Skyfall’s Berenice Marlohe On Being Not A Bond Girl But A “Bond Beast”

This week, I got to speak with a good chunk of the Skyfall talent, from Daniel Craig to director Sam Mendes, Javier Bardem to producer Barbara Broccoli. We already caught up with some of their comments on future Bond films, going beyond number 23, but now, I want to focus in on something we’ve already seen, and seen, and seen: The Bond Girl. Are they just objectified women to hang off the arm of a well-tailored tuxedo? Or is that just what they used to be?

Here’s some of what Berenice Marlohe, who plays Skyfall‘s Severine, had to say about the very notion of Bond Girls, as well as he current standing as one. She also shone some light on her working process with Sam Mendes.

Honestly, I consider myself as a Bond Beast. I consider myself as a Bond Girl, Bond Lady… I don’t really know. I wanted to create her basing my inspiration on a Greek mythical animal which is called the Chimera, which is one animal with three heads – a snake head, a dragon head and a panther head. This one I just make it that way because that’s what I wanted to do. For me, she’s a creature between a male, a female and an animal, a dragon. She is, in that sense, more than a Bond girl.

I felt there was a possibility with this character to create something complex. When I think of a Bond Girl, I really think of this creature that is between a male and female and something dangerous, an animal. When I considered this role I totally forgot about the fact that she’s a Bond Girl because that’s a bit abstract – it’s a beautiful historical title but I can’t create anything from that – so I just wanted to create a real human being with all the depth that comes with a human being, the range of emotions and all that stuff, and then play with the beautiful cliches that come with Bond movies in the terms that the characters are a bit higher than in reality. You feel a lot of freedom in creation.

I didn’t ever talk with Sam about the character. What’s amazing is that I felt right away a connection… that we were on the same page, and I had right away, a very strong feeling and strong point of view of what I wanted to do with that character. During the second audition Sam told me “You are so close to what I had in mind.” What I really appreciated is that Sam has a wonderful sense of humour and you feel safe and free to try things… without being limited. This is what I really enjoyed from working with Sam. That is his talent.

Skyfall is in UK cinemas from this Friday. It’s rather good indeed.

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