mary, a platonic teenage companion of Penn's, helps carry much of the first portion of the film. Clearly, this role wasn't simply handed to her.
As a teenager, Hewson had a brief rebellious phase similar to her gothy character's. "I hated the world and was like, 'Screw you guys!' to my parents. I got over that real quick," she says. Sadly, this phase did not include skateboarding, which she had to learn for the film. "I took lessons in New York from this really cool skater guy and I was so, so bad. He had me skate around with him and his friends in the Meatpacking District and I was wearing a helmet and pads and looked like this stupid turtle trying to catch up to these cool guys."
Next up Hewson will star in a still-untitled Nicole Holofcener movie, but will first finish up her degree in drama at NYU. "I'm taking a psychology course about the way your brain functions when you sleep," she says. "I got weirdly obsessed with psychology in college, but I'm mostly taking it because the professor reminds me of Kevin Spacey. Picture Kevin Spacey lecturing you. It's amazing."
Stylist: Luigi Tadini / Hair: Miok for Wella Professionals for Judy Casey, Inc. / Makeup: Genevieve for Sally Harlor
Eve wears a jacket and skirt by Versace, shirt by Sophie Theallet and jewelry by Eddie Borgo.