The U.K. native stars as M6 field agent, Eve, alongside Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Skyfall which hits theaters nationwide today. Our friends over at TheGrio.com caught up with the 36-year-old actress and talked about the character she plays in Skyfall as well as her role starring alongside Idris Elba as Winnie Mandela in upcoming feature film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
What attracted you to take on the role of Eve in this film?
Well, I didn’t actually know what role I was playing when I first of all auditioned. But I was asked to come in audition for a Bond film, and I’m a huge fan of Bond movies, I grew up watching them and I love them, so that was the main attraction. Then obviously, getting to work with Sam Mendes was another huge attraction to me because I think he’s a brilliant filmmaker. And then when I was finally told what role I was playing, I was told that they wanted a modern Bond woman, and they wanted me to make something original with her, then I was like, “all my wishes have kinda come true.”
Did you at all research or look at Halle Berry’s performance when she was in the James Bond film Die Another Day to maybe try to emulate some of her essence that she brought to the role?
No, not at all actually, because as I said, when I went to the audition and I was told I had the role, they said to me one of the main things they wanted was that I should make the role my own and make it as original as possible and make it modern as well. And so I made a conscious choice not to look back. Because I’ve grown up with Bond movies anyway, I’ve seen Halle Berry’s performance, I’ve seen Grace Jones, and so many Bond women over the years, so I didn’t want to be influenced by that. I wanted to really make her my own and be original.
Why do you think James Bond films are able to cross-over and appeal to any race?
I think because the films have this universal appeal to men, because they all want to be that character. Every guy wants to be the guy that always gets the girl and then saves the world and is never injured. James Bond is completely capable, and charming, witty, and mysterious. He’s got all the elements that guys want to be, and all the elements that a woman wants in a man. You either want to be James Bond or be with James Bond.
Who are some actors that you would hope to star opposite of one day?
Morgan Freeman is an amazing amazing actor who I would like to work with. I had the privilege of working with Idris Elba recently and that was like a dream come true for me, because I think he’s absolutely fantastic actor. Chiwetel Ejofor is another actor that I think is absolutely brilliant and I would love to work with.
What do you have coming up next in your career?
Two days after I finished Skyfall I went off to South Africa and I played Winnie Mandela opposite Idris Elba in a new film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and that will be released next year so that’s the next film my fans can see me in. It’s a completely different role.
Did you ever get to talk to Winnie Mandela while filming the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom?
Yes. I went to dinner with her and it was really great actually. I wanted to know how she wanted me to play her and she said “the most important thing to me is that you’re authentic. You’ve done your research so I trust you to create the character as you see fit and to represent me as you see fit.” So she really allowed me the liberty to do what I wanted with the character and I am definitely grateful to her for that.