James Bond, as promised, will return this week.
It’s been a long road to Skyfall, Bond’s twenty-third outing, and as well as our review and red carpet interviews we had the chance to sit down with the cast and crew of the film and over the next three days we’ll be bringing you the six interviews.
We start today with Bérénice Marlohe who plays the ‘glamorous and enigmatic’ Sévérine in the film who talks about the legacy of being a Bond girl. Huge thanks to Neil Alcock AKA The Incredible Suit for being our man in the thick of it. If you haven’t been keeping up with his epic BlogalongaBond then now is the time to catch up. When it comes to Bond, nobody does it better.
Do you consider yourself a Bond Girl or a Bond Woman?
Honestly, I consider myself as a Bond, uh, beast! I consider myself as a Bond girl, Bond lady, Bond… I don’t know. I based my inspiration on a Greek mythical animal called the chimera, which is one animal with three heads – a snake head, a dragon head and a panther head – which is one I just made that way because this is what I wanted to do. So for me she’s a creature between a male, a female and an animal. And a dragon! So in that sense she’s more than a Bond girl. This character has a lot of depth and inner struggles – a heavy, meaningful past life, so it was great in the sense that it gave her a dimension of tragedy, like you see in theatres.
The Bond films have objectified women in the past. How do you feel about that? Is Skyfall different?
What appealed to me in the James Bond movies since the very beginning, in Dr No, is the woman in front of James Bond in the casino, smoking, talking to him and behaving like a man. I already felt the possibility in those characters to create something complex, so when I took this role I totally forgot about the fact that she’s a Bond girl because it’s abstract. It’s a beautiful, historical title but I can create anything from that. I just wanted to create a real human being with all the depth that comes with human beings and then play with all the beautiful clichés that come with Bond movies. Famke Janssen [Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye] was amazing, she was killing people with her thighs, having orgasms when killing people, it was a bold and very creative choice. So I felt like you can really put something interesting into this character.
Did you speak to any previous Bond girls for advice about this before filming? You were in a film recently with Sophie Marceau, did you get to chat with her about it?
I was in a film with Sophie, but I don’t know Sophie and I never met her. I didn’t ask anybody because it was very important for me to create my own role. All actors have their own experience, imagination and personalities – this is what’s so fascinating when you see someone on screen, you see his or her own life and subconscious appearing on screen. So I really wanted to create something which was mine.
Is it true that you had a premonition, a dream about working with Javier Bardem?
There were a lot of signs, actually, driving me through this Bond experience, and that was one among them. One year before Skyfall would start, I had this dream with Javier Bardem, which was strange because I never dream about actors or actresses. When I woke up I felt very peaceful and grounded, like I was being told by the universe, “Go on, that way!” And one year later, during the second audition when I met Sam Mendes, he told me I would have to act with Javier, and I had this feeling of being very connected to myself and everything at that moment. The universe is powerful sometimes!
Did you tell Javier that you had this dream?
I think he knows now!
People will call you a Bond girl forever, do you mind that?
Well why not, it’s a great honour. I always felt very connected with the Bond movies and the Bond music – the orchestration is powerful – and I’ve always felt that, so it’s an honour actually.