I was early, so early in fact I stood in my position at the Australian premiere of ‘Skyfall’ whilst a man was giving the red carpet a once over with an industrial vacuum cleaner. It was raining and policemen stood at the ready along the busy city street. Then it came, a loud roar from the masses that were gathered from across the road behind a carefully constructed barrier. A black hire care had stopped and out popped Daniel Craig, looking ever so much like his 007 alias. At one point a big truck, semi-trailer sized, stopped and blocked view of the red carpet from the other side, the crowd went berserk booing and hissing until it meandered off.
Daniel was effervescent talking to journalists and every now and them, literally stopped traffic as minders took him across the street to sign autographs for screaming fans. His publicist came over to me and said hi, she knew me which was great because if a publicist likes you or your style of interviewing in my business, preference is common ground. He moved towards my spot fast making a beeline looking me in the eye. I shook his hand and said it was a great pleasure to meet you Mr Craig (instead of Mr. Bond). He got my reference.
Daniel Craig – Hello. How you going? Nice to see you.
Shane A. Bassett – Do you think the die hard 007 fans have now completely accepted you? (some were sceptical in the beginning)
D.C – Oh I don’t know, I don’t talk to them but I just keep trying to do my best.
S.A.B – You share some very emotional scenes with Dame Judi Dench in this film and have always had fine chemistry on screen. How is she on the set?
D.C – She is just fun to be around, just a lovely lady.
S.A.B – How do you unwind at the end of each day, it’s quite an intense Bond film?
D.C – You don’t, there is no time to unwind. I live and breathe it when I’m doing it.
S.A.B – How do you feel about being voted sexiest man alive?
D.C – Very embarrassed.
S.A.B – Do you ever get used to your sex symbol status?
D.C – Not at all. I don’t ever think about it really.
S.A.B – Keeping in shape for Bond must be hard. Do you keep the continual training up after the film is wrapped?
D.C – Not like that it’s way too much, I do it like every day. I just try to stay in shape when I am not working but not as much as that (laughter before walking off)
**Then I spoke to Bond Girl Berenice Marlohe (Severine)
S.A.B – You look beautiful in your long purple dress. Other than looking flawless tonight, you’re a Bond Girl with many emotional scenes. Did you enjoy your dramatic scenes?
B.M – Hopefully I was hired for my acting skills and both Daniel and Javier (Bardem) are professionals – so talented – didn’t need to help me in those scenes. They were very focussed on their own job and I really admire that so I did the same, gave it my very best.
S.A.B – You were very good in those strong scenes, was it hard reaching those emotions?
B.M – Well the six months of filming I used my imagination to move me, being able to use that when I needed it for certain scenes. I kept focused, it was fascinating to me, always intense. I had to stay connected to the Severine, she has a history. It’s valuable and remained challenging. I used a lot of music to build my emotions too including Grace Jones, Shirley Bassey, Rage Against the Machine, I wanted her to be like a mafia boss in a way. I also think Shirley Bassey is the incarnation of a Bond Girl, she’s sexy, funny, with a strong presence.
S.A.B – How do you stay in shape?
B.M – I really love to eat, I mean a lot all the time. But they (designers) created a dress for me months before we were going to film. I knew I had to enter this dress, so I forced myself into running just to be able to fit in. It was like a wedding dress.
S.A.B – Was it hard not to talk about Skyfall, there must have been so many people asking you about it before its release. Was it hard to keep secrets?
B.M – (shaking her head & laughing) Yes but you know what, I kind of like this mystery, keeping things secret is way more exciting than just revealing everything. I knew the people (fans) will be so surprised with the result. It was really funny keeping it all to myself but worth it.
S.A.B – Your English is lovely, I like your accent very much.
B.M – Thank you, that is nice to hear Shane.
S.A.B – Was it all high strung and serious on set or did you have fun. Any out-takes possibly?
B.M – There was one point (during the filming of the shower scene) when I was just standing alone. I simply started singing as though I was having a real shower. Someone said at the top of their voice, you’re singing, it was improvised in-front of so many people and a very funny memory.
S.A.B – What can you tell me about your role in the upcoming Terrence Malick production?
B.M – Oh yes, I can’t wait, but I cannot talk about it (like Skyfall) in advance. This is very secret, you know most of the time actors for Terrence don’t know what they are going to film next with him. But, I was so happy that I got to audition for him when I was filming Skyfall and he’s such a poet, brilliant, wonderful director with such a unique view on life and the universe. It mad me happy to meet him and now work with him.
**Next up, Naomi Harris who plays the ‘other’ Bond Girl, Eve.
S.A.B – Hello Naomi Harris, you have been impressing me since 28 Days Later & Miami Vice. Did those thrilling action roles prepare you for being a Bond Girl?
N.H – Thank you Shane, but no they didn’t. I wish they did but those didn’t prepare me at all because this is the hardest thing I have ever done. It was so tough, that’s why I had a personal trainer who took me out five days a week two months before we even started. I was really trained up. I needed that (laughter).
S.A.B – Did you keep that after completion of Skyfall, it seems to me you look fantastic?
N.H – Thanks, I really wish I did but NO, no I am so lazy so I didn’t.
S.A.B – Were you getting pressured to reveal anything of Skyfall knowing it had to remain a secret before release?
N.H – Pressure was on at the London premiere, the journalists afterwards said to me they didn’t ask me plot questions because they knew there would be no answer. However that screening was quite ahead of release, I was still not allowed to speak of the surprise elements.
S.A.B – Without spoilers, you play a pretty important role, especially in the final stages of Skyfall. What was your initial reaction when you first found out you were playing that particular (developing) character?
N.H – Gosh, it was shock, delight. I was screaming in the streets, yes you could say I was just over the moon.
S.A.B – You will go down in cinema folklore as the Bond Girl who shot 007 (it’s actually in the movie trailer)
N.H – I know it’s not a good thing to be remembered for. I am really not happy about that, I really did not want to shoot everybody’s hero and it wasn’t my fault, it was M who said take the shot.
S.A.B – Your relationship with M was over the radio or phone, did you get to know her off screen seeing you didn’t actually share scenes with Dame Judi Dench.
N.H – Oh yes she is great. Weirdly enough I didn’t have a scene with Judi, I wanted to but in those scenes when I was talking to her it was just me, in a car, speaking into an ear piece with her not really being there…
And that was that. After posing for photos they went inside.
© Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.