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Alice Eve has barely installed herself at our table in a Hollywood restaurant when the waitress comes over to relay a message from a group of men sitting on the far side of the room.

It is a brash invitation for the up-and-coming 30-year-old British actress to join them at an Oscar party that night.

“Tell them I’ll get back to them later,” she tells the waitress sternly, although it’s not clear she ever will: she’s already accepted an invitation to that evening’s hottest engagement – the Vanity Fair Oscar party – and after that, she says, she’s going straight on to another bash. Eve’s social calendar may be bursting at the seams but so, too, is her professional diary.

In it, Eve takes the role of Young Agent Oh, a character played in her later years by Emma Thompson.

Between now and June she is reporting daily to Sony’s Los Angeles studio to film J J Abrams’s next Star Trek movie, in which she has a significant role that remains shrouded in secrecy.

“I’m not allowed to say anything about it,” she says, before admitting that the atmosphere on set is “like a university; everyone’s in it together, mucking in”.

It has reunited her with an old pal, fellow British actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

They last worked together on the 2006 British romantic comedy Starter for Ten and he has since gone on to conquer the small screen in the BBC’s Sherlock.

“Ben’s so funny,” she says, adding with a grin, “we’ve been out three nights on the trot…” But first, Eve will appear in British cinemas next week in not one, but two new films: The Decoy Bride with David Tennant and The Raven opposite John Cusack.

The latter, from James Mc Teigue, the director of V for Vendetta, is a fictionalised account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life.

Eve plays the writer’s fiancée, kidnapped by a serial killer whose murders mirror those in Poe’s stories.

Co-starring Cusack, Luke Evans and Brendan Gleeson, it is, perhaps, her biggest break to date. “It was a very physical shoot,” says Eve, sipping her coffee.

“I had to go through everything [the character] had to go through, including being buried alive.

It was particularly gruesome with that bleak Serbian, almost vampiric landscape.” But, she adds, that was nothing compared to the challenges she faced on the set of the thriller ATM, yet another of her films awaiting release, for which she was required to do four weeks of night-time shoots in bitterly cold Winnipeg, an experience she describes as “blood, sweat and tears – the most intense shoot I’ve been on”.

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