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Esquire asks Marc Forster the questions nobody else will

11-Nov-2008 • Quantum Of Solace

Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster explains to Esquire how he almost touched off an international incident -- and 10 more behind-the-scenes secrets with 007, including the film's Oscar hopes and new Bond girls.

ESQ: Even you must have been surprised when you were asked to direct this.

MF: I didn't want to do it. I took the meeting out of pure courtesy. But then I read an interview with Orson Welles that asked him to name a big regret in life, and he said he wished he'd done a mainstream movie. So I thought, Why not?

ESQ: How do you think you made your mark on the franchise?

MF: I tried to embrace the framework of villain, girls, and cars but at the same time make the film my own, visually and emotionally. I tried to be honest, in an emotional sense, to Bond's character.

ESQ: So you made him a sissy?

MF: There is this emotional scar in him, but he's trying not to admit it.

ESQ: Is he at least still philandering?

MF: He's definitely still philandering. He has to be. It's part of Bond's charm.

ESQ: Could you have made the first Bond movie to win an Oscar for Best Picture?

MF: Uh, no.

ESQ: How did you pick new Bond girls Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko?

MF: I thought it would be easy to cast a Bond girl, because there are so many beautiful women in this world. But not many of them can act. Their acting needed to be really strong and three-dimensional. Historically, the role of women in the world has changed. You can't have someone in a Bond film just as a sex object.

ESQ: Guess so. But beauty is still the most important part, right?

MF: Oh, yeah. They have to be sexy and beautiful. That's what people expect, and that's what Bond is about.

ESQ: How grotesque is the villain?

MF: I didn't want a villain we gave a crutch to, like the teeth for Jaws, or even the last one who had tears of blood. [Mathieu Amalric]'s villain's threat comes from within. At the beginning, it's more of a creepiness. As the movie goes on, it's revealed more and more what kind of villain he is.

ESQ: Is it true that he's based on Dick Cheney?

MF: I heard [Amalric] based it more on [Nicolas] Sarkozy and Tony Blair.

ESQ: And did you really piss off the entire nation of Bolivia during filming?

MF: The Bolivians and Chileans have a tension going on for a very long time. There was a war a while back, and because of that, Bolivia doesn't have access to the sea, while Chile does. Bolivia didn't like that we shot in Chile, saying it was Bolivia. It's as if you were to shoot in Paris and say it's London. The French wouldn't like that.

ESQ: Tell us the rumor that the set designer was inspired by the color of Daniel Craig's eyes, isn't true.

MF: He didn't tell me that.

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