1. A Different Kind Of Bond Villain: Mathieu Amalric On Dominic Greene

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-11-14

    Mathieu Amalric On Dominic Greene

    Mathieu Amalric is Dominic Greene in 'Quantum of Solace'

    Mathieu Amalric is Dominic Greene

    Mathieu Amalric talks about how they have modernized the ‘Bond Villain’ with his character Dominic Greene.

    “What I like about this character–it was a good idea–there is a public Greene and a private Greene. The guy is shy in public, he doesn’t speak too loudly, not so good at public speaking, but in private he is totally different. He tries to kill Camille because he thinks she is using him for her own vendetta. To begin with I asked the director if I could shave my head, or have a scar, or an eye that bleeds or something to help me but he said ‘no, your eyes will be enough’. So I had to ask myself, why is a guy a villain? It can’t be only fantasy with crazy people that want to destroy the world, it’s not that. So the impulse must be psychological. If he is more a character trying to disappear, to be invisible, to be almost wallpaper, it makes sense because it is much more efficient that way. Unfortunately, today, it is quite difficult to guess who the villains are in our lives, and that is exactly what we are looking for.

    “Also, I like the fact that Greene is afraid of blood, the violence is abstract and that is to do with today as well, we live in a world where you can do everything by computers. Since Casino Royale, they have changed something in the texture of the Bond films and they are looking for something else that is really connected to the times of today, to say something about the world we live in.”

    On working with the director, Marc Forster, Amalric observes, “Marc is completely connected to his own make up of the film, there is something mixing around that you can really feel. For example, sometimes he likes to do two shots in a row without cutting the camera so the actors are in this abandoned state and not in control. I think he just grabs things on our faces or there is a moment of action, ultimately he is striving for something more realistic. It’s great working with Marc because he is somebody who just loves actors. For instance, I didn’t understand how it was possible for me to be a villain in a James Bond film but I think it is because Marc needs to be inspired by his actors. He likes the people he films, you can feel it in all his previous films, I’m sure it is because of Marc that I was cast.

    Mathieu Amalric

    Mathieu Amalric

    “Being an actor is already a surprise for me because mostly my life is dedicated to directing films. It wasn’t my idea to be an actor but there is something challenging about using your body completely, I love the fact that it’s scary. Being cast as the Bond villain is a mixture of a big joke and a real joy. I didn’t know that my life would give me so many surprises.”

    As Bond’s nemesis in the film, Amalric shares many scenes with Daniel Craig but is most excited about Greene’s fight with 007. “I’m very lucky because usually the villain never fights but in this film I have a great fight at the end with Daniel. Greene does not know how to fight so James Bond is surprised because it’s not the classical stuff of his training. It will be a fight of two animals.”

    Amalric shares many scenes with his co-star Olga Kurylenko and they have developed their characters together. “I love working on this film because it’s a work in progress and we develop and rehearse. With Olga, there is something so obvious between us that, for me, it’s a pleasure. I don’t need to act, I just have to believe it is true and we are searching together. Like all the good actors, she cannot play alone. She is the same as me in that we are both so amazed to be here, to love the physical training, learning lots of skills; how to drive a car fast, how to punch, skills that can be very useful in life. The characters of Greene and Camille are constantly lying to each other and everyone around them. We have to think about how that would work in real life, to lie so convincingly you believe it yourself because your life depends upon it.”

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