Q&A: Bond Girl Berenice Marlohe Talks ‘Skyfall’, Fate
Breaking into the movie industry is a tough task for anyone. Being a foreign actress and breaking into the movie industry in America is even tougher. In the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, Berenice Marlohe has completed this amazing task. Her life will now officially change, as she takes on the role of the new Bond girl of 2012.
During a recent chat with Marlohe, she tells us about Skyfall, which hits theaters Friday (November 9); how a French actress became a Bond girl and what the whole experience was like; believe in fate and how it led her to the role; and how her life has changed today.
Our website is Ballerstatus.com. We do a lot of lifestyle stuff and we cover hip-hop music. Do you listen to hip-hop at all?
Oh yes. I love hip-hop actually. It really can get me in the right mood when I need to act a certain way. I love the realness and the aggressiveness of it.
What artist do you like in particular?
I very much like Public Enemy sometimes before filming. Depending on the scene, I will listen to Public Enemy. I get very inspired by music in general, so depending on a scene I listen to different types of music. I also like Rage Against The Machine, which is very aggressive as well. Other times, I might listen to classical music such as Mozart or Bach.
Did you listen to Public Enemy while filming this movie?
No. I actually listened to a lot of soundtracks, such as the 300 Movie soundtrack. It is very epic sounding, and I felt it would help me get into my role for this character in the Bond movie. The different sounds put me into different moods, but it is a great tool for me to use while being on set.
You are from France and while Bond is an international thing, it is very big in America. Were you a fan of the series before being in this movie?
Yes, very much so. I was always a fan of the series. Some of my favorites are A View To Kill -- I very much like Christopher Walken. I loved Grace Jones in that movie, and I watched the movie to prepare myself for my role.
I literally just saw the movie today before speaking with you. I really loved it and I think it's because this movie felt much more grounded and real than the other Bond movies.
Yes, the director went for a more real approach. Sam [Mendes] purposely set out to take a different approach to this film. I really loved that about the film as well. It feels like a new take on the Bond films.
Without giving away too much, can you talk about your character in the movie?
My character is kind of a bridge between Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig. I am the bridge between the gap of the villain and the main character. I don’t want to give too much away, so I will just leave it at that.
How did you prepare for this role and this film?
I did a lot of research on characters, based on mythical characters. I read the script and just tried to do research on various things to bring my character to life.
I trained a lot with an American coach and I learned a lot. He belongs to the actor studio and I take a lot from that stuff. I also have my own techniques and what fits to me. I think you have to listen to your own instinct when talking about creation.
When you Google your name, everything says "Bond girl this" and "Bond girl that." Has that changed your life at all? That is a pretty big title to have in America.
Things have definitely changed from when I was on the set to today. When I was on set, I forgot about the "Bond" title, because it was abstract at the time. You can't create from a title, you have to create from a story. Now that the movie is over, I am starting to realize what the title actually means and how much goes into being a Bond girl. I think, in a few years ,it will hit me even more and I will realize even more. Right now, I am hard on myself, like I should have did this and not that, but in a few years I will appreciate it more.
You are known in France as an actress and this is your first American movie right?
Yes, this is my first international movie.
How did you get this role since you are an actress from France?
I was struggling in France for eight years, so I became my own manager. I felt connected to the universe of Bond. I know they are in Paris and they are looking for a Bond girl. I felt like, "Ok I really have my strong point on this character. I want to create for that." I spent two days on my computer studying everyone on the cast from the lighting guy to the producers. I sent my reel to people on Facebook and then I found the casting director. She saw my reel and had me do two auditions for Skyfall. Then, I did a third audition where I met Daniel Craig and the producers of the movie.
What was that first meeting like with Daniel Craig?
He was very nice and sweet and down to earth. He made it very comfortable and I am very grateful for that. When you are in that environment, it is very nerve racking, but he would make jokes and such. The producers were there too and I am essentially auditioning... it was my third audition. If someone messed up a line or something happened, everyone was relaxed and calm and just said, "Ok let's start over." It is serious, but at the same time, it wasn't because it was just a very relaxed atmosphere.
You've said you believe in fate. You mentioned you had a dream about Javier. Can you talk about that?
I have this feeling that you create your own destiny. The moment that you realize that, everything comes from you and you create what you want -- everything works for you. I love to listen to signs and listen to my instincts and this was very strange. I had ust left France and arrived in Los Angeles one year before Skyfall. I was very enthusiastic, but I didn't know what to do. I had a dream of Javier Bardem and it was surprising because I never dream of actors or actresses. When I woke up, I had a deep feeling of peace and power. It was a very powerful sensation that day, and then a year later, I got contacted about the movie. I felt an intense connection to the movie ever since that dream. It was so powerful. There are movements when you feel like the universe is very cool.
I feel the exact same way about the world and that is why I wanted you to tell that story. I appreciate you taking out the time to do this interview do you have any last words for the people?
Thank you as well for doing the interview. I just want to tell the people to go see this movie Skyfall, which comes out this Friday, November 9th.