Léa Seydoux: “With Bond, I have the impression of entering into the great history of cinema”

Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
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Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)
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Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Sony
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Sony
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Sony
Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)
Sony
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)
Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux in 007 Specter (2015)

Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig in 007 Specter (2015)

Forget the blue hair, in 007 Specter, Léa Seydoux plays a femme fatale in a lamé dress, the new love of the double zero seven agent, with a more than cloudy agenda. We had the chance to intercept Lea to tell her about Craig, Cruise and… Bond.

This interview was published in the special Premiere special 007 Specter, in 2015 (Click here to subscribe). We republish it on the occasion of the rerun of Sam Mendes’ film, on France 2, this Sunday, and before finding it on the bill of To die can wait, always alongside Daniel Craig.

Forget the blue hair, in 007 Specter, Léa Seydoux embodies a femme fatale in a lamé dress, the new love of agent double zero seven, with a more than cloudy agenda. We had the chance to intercept Lea to tell her about Craig, Cruise and… Bond.

First: Do you remember your first Leap?
Léa Seydoux : Hmmm… As a child I wasn’t going to see this. Me, it was the Disney and the princess movies. Bond was there, of course, but at a distance. It didn’t fascinate me. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the first film of the series that I saw… Obviously a Brosnan. But those who marked me, those that I loved really – because before, it was just an idea – it’s Daniel’s (Craig Editor’s note). Casino Royale ! That, yes, I remember. The excitement, the expectation, the welcome… all of a sudden it turned into good movies – beyond the franchise. It was becoming exciting again for my generation.

You were about ten years old at the time of GoldenEye. Brosnan never made you dream?

I found him… OK. Charming. But that didn’t interest me too much. Not yet. It’s with Casino Royale that I understood it was huge. Seen from the outside, it was a great spectacle, the pinnacle of cinema entertainment, glamor, action… excess.

And from the inside?

It’s like everything: the experience is completely different from the fantasy. That doesn’t mean it’s trivial. I was aware that I was part of a mythological thing, but I took a small part of it. Today, Bond is a bit mine. And that, I still find it difficult to realize.

What ?
Well, I have the impression of entering into the great history of cinema. If you do the accounts, there are only two deductibles of this level: Star wars and James bond. To play in it is to integrate the story. You know it’s stronger than you … Besides, at the castings, I was convinced that I would never have the part. All these girls! Of the whole world ! For a role that I didn’t necessarily fit …

Sam Mendes: “You’ll see that Specter is pretty darn fun”

And how did it go?

The first readings in front of Daniel, it looked like a kid… I wasn’t leading off, I was afraid of being ridiculous, of not knowing how to hold myself. In reality, he’s just an actor doing his job. We played and… voila. But, it is true that there is a trick at the beginning. The Bond effect. The James Bond effect.

Are you interested in the character?
Yeah… Well that’s still James Bond. A bit of a macho guy, the archetype of the impenetrable man. But Daniel made it evolve. He made him more sensitive, more fragile. That’s why I love so much Casino Royale : the relationship with Vesper, their love story, it’s beautiful. The machine becomes a knight. We want him to save her. Suddenly, in the middle of the film, he begins to love her; he is confused, the mask drops… I believe that we women need to have access to his femininity.

Did I read somewhere that Sam Mendes chose you after seeing the Kechiche? Not very Bondien that …
(To laugh.) The character of Madeleine is a lesbian, that’s why! No, seriously, I know Sam saw Kechiche’s movie and liked it. But to what extent it played for the casting, that… The two characters do not have much to do, that’s for sure.

Did you have to draw inspiration from previous Bond Girls?

No. First, I haven’t seen enough Bond. And then I did not want to add this kind of considerations on my shoulders. My favorite Bond Girl is Eva Green. She is awesome. There is something complex about his character. She is mysterious and fragile. She has a woman-child side that I find very, very, sexy. But it’s not just a sexual fantasy. Otherwise … otherwise I love Sophie Marceau in, what was it again? The world is not enough. You know the moment when she tells him not to kill her, because he will miss her, but he kills her anyway… That was good. Otherwise, one is forced to admit that Bond Girls for a long time did not have much to play. But that’s starting to change that too …

Not in Sky Fall

No it is true. That said, that was not the point.

Léa Seydoux’s favorite James Bond Girl? “Eva Green. I loved her and I still love her!”

Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace was not bad.

Yeah, but I don’t like the movie at all. It’s very surprising, moreover, to see such a bad film interspersed between Casino Royale and Sky Fall, that are so good. Very strange that… But it’s true, Olga Kurylenko managed to avoid the stereotypes: the attractive woman, the femme fatale. Me, I don’t mind playing that, even though I didn’t know if I would be able to do it. Madeleine is a real woman, sure of herself, with an assertive femininity. Obvious. Not the kind of role I’m used to.

So if you didn’t play her like a Bond girl, how did you approach the role?

I told myself I was in a Sam Mendes movie. It is not American Beauty, but I played under his direction. On the set, many people came from the theater; he is an author and he is surrounded by collaborators who have the same background – his op director for example. Nothing to do with the studio stuff, even if the financial stakes were very high. Sam On the set, he asked me to support everything, my movements, my silences, my looks. Each gesture had to have an “impact”. That’s what he said, it had to be “impactful”.

It was different from what you lived on Mission Impossible 4 ?

Nothing to see. And it has to do with the personality of Tom Cruise. He writes his own character, he produces the film and basically he is omnipresent… James Bond, well Daniel’s Bond, is much richer.

We often talk about the curse of the Bond Girl. You believe in it ?

What’s this ?

A role in a Bond and then the actress disappears from the radar.

Ah hahah. You know what ? I am not superstitious.

Trailer of 007 Specter by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz …

007 Specter Review: James Bond Regenerated?

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