Credit: Getty Images/Larry Busacca

From badass Bond girl in Casino Royale to swashbuckling Persian naval commander in 300: Rise of an Empire, French actress Eva Green has a knack for playing memorable (read: kickass) characters. Her chilling portrayal of Vanessa Ives in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is no different. She’s a force to be reckoned with on the creepy new drama set in Victorian London.

For an actress with so much on-screen gusto, it’s hard to believe that the 33-year-old is often described as shy in the press. So let’s take a look at the woman behind the action heroine. Here are five things to know about Eva Green.

1. She has a twin sister. Eva is two minutes older than her twin sister Joy. The non-identical twins were born on July 5, 1980. Eva clearly took to acting at a young age after her mother put her in acting classes to help her become more social. She studied at the Saint Paul Drama School in Paris for three years, before heading the Tisch School of Arts at New York University to study directing. Her twin sister Joy, on the other hand, studied business and is married to an Italian count.

2. She’s a dog person. Being in-demand obviously has its perks — hello, steady income! — but it also doesn’t leave a ton of time for dating. Thankfully, Eva is head over heels for her  border terrier Griffin. In an interview with The Age, she jokingly called him her “husband.”

Credit: Showtime

3. She doesn’t like watching herself on the big screen. You would think that actors get into the movie biz because they like looking at themselves on the big screen, but think again. “I’m very self-conscious, or something,” she told The Huffington Post. “Maybe it's kind of a narcissistic thing, but not in a good way. I just can't watch myself. You know how some actors when they film, they go straight to the monitor and kind of go, "Okay." I should learn and do it — maybe one day [laughs].”

4. She enjoys playing classical music. Eva studied piano and flute at school and enjoys playing classical music. We wonder if we’ll be seeing Vanessa Ives at the piano anytime soon!

5. She doesn’t do it for the money. In 2010, Eva was promoting the DVD release of her indie film Cracks (2009). She told The Guardian of the stylish indie: "It was good for the soul. I feel sick if I have to do something for the money. I can't breathe. I'm not proud of myself." She later told the A.V. Club in 2011, “If you need the money, you do a big-budget movie.”

Are you excited for the premiere of Penny Dreadful? (You can watch the first episode here.) Or are you just excited to see Eva Green on the small screen? Sound off in the comments!

Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!