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Olga Kurylenko on Bond - `I did not want to kiss him`

30-Oct-2008 • Quantum Of Solace

Olga Kurylenko reveals to Steve Pratt of The Northern Echo that she’s the Bond girl who didn’t fancy a love scene with 007 Daniel Craig. One suspects she may be in the minority.

Ukranian model-turned-actress Olga Kurylenko is no ordinary Bond girl. She doesn’t even want to kiss 007. They do lock lips briefly in the lastest adventure Quantum Of Solace but the enigmatic Camille and Daniel Craig’s Bond are spared a big love scene.

Unusual for a Bond movie, perhaps, but she’s not disappointed. “I didn’t want to kiss him,” she says.

“To me he’s an actor, I’m not in love with him. Why would I want to do this with someone I have no personal feelings for? He’s a great actor and a great Bond, but if it’s not involved in the story there’s no way I want to do it.

“Can you imagine everything you have to do in this job, there are a lot of love stories and it’s always a very hard thing to do. Camille has no time for this.”

What revenge-seeking Camille does with the secret agent is embark on a mission that sees them working hard in stunts and action sequences.

“I got involved as much as I could. I did most of it myself. They trained me so hard, I had to go through six months of intensive training,” she says.

“They wanted me to be believable and I had to pull this off. That’s why I had to do by myself otherwise. This girl is supposed to be strong, she doesn’t need Bond’s help.

“It’s much better I did by myself than have a stunt person. You could really feel it and I felt much stronger. It really helped me in the part.”

Ask what the most physically demanding part was and the reply is “everything”. The film introduced her to activities she’d never have thought of doing before. Like skydiving. For a scene in which she and Craig jump from an aircraft, the actors went “flying” in a wind tunnel that simulates the experience of freefalling.

“Skydiving is like my favourite thing of everything. I loved it, it’s amazing. I discovered something for myself that I loved doing. I had no idea I would,” she says.

The most difficult to film was a boat chase because of the speed of the vessel.

She likens the scene to being on a rollercoaster as they were standing and fighting. “It was really hard to do the choreography and not fall out of the boat,” she says.

Kurylenko, 28, was raised by her grandmother in an apartment in the Ukranian town of Berdyansk. Watching James Bond movies wasn’t an option.

“When I was really young, I didn’t see them because it was the Soviet Union and we didn’t get anything. But in later years I watched them,” she says.

She began her acting career in France, after learning to speak French. She modelled and, by the age of the 18, had been on the covers of Vogue and Elle.

Of course, she says, she always wanted to be an actress. “I did it in school when I was a kid, I was in school theatre. Acting was something I liked doing, it was my hobby. Once I could speak French, I went for it.”

The move from modelling to acting “just happened”, she says. “It’s about what roles come my way. I look for interesting roles and the parts I can connect to. I have to like a part otherwise I can’t play it.”

The movie of which she’s most proud – and which debuts on DVD next week – is the French-made The Ring Finger, described as “an erotic tale of a young woman’s increasingly fetishistic relationships with her new boss”.

She wants to do more movies like that.

Maybe it’s a reaction to a couple of Hollywood action movies, Hitman and the forthcoming Max Payne, she’s made. Not, one senses, a total success for her.

“Suddenly there were all these action movies but it wasn’t what I was going for.

Bond is different, it’s like Bond anytime.

Of course, I wanted to be part of one. It’s part of history so, of course, I wanted it.

I’m not a person who watched action films so it’s very far away for me.”

She can recognise the value of being a Bond girl. The exposure afforded by Quantum Of Solace will increase her choices. Directors will know who she is “and in order to get job offers, people need to know you exist”.

The film offered the chance to visit several exotic locations. She found Chile “one of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen”. She was also surprised when she saw the finished movie. “I was amazed by the action, it looks so real,” she says. “I’ve watched some old Bond films that I’d missed and was astonished how funny the fighting looked. You don’t believe it for a second. I know how much we worked on it and trained. I saw this film and everything felt so painful.”

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