Study Guide

All About Eve Admiration

Admiration

EVE: I'd like anything Miss Channing played in...

MARGO: Would you, really? How sweet.

LLOYD: I doubt very much that you'd like her in The Hairy Ape.

EVE: Please, don't misunderstand me, Mr. Richards. I think that part of Miss
Channing's greatness lies in her ability to pick the best plays... your new play is for Miss Channing, isn't it?

Eve has a childlike blind admiration for Margo that Lloyd definitely doesn't share. However, Eve is capable of showing that she admires Lloyd, too, flattering two people for the price of one.

MARGO: All the religions in the world rolled into one, and we're Gods and Goddesses...

Fame hasn't changed much in the last half century, has it? In the 1950s, theater actors were the pinnacle of celebrity. They were nervous about Hollywood, and maybe for good reason. Today, it's Hollywood film stars we revere as Gods and Goddesses, and they're probably worried about TV stars and YouTube sensations…

LLOYD: Week after week, to thousands of people, you're as young as you want...

MARGO: ... as young as they want, you mean. I'm not interested in whether thousands of people think I'm six or six hundred.

Margo, unlike Eve, is skeptical of fame. She'd much rather respect herself than have six hundred people do it for her.

ADDISON: Every now and then, some elder statesman of the Theater or cinema assures the public that actors and actresses are just plain folks. Ignoring the fact that their greatest attraction to the public is their complete lack of resemblance to normal human beings.

Addison has a good point here. We're obsessed with celebrities' personal lives but still want to see them as different from us. Therefore, People magazine. Every day, millions of people have babies, buy clothes, or make lasagna. When Fergie or Ben Affleck do it, though, it's newsworthy and more exciting.

EVE: Why, if there's nothing else, there's applause. It's like…like waves of love coming over the footlights and wrapping you up. Imagine...to know, every night, that different hundreds of people love you... they smile, their eyes shine…you've pleased them, they want you, you belong. Just that alone is worth anything...

Over fifty years before Lady Gaga, Eve Harrington does what she does for the applause. Eve only feels important when she has the praise of an audience being piled upon her. This is a clue that she's a little unbalanced; she has zero sense of self except in the audience's image of her. The audience's applause is the only love she gets in her life.

EVE: The end of an old road, and the beginning of a new one...

ADDISON: All paved with diamonds and gold?

EVE: You know me better than that.

ADDISON: Paved with what, then?

EVE: Stars.

Eve's not in it for the money. Fame is what she craves, no matter what she has to do to get it. Do you think that's true for most actors today—that they'd rather have recognition for their art than the big bucks? Bruce Willis made $10 million for Look Who's Talking II but was willing to work for about $20,000/week to be in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece Pulp Fiction.