MI6 profiles Mathieu Amalric, who will play the
villainous Dominic Greene in the upcoming 22nd James
Bond adventure, "Quantum
Meet The Cast - Mathieu Amalric
4th February 2008
On the 5th of December 2007 MI6
confirmed the long-speculated rumors that French actor,
Mathieu Amalric had signed on to the 22nd James Bond film production.
The casting of Amalric sparked a rush of excited speculation
surrounding the upcoming 007 adventure and marked the first
solid "Quantum of Solace" casting
news. From the word go, fans and critics alike praised the
filmmakers choice to play the shady and sadistic Dominic Greene.
Greene will be sinister,
Amalric told the press, and that his character will
have no need for techno gadgets, no deformities or
any of the previous Bond villain traditional trademarks: "There'll
be no metal jaw, no white hair, no scar, no eye with
blood. Just my face. The director saw something in
me that had to do with the devil. That was a compliment."
While Amalric is a relatively new face in Hollywood his reputation precedes him. He joins the impressive ranks of French actors to take on a leading role in James Bond that have already included Michael Lonsdale, Louis Jourdan and Sophie Marceau. Amalric's role in the Bond legacy is not one fans should take lightly - with a variety of prestigious awards under his belt, 007 will be facing more than the clichéd thumbscrews and truth serum. Amalric says his character will play on the fears of a modern audience: "What is horrible about today, is that we can't guess who the villains are. The villains are invisible. There is the fantasy that is James Bond, but there is always something that could be real, and it has to do with love. It has to do with broken hearts."
Born on 25th October 1965 in Hauts-de-Seine,
France, to journalists Nicole Zand and Jacques Amalric
of the acclaimed French paper 'Le Monde', Amalric
began acting on-screen in the early 1980s. His first
film, "Les Favoris de la lune" (1984) is
a quaint comic drama in which the young Mathieu plays
Right: First production still of Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene in Bond 22, "Quantum of Solace"...
||2 César Awards, 1 Gijon, 1 Lumiere
Over a period of 20 years in the trade, Amalric built up a reputation for playing highly intelligent characters in a mixture of quirky comedies and thoughtful dramas. Films such as "La Sentinelle" (1992) and "Comment je me suis disputé (ma vie sexuelle)" - which amusingly translates as "My
Sex Life or How I got into an Argument" - won Amalric the respect of the film industry and his first César award for Most Promising Actor, in 1997. In the role that won him this award, Mathieu plays Paul Dedalus, an academic-focused, ambivalent nobody who struggles to organise his career and his relationships. In 2005, Mathieu Amalric claimed his second Cesar award - this time he was awarded the Best Actor honor for his role in "Rois et Rein".
With an impressive résumé and 20 years in onscreen productions Amalric entered Hollywood, winning the role of Louis in the 2005 Spielberg production of "Munich". While working on this film, Mathieu would have the opportunity to discuss Bond with veteran French star Michael Lonsdale: "I played opposite Michael Lonsdale, who was also a villain. I asked Michael, and he continued to play afterwards in very different sorts of roles. He said the pleasure is to be where you're not supposed to be. I think the pleasure of being an actor is to have the opportunity to use all the facets that we all have in our heads, no?" At this point Daniel Craig, who also held a lead role in the action-drama, had yet to be unveiled at Bond #6 but was already well on his way to becoming a household name.
In the new millennium, Amalric doubled his workload by gaining roles in features such as Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" as well as returning home to work on local projects and even direct a selection of movies. 2007's critically acclaimed true-story "Le Scaphandre et le papillon" ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") sees Amalric take the lead in the role of Jean-Dominique Bauby - this character suffers a stroke and is paralysed in all but his right eye.
Left: Mathieu Amalric in "La Question Humaine"...
Amalric is once again in the spotlight with
the latest James Bond adventure, "Quantum of Solace",
currently shooting around the world - press and filmgoer attention
is at its maximum. However, Mathieu remains calm and casual and
assures the press that he's not accepted the role for the fame
of it: "I will, it's true. I play the villain, yes. James
Bond. It has to do with childhood, you know? To be a villain
in James Bond is just so funny. I never dreamt about that. It's
not what I want to do with my career. It's just that I have kids
and it's so funny to do that. But it doesn't mean that I'm not
going to do a very small French film for free with my friends." Mathieu
Amalric is truly a diverse performer with a talent to bring a
shady realism to 007's latest adventure.