It’s not easy being a Bond girl. Sure, it means a high-profile role in the most time-honored action series of all time and some screen time next to a living, breathing sex symbol, but most of the woman in 007′s life either don’t survive to the credits or have names like Christmas Jones and claim to be nuclear physicists.
But with the Daniel Craig era of the series, the typical Bond girl has taken a turn toward placing her on even footing with her co-star with a license to kill.
When we spoke with the two women vying for Bond’s affection his latest adventure, “Skyfall,” Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe shared their experiences attempting to create modern Bond girls.
For Marlohe, it meant breathing some humanity into her character, Sévérine. “She’s a real modern Bond girl because I wanted her to be, first of all, a real human being,” she said. “But at the same time, what I really love in Bond movies is that the characters are a bit higher in the reality. So we could have a lot of fun creating something real, complex, but also high in colors.”
While Marlohe handled the more traditional Bond girl role, Harris had to the pressure of filming action sequence as Eve, an MI6 field agent. “It’s really nerve-wracking doing the action stuff, actually. I’ve never really done it before, and it’s much more precise than regular acting, because of course, if something goes wrong and you’ve got a gun in your hand with ammunition,” she said. “Even though they’re blanks, they can still take out someone’s eye. You’ve got to be really, really careful, and also sets falling down, all of these very precise things. It’s a lot more pressured than regular acting.”
When it really comes down to it, what largely decides the legacy of a single Bond girl is her interactions with the man himself, and that means working closely with Craig. In the case of one scintillating shower scene, that meant working very closely with Craig. But for Marlohe, the word that kept coming to mind when describing her time filming that scene was “fun.”
“It was very funny actually because I was lucky he is so funny, and I love to have fun,” Marlohe said. “It’s so important also to feel very relaxed and to just feel a connection with the other actor because then you get to see it on screen. It was great. It was a great moment to film.”
And even though Craig can keep it light on set, he does, at least according to Harris, turn on the Bond when the cameras roll. “He said in interviews that Bond is very different from him, so I think to be able to inhabit that space, you’ve got to click into something that’s outside of yourself and inhabit a completely different space, and that’s what he does brilliantly,” Harris said.
But what about the five other actors who played Bond? Both ladies agreed that Connery takes the cake, but Marlohe gave a special tip of the hat to the most underappreciated 007. “I think Timothy Dalton is very sexy too,” she said.
Harris couldn’t quite agree. “Not sure about that one.”
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