“Javier is a wonderful, wonderful actor and he has a wonderful sense of fun and understands what we’re trying to achieve with Skyfall. He’s an incredibly precious actor but he’s not precious about his acting”|
“I’ve always thought that Daniel is an extraordinary actor.... And he’s brought this new thing to Bond, I guess you could call it a different flavour to Bond, and it’s very interesting”
How much have you seen of Skyfall so far?
Just the trailer and it looks pretty good (laughs).
The Bond films are almost a genre on their own. What was it like to be part of such a huge film with all that history behind it?
It was truly enjoyable and fun and also very creative in the sense that the material is really good, and Sam (Mendes) and I worked to construct the character the way that we thought would be most interesting. At least that’s what we tried to do, and I hope we succeeded. The process was very rewarding. Sam likes to work closely with actors and so in a funny way I never felt the pressure one would normally feel doing a movie as big as this one. With Sam and the other actors, we were always finding different ways to hit the scene until Sam was happy about it.
So it surprised you?
Yes, in a way it did. Prior to doing the movie I thought it might be different, you know, you would go in there and hit the nail on the head and that would be it. But it was much more creative than that. Sam was open to different interpretations and I was blessed to have such great actors around me who helped me get into the scene right in the instant, because they are so good at doing what they do.
What originally attracted you to the project? The chance to work with Sam or the script? Or just being part of a Bond movie?
It was a combination of everything — the chance to work with Sam, the script, a strong character, all of it. I read the script and the story is pretty powerful beyond being a James Bond movie. And the chance to work with Sam Mendes was a big part of it for me. And then he told me about the cast and of course Daniel (Craig) was there and I’ve always thought that he is an extraordinary actor.... And he’s brought this new thing to Bond, I guess you could call it a different flavour to Bond, and it’s very interesting. So when Sam told me who was in the cast around me and we discussed how we would work together to create the character, to take him to where we needed to take him, I thought it was a gift — great director, wonderful cast, powerful story and on top of that it’s a James Bond movie. What’s wrong with that? Nothing!
What can you tell us about Silva?
Sam gave me total freedom. He listens to his actors, and he pays a lot of attention and he tries different things, which I love. Often, he will try and do the opposite of what is expected and that’s a lot of fun. He really asks you to get involved in the process in a different way. And I would say that the character, Silva, is all down to him. I brought some ideas too, but he was the one who, along with the screenwriters, pointed out the direction. I’m not sure how much I should give away because we want to keep some surprises for the audience when they go to see the film, but we were able to play with the genre, what’s expected of a character in a genre film like this. Sam said, and I thought it was a really good idea, that when you are doing a James Bond movie, especially if you are the villain, you are playing the middle ground between fiction and reality. And that’s the combination that we tried to achieve.