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Eve lends air of British sophistication to raunch

Charles Ealy

Alice Eve seems an unlikely choice to play the love interest in a raunchy American comedy.

She's the daughter of British TV stars Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan. And she studied English at Oxford University, where her roles included Mabel in "An Ideal Husband" and Galactica in "Scenes from an Execution."

Her first film role came in "Stage Beauty" in 2004 with Rupert Everett, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes and Ben Chaplin. And she went on to appear in the London West End production of Tom Stoppard's "Rock N Roll."

So what's a nice British girl like this doing in "She's Out of My League"?

Eve, 28, says she respects filmmaking on both sides of the Atlantic and was happy to take the role of Molly, the girl who's "a hard 10" and at the top of the dating chain but falls for a guy who's struggling to hold his status as "a 5."

"When we make movies in England, we do it very well, but we don't do it very often," she says. "In the States, you do more of it, and there's much more of a financial interest in it. It's definitely a business. And that's why American moviemaking is such a success."

As for "She's Out of My League," she says, she auditioned in Los Angeles and quickly learned she got the role. "Then we made the whole movie in six weeks. It was all very efficient."

Eve also doesn't mind the raunchiness of her latest movie. "I think Molly is one of the nicest characters I've ever read on paper," she says of her character, who's a professional party planner. "There's usually a complication, and for Molly, it's her being concerned with money and how she looks." And when she meets Kirk, a geek played by Jay Baruchel, he holds up a mirror to her failings because he doesn't care about such things at all, she says.

Still, Eve doesn't see Molly as a shallow girl. "She really is the whole package," Eve says. "She's nice, she has a good business and she runs it very well."

But would Eve really ever fall for such a geek?

"I get that question all the time," she says, laughing. "But when you meet someone, the initial judgment that's based on looks lasts for about three seconds. Then the person comes through. And when you look at Kirk, you begin to realize he's very charming and funny. And that counts for a lot. So, yeah, I think I could fall for Kirk. Women are less prone to respond to an aesthetic than to the whole package."

Eve says she thinks people will compare "She's Out of My League" to the Ben Stiller/Cameron Diaz movie "There's Something About Mary."

"I think that's a happy comparison," she says. "I really loved that movie."

And she's already gearing up to promote her next American movie, "Sex and the City 2," which is scheduled to be released in May.

"I play Charlotte's nanny, and I'm Irish," she says. "It was amazing to be on that set with those women," including Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, who plays Charlotte. "It was an incredibly well-run set."

But Eve isn't saying much about her character, who some Internet bloggers believe will arouse Charlotte's suspicions about her husband's fidelity.

"Let's just say I play the nanny."

cealy@statesman.com; 445-3931