How excited are you about the release?
I’m really excited. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything where there’s been so much build up to it beforehand. Because with Bond there was a press conference before we even started filming! I’ve never been involved with something like that before. And everyone gets really excited about a Bond movie and they want to know about all the secrets you are not allowed to tell (laughs). And then throughout filming you are doing interviews and there’s so much attention and excitement and so I am desperate to see the film now. I am going to see a little of it when I get back to London, but I haven’t seen anything so far, but I’m really, really excited about it. All I’ve seen so far are the trailers, which look fantastic. I can’t wait.
What can you tell us about the story and your part in it?
Well the story is really about M’s (Bond’s boss, played by Dame Judi Dench) past coming back to haunt her, which threatens the whole of MI6. MI6 has to go underground and then Bond comes to the rescue of M. I come into it because I’m an MI6 field agent and I work alongside Bond and so I am out there trying to find the bad guy as well.
We can see from the trailer that you’ve been doing some amazing things — driving at high speed, shooting at a moving train. You’ve obviously done your share of action scenes in Skyfall. What was that like?
Really, really difficult. The driving stuff was really hard, largely because a lot of the time I wasn’t allowed to drive a vehicle because it wasn’t considered safe. And I really wanted to do that stuff because I had already done quite a few months of tactical driving training and so I wanted to be behind the wheels but insurance wouldn’t really allow me to do that, which was a shame (laughs). And so it was really frustrating to have to sell it as though I’m driving, which is actually harder to do than really driving. But then there were times where I was allowed to drive and then I thought, ‘I don’t know why I was complaining before…’ because it is so hard!’ At one point I had to reverse and hit something, which is really difficult because it has to be so precise. And then at another point, I have to drive straight into a crowd of extras and they were all rehearsed thoroughly to move out of the way, but then one extra decided to run at the vehicle and I was absolutely terrified that I was going to knock him over. So it was very challenging.
Bond really challenged me in terms of physicality more than anything else that I’ve ever done — learning to handle and fire weapons, the driving, and of course, getting fit for the role. I did nine months of training, having a personal trainer kick my butt five times a week. So yes, it was very intense
Did you feel the benefit of all that training?
Well, it was really interesting for me. And my trainer found it really interesting too, because she had never done a movie before, and so she’s never really worked with an actress and worked for that length of time and that hard. And what we discovered was in the beginning it was just awful, because I hate exercise (laughs). I’ve never actually exercised in my life. I’m just one of those people who is naturally very skinny, even though I eat a lot, and so I just really was not prepared for the kind of pain you have to endure (laughs). And so from the beginning it was just really hard work but then you get past this stage and then suddenly it just becomes so much easier. And then you suddenly start to feel all these benefits — more energy, sleeping better, feeling less stressed — all of these really wonderful benefits that come afterwards, which are amazing. So of course I promised myself that I was going to keep it up afterwards, and I did for a couple of months, and now, well, not so much (laughs). But what about learning to fight?
I have to admit that learning to fight was a really cool feeling. But I will say that when you do fight, and I’ve known this from my experience in the past, you always do get hurt because there’s no way of doing it without getting hurt. Because you have to make contact at certain points and you have to get thrown across the room at certain points and so you always end up getting bruised, which is never very pleasant. So I actually really don’t like doing stuff like that — I pretended I did, but it’s not my favourite thing.
What was Daniel Craig like to work with?
He’s done an amazing job. Daniel was really, really fantastic to work with. I remember the first time I met him, he was actually having a costume fitting and I was walking down the hall past where he was and the AD (assistant director) was like, ‘Do you want to say hello?’ And I said, ‘Well he’s having a costume fitted so I won’t disturb him now…’ So I kept walking and I’m a bit shy really, and Daniel came running out, and followed me down a hallway, and he said, ‘Where are you going, silly?’ And he gave me this massive hug and kiss, and that is the reception that I got, and that kind of sums up the experience that I had working with Daniel.
He’s just so supportive and open and friendly and has a really great sense of humour as well. So I’m very, very grateful to him because coming on board to something like this is always really nerve-wracking because you feel the weight of it. It’s like ‘Oh my gosh, here’s Bond!’
And I grew up with Bond, and so many millions of people are going to see this and at first I felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do with this role?’ So it’s great to have someone like Daniel who is totally there for you.
Berenice Marlohe: THE OTHER SKYFALL STUNNER
Of French and Cambodian-Chinese parentage, Skyfall is the first big break for 33-year-old Berenice, who has mostly been seen on French TV in shows like Père et maire, R.I.S. Police scientifique and Équipe Médicale d’urgence. She steamed up French screens when she appeared in a love-making scene wearing nothing but a red wig on Équipe Médicale d’urgence.
In Skyfall, Berenice plays Severine, an exotically beautifully femme fatale in the traditional Bond girl mould. To prepare for the film, the actress underwent serious firearms training.
In a recent interview, Berenice has revealed that she had to coax co-star Daniel Craig to remove his clothes for a sex scene (in picture). “He was very shy and when he saw me entering the shower he was like, ‘Oh my god,’” the stunner has been quoted as saying.
“He tried to keep his underpants on for the shower scenes but I said, ‘No, come on, don’t be shy. I will do anything to make you feel comfortable,’” she added.
Oh, the perks of being Bond!
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Skyfall releases today