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Eiza González Talks ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,’ ‘3 Body Problem’ Season 2 and Her Real-Life ‘Ambulance’ Sequel

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From a certain point of view, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare star Eiza González may have just played the original real-life Bond girl.

Ungentlemanly Warfare, the first of González’s three Guy Ritchie movies to hit theaters, is loosely based on the recently declassified Operation Postmaster, chronicling Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) and their covert mission to neutralize Nazi Germany’s U-boats during World War II. The efforts of these unauthorized commandos and spies helped change the course of the war, allowing the United States to then join the European Theater of Operations in 1942. 

In the action-thriller, González plays Marjorie Stewart, a talented soldier-spy who’s equally gifted as a performer. Together with Babs Olusanmokun’s Heron, Stewart set up shop at the Nazi-frequented island of Fernando Po, where they communicated the Nazis’ latest comings and goings to their fellow SOE personnel, including a group of commandos that’s led by Henry Cavill’s Gus March-Phillipps. In real life, Stewart never participated in Operation Postmaster, but she did play a key role in its development, so González aimed to have her character reflect and honor all of the brave women of the SOE. 

Oddly enough, Stewart actually married March-Phillipps shortly after the operation, and it’s believed that novelist Ian Fleming, who’s also a character in the film, partially based the character of James Bond on March-Phillips himself. So Cavill, who was once the runner-up to play Bond in Casino Royale, is perfect casting in more ways than one. Unfortunately, Stewart and March-Phillipps’ marriage didn’t last long, as he died in action just months after they were wedded. She proceeded to have a career in Hollywood, so her background in espionage and future in show business make a compelling case that she was the blueprint for all fictional Bond girls.

González, Cavill and Ritchie debated whether to acknowledge their future relationship beyond the epilogue text that leads into the closing credits, but in the end, they decided to focus on their individual contributions during Operation Postmaster. 

“We thought of a couple of ideas, but it ultimately felt way stronger with where it landed than digging into the romantic side,” González tells The Hollywood Reporter. “As a woman, you read a lot of these roles where you are an add-on to the male counterpart or a love interest or in a love situation, but it’s been a minute since I’ve played those roles. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with those roles, but it’s exciting that you can honor certain individual women for their own personal capacities.”

González has already reunited with Cavill on the set of Ritchie’s 2025 film, In the Grey, while also reteaming with her Ambulance co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. The 2022 actioner is Michael Bay’s best-reviewed film since 1996’s The Rock, and it includes a beloved scene where Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II sing along to Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” while sharing AirPods. And what puts the scene over the top is González’s character’s bewilderment in response to these two adoptive, bank-robbing brothers. Well, as fate would have it, “Sailing” came on the radio while González, Gyllenhaal and Cavill shared a car on the Tenerife-based set of In the Grey.

“It is absolutely bonkers … Henry [Cavill], Jake and I were in a car in Tenerife, and [Christopher Cross’] ‘Sailing’ was playing on the radio,” González recalls. “And I said to Jake, ‘How funny is it that this song is playing right now?’ And he was like, ‘That is mental.’ And Henry was like, ‘What are you guys talking about?’ And we were like, ‘Oh, nothing.’”

Below, during a recent conversation with THR, González also discusses the connection between Baby Driver and 3 Body Problem, before explaining how she had a hand in casting Rosamund Pike for In the Grey.

So The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is your first of three Guy Ritchie movies?

It’s the first out of three! A year and a half ago, I was begging to be a part of this movie, and here I am, as we speak, on my third set with him. It’s actually so wild now that people keep bringing it up.

He’s released six movies and a TV show in the past five years, and as you just said, the two of you have two more movies [In the Grey and Fountain of Youth] on the way. Have you asked Guy why he’s working like there’s no tomorrow? Is he worried that the San-Ti are arriving soon? [Writer’s Note: The San-Ti are the aliens that are headed for Earth in 3 Body Problem.]

(Laughs.) I think that he thinks the San-Ti are coming. He’s in a rush, for sure! That’s hilarious. I actually talked to him about this three days ago. I was asking him about something else, and he was like, “I never like to stop.” When he’s on set, he’s just in the zone, and his crew is very much a family. I’ve worked with them for three movies in a row, and they’re just wonderful human beings. The environment on set is incredible, and his wonderful family also comes to visit often. So it’s nice to be working with sweet people that believe in you and push you. Guy really challenges me and I really like that about him. I really feel like I want to be around people that push me further into doing things that I didn’t think I was capable of doing. 

Eiza González in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Dan Smith/Lionsgate

Marjorie Stewart is an intelligent British soldier-spy/performer who speaks many languages, and she is one of those characters who always seems like she’s a step ahead. Is confidence the ultimate key to creating that impression onscreen?

I appreciate that you say that. It may seem like I’m confident, but I don’t feel that way, especially when we get thrown into the vortex of Guy Ritchie. Five minutes before a scene, he’ll be like, “Can you sing this in German? Can you say this line in French? Can you say this in Italian?” I am a true believer that preparation is everything. Just be ready for everything. And that means, in your free time, expand yourself: Learn and study to expand with dialogue and dialect. Ultimately, whether it works or not, that builds confidence and helps you step onto set with a different energy, even if you’re being thrown the scenes at the last minute.

With this specific character, I really worked on the accent for a very long time, longer than I was told to. For years, I’d been wanting to do something with a British accent, because I’ve managed to be able to play American, and as a Mexican woman, I got into acting because I wanted to transform in everything and into everything. If I wanted to play a Mexican woman for the rest of my life, I probably would’ve just stayed in Mexico. What I love about the craft is that you can be anything. So, for a very long time, I’ve wanted to play English, and it’s all about trial and error. Everyone is quite a perfectionist, and it’s really hard when you’re in a world where everyone is going to have an opinion of your craft, but you have to just take the leap of faith. I don’t think that everything I do is a hit, but I still try to push myself. 

So that’s why someone like Marjorie was so thrilling to me. I knew I was going to have to be able to do all of this on the fly and really be up to the task, and I think Guy also saw that in me. He saw the passion and the desire that I had, and that’s why he likes to work with me as well. He likes people who want to grow and want to be better, and are open to anything.

As far as the British accent, did it help that you had just spent nearly a year in the U.K. filming 3 Body Problem, with a sizable British cast?

​​Yes, it definitely helped. I felt way more comfortable. I’ve always been quite passionate about languages. [Writer’s Note: Gonzalez is nearly quadrilingual.] It’s one of my personal passions, and so I always pay extra attention to dialogue and accents and pronunciation and cadence. So, being there for a year, you become acquainted with certain things that you hear. So, yes, it definitely helped, and then I worked with [dialect coach] William Conacher, who’s worked on The Crown. [Ungentlemanly Warfare lead dialect coach] Hazel Holder was also with me on set, so it’s just about trying. You’ve got to try.

I always see Swedish, Australian and American actors playing everything, so that’s the model that I’ve wanted to have with my own career. I don’t want to be limited by anything; I just want to be able to do it all. And the only thing that people will base [their casting decision] off is whether you can do it or not. It’s as simple as that. I don’t think there’s a pre-made idea. If you can do it, people will jump on the horse with you. So all I can focus on is doing it and working on it.

I know Ungentlemanly Warfare is meant to be a thrilling action movie, but I really did feel a sense of optimism coming out of it. Sometimes, all it takes is a half-dozen people to do the right thing in order to prevent widespread disaster. And given that it’s a complicated time in the world, has this movie also made you ponder today’s heroic people whose classified stories aren’t yet making headlines?

Oh, absolutely. This [Operation Postmaster] information just got declassified in 2016. It’s brand new information, comparatively speaking, to everything that is out there right now. So, it absolutely makes me think about that, especially with what’s going on in the world. I educated myself about the hard work of the women in the SOE [Special Operations Executive], and I’m honored to be able to dig into one of these stories.

I’ve always wanted to tell stories about World War I and World War II, and I’ve always just admired the tenacity of the people in these eras. They were made out of something different. They’re different from people in the 21st century. We’ve become so comfortable. And speaking for myself, when I read the unbelievable stories of these women, I feel useless in comparison. The things they had to go through just to survive were really spectacular, and all I can have is pure admiration. 

So it’s hard to say what’s happening in the world. The world is literally all over the place at the moment, whether it’s in the U.S. or outside of it, and I just hope that people feel the same way that you felt coming out of this movie. That’s the intention of this film; it’s to feel like there’s hope. This was a small, random mission that Churchill went rogue with, and it worked. It literally changed the absolute trajectory of World War II, and people don’t know about it. So I’m hopeful. 

In real life, Marjorie married Henry’s character, Gus March-Phillipps, after this operation. I know you had parallel stories in the movie, but were you and Henry, in your few scenes, able to plant that seed with a wink or a nod?

It’s so funny that you say that. We went through a couple of ideas at one point, and Guy wanted specific things. So we went back and forth on maybe adding some scenes, but then I just felt that the way that they wrapped the film is way stronger. It’s not feeding into any love story, and not that it’s not important, but it’s more about honoring their individuality as spies and what they accomplished. And then it just so happened that they got together afterwards. So we thought of a couple of ideas, but it ultimately felt way stronger with where it landed than digging into the romantic side. As a woman, you read a lot of these roles where you are an add-on to the male counterpart or a love interest or in a love situation, but it’s been a minute since I’ve played those roles. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with those roles, but it’s exciting that you can honor certain individual women for their own personal capacities, separate from their personal relationships. 

You’ve told me before about how it’s important for you to defy perception, and I bring that up because I thought your opening scene on Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024) was pure genius. You and Alex Skarsgard helped subvert expectations, as your introductory versions of Mr. and Mrs. Smith were swiftly removed from the equation. So the two of you made the point that the series is not remaking the 2005 movie and that anyone can be Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Totally! That was the intention. It was really leaning into the looks and the makeup and the hair, but let’s make no mistake here, I’m a ginormous fan of Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005], the original movie. Yes, Angelina [Jolie] and Brad [Pitt] in that movie were the ultimate dream, and that’s what we were sold for many years. As an audience member myself, I remember thinking, “Oh, if I want to be a movie star, I have to be like her,” or someone who has a certain level of capacities, action-wise. So I loved when they invited us to be part of this project; I thought, “What a way to play into what people also like to put me in.” It’s a joke, and I like to make jokes about myself because I don’t take myself too seriously.

There’s a big joke on 3 Body Problem where Jovan [Adepo’s character, Saul] mentions that I look like an action actress from bad action movies, and I find that line hilarious. [Adepo’s Saul says, “You’re beautiful in a boring way. You’re like a movie star, but from really bad movies. You’d be the bad girl in Speed 3.”] By the way, when we were doing it, I didn’t think anything of it. I wasn’t like, “Oh my God, this is a personal attack on me.” On the contrary, it has much more to do with the social concept versus my own individuality. People get an idea based on someone’s look or superficial imagery, and think, “Oh, this is what they are.” And so I like to subvert that and turn it on its head. 

So my performance on Mr. & Mrs. Smith is dramatic, cheesy, campy and melodramatic, playing into how funny and ironic it was as a counter [to Maya Erskine and Donald Glover’s versions of the characters]. I obviously was familiar with what they were going to do, and it just fed more into how sharp and witty their take is. Again, I like to make fun of myself, sometimes. It’s important. I also like to use myself as a vessel to show, “Oh, this is what you would think, right? You think this or that about me.” And at the same time, I also like to take roles that are the complete opposite, such as 3 Body Problem, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and La Máquina, the show I did with Gael [García Bernal] and Diego [Luna] for Hulu this year. So I just like to really subvert the idea of what you would think of someone.

3 Body Problem began with Auggie ignoring Saul’s [Jovan Adepo] call, and the season ended with her ignoring Saul’s call. To her, it’s better not to call Saul. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) 

(Laughs.)

However, at the end, when she’s in Mexico, she no longer has Saul’s photo set to appear when he calls. His photo did appear when he called at the start of the season. 

Wow, that’s a good observation!

Thank you. So she’s really intent on distancing herself from her guilty conscience and her friends.

Absolutely. Auggie’s arc is really intense in season one. [Co-creators] Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff] and Alexander [Woo] really went for it. If there’s one role in that season that they took a big swing at, it’s Auggie. They really leaned into a lot of things that people weren’t expecting. She’s not necessarily meant to be likable; she’s not a likable character. She’s a woman who’s in a complicated state, and there’s messiness that comes with it. So Auggie is just at a very interesting breaking point when we meet her in season one, and ultimately, you always have to trust [your showrunners], knowing what Dan and Dave did with eight seasons of [Game of Thrones]. They do know where to take characters, and not everything that we currently think of a character is what’s always going to be. So I’m just really excited about the potential opportunity of a second season happening and what the possibilities for Auggie are. We leave her behind at the end of season one, technically. So we don’t know where she’s going to be next, physically and emotionally, and that’s pretty exciting as an actress.

Eiza González as Auggie Salazar in episode 106 of 3 Body Problem.

Ed Miller/Netflix

Did you tell Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] to cool it on the tequila jokes? 

(Laughs.) Yes, no more tequila jokes! By the way, isn’t it funny that it’s the same joke that Jamie Foxx says in Baby Driver? I thought that was hilarious.

Whoa, that connection passed me by. Yeah, Jamie Foxx’s character spoiled the punchline. Were your 3 Body Problem writers aware of that? 

I think they may have been, to be honest, but it’s a nice callback to that. Auggie’s reaction to [Benedict Wong’s character, Clarence] cracking that joke is hilarious because she’s so dry. She’s such an interesting cat. I know that she’s such a complex girl, but I like her.

I’m still enamored with Michael Bay’s Ambulance, and you and Jake Gyllenhaal reunited in your next Guy Ritchie movie, In the Grey. Did the crew ever reference or play “Sailing” around the two of you?

It is absolutely bonkers that you just asked that. Henry [Cavill], Jake and I were in a car in Tenerife, and [Christopher Cross’] “Sailing” was playing on the radio. And I said to Jake, “How funny is it that this song is playing right now?” And he was like, “That is mental.” And Henry was like, “What are you guys talking about?” And we were like, “Oh, nothing.” (Laughs.) But it totally happened. By the way, it’s not a song that plays too often on the radio, so it was very strange.

I not only reconnected with Henry and Jake on In the Grey, but also with Rosamund Pike, who I’ve been dying to work with again. So being on that set felt like Groundhog Day. I called Rosamund and asked, “Can you please do this movie with me? I really miss you.” And because she’s just so cool, she was like, “I’m down. I have some days off. Should I come?” So I connected her with Guy, and I basically cast Rosamund Pike in In the Grey.

Yeah, I had a feeling you helped recruit Rosamund Pike. The two of you bonded on I Care a Lot, and then she helped convince you to do 3 Body Problem. She and her partner, Robie Uniacke, happened to own the book rights at one point, so they executive produced the series.

That was so random. I actually called her to tell her that I was thinking of doing it, and she was like, “Wait, you’re up for it?” And I was like, “Yes!” And she was like, “That is so crazy.” And I was like, “How do you not know? Aren’t you a producer?” And she was like, “Yeah, but Dan and Dave are being super secretive about who they want. They are so specific about their creative choices.” So it was a surprise for her, too, but all roads lead to Rosamund Pike, I think.

Have you seen Flying Lotus’ Ash, co-starring Aaron Paul, yet?

I have seen Ash, and I’m so excited about it!

Lastly, during Marjorie’s climactic musical performance in Ungentlemanly Warfare, she makes a very dangerous mistake. When you make a mistake at work, how do you typically handle it? Do you beat yourself up over it, or do you just tell yourself that you won’t repeat it the next take or the next day? 

It depends. This is the funny part about our industry. Just when you think you’ve conquered certain fears, you haven’t. Something will be sprung on you in the moment, but that’s also the beauty of our craft in that you always have to be open. So I tend to do both, and it just depends on my state of mind and how I’m feeling. I’m quite a perfectionist, and I’m trying to learn how to let that go, but I will think about a mistake for months and months. So I have to let performances exist, and sometimes, personal things or moments in life will feed a performance. It might work or it might not work, but you just have to be kind to yourself, ultimately. I try to be as kind as possible with myself, but I’m also contradicting myself, because I like to take really ballsy jobs. I don’t make safe choices. Funnily enough, you asked about Ash, and that’s definitely not a safe movie. It’s definitely not a safe movie to be the first movie that I basically lead on my own for the most part, but I like to be challenged to such an extent. It’s in my nature. So I like to push myself as hard as possible, and that can sometimes be really dangerous when it comes to mistakes or letting things go. I don’t forgive myself that easily.

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The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is now playing in movie theaters

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