'Skyfall': How Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe Molded Into Bond Girls (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)
James Bond is back — with two new gun-toting beauties at his side.
Following in the high-heeled footsteps of actresses like Jane Seymour, Halle Berry and Eva Green, Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe take on the lofty title of Bond Girl in Skyfall, the latest installment of the illustrative spy franchise that sees Daniel Craig in his third run as 007. And both actresses knew they had some big stilettos to fill.
"I think you definitely feel the pressure of joining a huge franchise like this," Harris, 36, who stars as Eve/Miss Moneypenny, told Celebuzz. "It is overwhelming. But my friend gave me a brilliant piece of advice. He said, 'Look, just treat is as though it's a little independent movie and this is your role to create and do anything that you want to do with it.' So that's for me how I got over the fear and the worry about it. Because ultimately, people want to see original characters and they want to see you owning it and having fun with it."
But Marlohe — whose Bond Girl goes by simply Sévérine, as opposed to the typical double-entendre name — drew on the past films for inspiration. "For me, I was so excited to get to play with [a franchise] I loved," the Parisian actress-model, 33, said. "When I see the Bond movies, I can feel that huge freedom, you're like dreaming…you can feel like there is no limit. You can go far. Also, the music [and] the orchestration [is] so powerful. So all that made me feel very connected with this universe."
"I was excited to create a real human being with the substance, complexity and emotions we go through," Marlohe added. "You know, in this social life, we all have a mask sometimes and there's a lot of things going on that we won't necessarily show. It interested me very much to create that."
Director Sam Mendes — the mastermind behind such big-screen success as American Beauty (1999) and Revolutionary Road (2008) — allowed both actresses to take some creative license with the parts in Skyfall, which hit U.S. theaters Friday and marks the 50th anniversary of Bond. "We did one meeting with Daniel [Craig] and Sam [Mendes] considering, for instance, my scenes and what was our own point of views or own specific moments," Marlohe said. "And from that, we never had any rehearsals."
For Marlohe, Mendes' loose rein allowed her to dream up her own persona for Sévérine. "[It] was fantastic because I had to create everything in my own imagination, the connection with Silva (Javier Bardem) and Bond. And then you are…coming in with that but you don't know what the other person has created. And this is like in life, so then there is room for accidents. You don't know what will happen in the next second, and that was fantastic."
But Harris didn't tweak the writers' vision for Eve. "I love my character," she said. "I love the character's journey. I was pleased with everything. So I didn't really have anything to add to that, but there is a sense of freedom you get when you're given that much free reign. I was a great experience."