Exclusive Interview : Olga Kurylenko

If it had been for the role of the Bond girl in say, one of the Pierce Brosnan 007 movies Ukrainian-born actress Olga Kurylenko doesn’t know whether she would’ve auditioned for a part in a Bond movie. The actress, in Sydney to promote her role in the ‘serious’ Bond flick Quantum of Solace, says she’s not a fan of the airhead Bond girls of the previous movies.

“That’s not what an actor hopes to play”, says the impossibly honest actress of characters like Tiffany Case, Pussy Galore, Holly Galore, Jinx, and Dr. Christmas Jones. “They’ve mostly been dull and just arm-candy.”

Having said that, the beautiful Kurylenko, 29, was a fan of the James Bond series as a whole.

“Yeah, I liked [the older ones] but I especially liked Casino Royale”, she says. “The Bond girl is also a lot more interesting in that one. That’s what inspired me to go and audition for this one”.

In the film, Kurylenko plays Camille, a woman on a revenge mission – coincidentally seeking vengeance against the same man James Bond is after. Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a hard-nosed business man and major force within the mysterious organization, is the key to finding out who killed Bond’s lover, Vesper Lynd.

Unlike the earlier Bond films, Solace is a very serious affair – and Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a very serious not-so-humorous Bond.

“I think [Craig’s Bond] is great. It’s about time we got some reality. I’m very fond of dramas and real things and this is much closer to that. It’s not cartoonish like the other films. It’s true that they’re changing genres – but why not? You do one thing for so long, why not change?”

Unlike a lot of the girls hanging off 007s arm in the other films, Camille also gets in on the action.

“It was amazing. It was the first time I’d experienced doing such action stuff”, says. “I trained a lot. I trained all the time, all the time – every free moment I had. They brought me in a month before I started shooting and during that month I just trained with the stunt people. They taught me how to fight- just basic fighting with fists and kicking and punching, so not like Asian martial-arts like Michelle Yeoh [in Tomorrow Never Dies]. This was more tough military-style fighting.”

“I also had to learn how to skydive – we shot it in a wind tunnel but I still needed to train for a month to know how to do it properly.”

Daniel Craig was a huge support to Kurylenko during these fun but tough action sequences, says the actress.

“Daniel is great. He is inspiring as an actor. He is very serious and works so hard. I just wanted to keep up with him. He knew it was my first time doing all these action sequences and he was just great with me – very encouraging. He’d always tell me how great it was going to look.”

Kurylenko is hoping the film will open up doors for her in America.

“It’s the biggest [role] I’ve done”, says. “The film is the biggest. I had a great time and experience. It was wonderful. It’s opening doors for me in the fact that people suddenly know who I am”.

Though she also had roles in the Hollywood pictures Hitman and Max Payne, both paradoxically based on video games, OKurylenko believes the name reorganization of 007 is probably going to mean more to the top movie-makers and producers of Hollywood.

“They know me in France – they’ve known me since 2004 when I did The Ring Finger – but America doesn’t me. Hitman was my first English-speaking part, and my second was Bond – I only did 3 days work on Max Payne, in the middle of filming Bond, so that doesn’t really count. Hitman did get me an American agent and it did open doors to an extent but this one more so, because it’s just so big!”

Big is an understatement. Quantum of Solace scored an unassailable $56.1 million from 10,460 screens in 67 markets, making the 22nd James Bond installment No. 1 overseas for the third consecutive weekend.

“That is amazing!”, says a joyous Kurylenko upon hearing those figures. “You could not expect that – not even in your wildest dreams. It’s unbelievable!”.

Quantum of Solace is the first Bond sequel – directly following Casino Royale – so there’s a good chance the next Bond film may be a sequel too. In that case, might Camille return?

“All these journalists are asking me whether Camille is coming back but I just never happens – they always want a new Bond girl in every picture”, Kurylenko who inadvertently shares the same agent as Casino Royale’s leading lady Eva Green. “Theoretically it’s possible, but they always like new faces.

“Maybe  I come back in a few Bonds from now as an old lady and Bond will be like ‘Hey! You’re still alive!?'”, she laughs. “Maybe I’ll do it when I’m like 50 years old. I could be a grandmother bond girl!”

For the meantime, the model cum actress would like to do something different.

“After a few projects I might do an action movie again, but right after this one, I wouldn’t like to just return to the same genre.”


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