French actor Mathieu Amalric talks about his role as the villainous Dominic Greene in the 22nd James Bond film "Quantum of Solace"...

Mathieu Amalric Q+A
23rd March 2009

How do you think Quantum Of Solace is different from other Bond films?
This has to deal with feelings. James Bond is almost a broken heart in this film and he has the good and the bad that are almost struggling inside himself. Sometimes we were trying to forget that we were doing a Bond film.

What’s your take on Dominic Greene?
Marc Forster told me, “Your eyes are enough to be a villain.” So you try to find moments in your life where you’re a monster. And as there is in this film something about a relationship with a woman, that helped to find moments where you get crazy and that can explain then why you need power. You have to find intimate stuff, not just that I want to conquer. Power is not enough – it doesn’t help you to act. If you need the power, it’s because you have a problem.

How did you find Marc Forster as a director?
Marc’s always trying to grab things that you’re not conscious of, doing two takes in a row which is a technique to make the actor unaware of what he’s doing. He wants things to happen in the moment on set. He just wanted my face – no scars, no metal jaw, no white cat, no accessories, nothing. I just had my face. With Marc, you always work on the moment.


Above: Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene

You said you tried to forget you were making a Bond film – how do you mean?
Sometimes it was nice to forget that it was a Bond film because it’s a way of avoiding clichés. If I know I’m the villain, I’m going to act like a villain so sometimes it’s better to not even think I’m a villain. And sometimes that’s what happens in our real life. We think we are nice guys and then one night your wife tells you that she never felt so alone and that you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that, you’re a bastard. And you didn’t even know it.

Did you see him as a lunatic?
There’s something missing in his mind – he’s crazy. I tried to bring something crazy and we feel this craziness at the end with the physical fight. It’s just wild. We tried to do something very savage. You try and search things that you’re not allowed to do in real life. I love to do those things. And with Daniel, we had to be very, very precise.

Were you worried about injuring Daniel, or him injuring you?
You have to abandon yourself completely. You can’t just take the piece of metal and slam with all your hate and stop just before. I had to hit him. So I had to see with Daniel, How much could I hit him? And he had to hit me too because you feel it. So that’s where there’s a big intimacy and respect for the other actor. It was very precise.

They don’t hold back, that’s for sure…
Usually there was something in the Bonds with James Bond and the villain usually have a sort of gentlemen relationship and they spend quite a lot of time together drinking tea. In this one, it’s not that at all because Bond has to find where is the danger coming from. And once he find that, he doesn’t even know what the guy’s looking for. We don’t have that many scenes together, we just hit, we just fight.