1. Mathieu Amalric On Being James Bond's Nemesis

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-03-18
    Mathieu Amalric is Dominic Greene

    Mathieu Amalric is Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace

    WARNING: Minor plot spoilers

    Premiere has scored a fantastic interview with Quantum of Solace baddie Mathieu Amalric.

    Discussing his role as James Bond’s new nemesis Dominic Greene, filming in Panama, and past 007 villains, the in-depth interview also elaborates on some of the film’s plot details and makes mention of a new screenwriter.

    Taking a small break from filming in Colön, a sea port city located on the Caribbean Sea coast in Panama, Amalric revealed that he had just shot a ‘big scene’ for the film. While keeping quiet about the specifics, he does mention however that he displays the ‘habits of a villain guy’ by showing the corpse of someone he has just executed to Bond girl Camille (played by Olga Kurylenko) to get across the point that she should never consider betraying him. A hint of a relationship between the two, perhaps?

    Mathieu Amalric

    Mathieu Amalric

    When asked about what it takes to be the newest Bond villain, Amalric states: ‘It’s a lot of work and I’m not allowed to leave for more than one day, unfortunately.’ He goes on to discuss the exception to that case, finally getting a break after several weeks of filming: ‘Yesterday was Sunday so we went to [an island archipelago] called San Blas. It’s absolutely beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! There are 350 little islands, with just sand and coconut trees and Indians that live there. No tourists, or very [few] tourists… So I just spent one day in a postcard, really a clichë of happiness, just eating fish and swimming in blue water.’

    Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster also spoke briefly about the film. While several reports have mentioned the storyline picks up roughly 30 minutes after the ending of 2006’s Casino Royale, Forster doesn’t ‘see this necessarily as a sequel because it has within it a story that is self-contained.’

    Director Marc Forster

    Director Marc Forster

    ‘Daniel Craig took the franchise in a different direction and he is such a superb actor that I thought there is the possibility to explore something [interesting] with him,’ commented Forster on the opportunity to work with the newest 007 star.

    Amalric agreed with the director: ‘With Daniel Craig, you feel this guy is really completely involved in the feelings of Bond. I mean, there’s almost a broken heart in this film. There is the fantasy, of course, of a James Bond film, but there is something that is very, very realistic in the feelings. The James Bond girls are not girls that you just smack and then you kiss and you make love to through the night and then move onto to the next one. It’s not that anymore. It’s completely different. So I think it’s why Mark [Forster] was approached.’

    Forster also went on to comment on the ever-changing script for the 22nd Bond adventure. He revealed that the script was never set in stone and continues to evolve even with production moving ahead on the film. ‘Every day there is a sort of “work in progress” spirit on this set.’

    ‘There’s a new writer that has arrived,’ added Amalric. ‘We have new lines and it’s changed.’

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    Amalric also commented on Forster’s style of preparing for each new scene in the film: ‘With Mark, with the writers, with Daniel, with Olga, we rehearse before. Something that [Forster] loves to do, for example, is to do two shots in a row without stopping. The camera continues to roll. So that he just grabs things from us. He’s not behind the video [monitor]. He really looks at actors.’

    He goes on to explain that while ‘improvisation is a big word’, Forster pushes for character development as opposed to sticking exactly to the script. ‘There’s no storyboard or things like that. So things can change [during] rehearsals or we bring things.’

    As earlier reported on, Amalric reveals that he consulted Heartbeat Detector co-star Michael Lonsdale (known best by Bond fans for his role as Sir Hugo Drax in 1979’s Moonraker) about taking the role of Greene. ‘You always have to be where people don’t expect you to be,’ was the fellow actor’s reply. ‘That’s the pleasure of being an actor.’

    Amalric also clarified his statement that he found inspiration for the character of Greene in the smile of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and craziness of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. ‘Oh, no, no. I didn’t exactly say that. I was saying that he was a villain and that villains today, you can’t recognize them anymore. They don’t have a metal jaw, you know: they’re hidden behind smiles. That’s what I meant. So the smile of Tony Blair had a mystery that could be interesting–that’s what I meant.’

    'Quantum of Solace' Press Conference

    Quantum of Solace Press Conference
    Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig and Gemma Arterton

    Amalric also jokes about the absence of any distinguishing feature on Greene when compared to Blofeld’s scar and Jaws’ metal teeth. ‘I’m the villain, and I just have my face? Wow, what a responsibility!’

    He goes on to describe the multi-faceted Dominic Greene as ‘a nice guy who works in ecology, plants trees and does charity funding for the environmental sciences.’ But at the same time, ‘[Greene has] lots of levels. You don’t know who that guy is. You don’t know what he has in his head.’

    The Premiere article states that while international terrorists played a role in Casino Royale, ecology is a prime concern in Quantum of Solace, with Greene playing host to a benefit to stop global warming.

    ‘Each James Bond [film] says something about the time in which it has been done. And so it’s very realistic about who rules the world. In fact, we don’t know who rules the world. Are politicians just puppets or not? We don’t know.’

    There’s much more. Check out the entire Premiere article for further details.

    Stay tuned to the CBn main page for the most up-to-date and complete coverage of Quantum of Solace.