Berenice Marlohe: The life of a Bond Girl

Severine (Berenice Marlohe), leads Bond to her evil master.

Berenice who? You’re forgiven if you don’t recognize the name of the latest Bond Girl — the French actress, 33, is known, if at all, for a few TV roles in France. She didn’t break out until moving to Los Angeles, where she was cast as the latest baddie in “Skyfall.” We got her on the phone for a little girl talk.  

When you got the part, did you think, “Wow, I’m a Bond Girl, I must be superhot.”

Not at all. I find that kind of reaction really stupid. I’m amazed at how people think they can judge me as an actress based on the pictures they have seen of me. It’s very disturbing when people assume becoming a Bond Girl is a beauty contest. It really isn’t. I’m an actress. I auditioned for the part. The Bond girl is a concept. So when people ask me how it feels to be one, I have trouble taking it all in. Maybe the fact I got to interpret such a mythical role will hit me in a few years time.

Let’s look at what former Bond Girls have had to say. Eva Green — of “Casino Royale”– told one newspaper that she fought to keep her clothes on in the shower scene, saying, “They wanted me to strip down to my panties. We had a good fight about that.” You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem getting naked.

Well you can’t see very much!

So you didn’t say: “I don’t want to be naked in the shower.”

I’m not very comfortable with nudity, so initially I wasn’t exactly thrilled. … I asked my agent — “What do we do with this? How naked do I need to be?” A Bond Girl is a combination of power — of masculinity, femininity and animality. I probably could have been like, “Do I really need to get naked?” but I don’t think anyone cared. It was more about the substance of the performance.”

Did Daniel Craig get naked?

No, he had special privileges you see. He got to wear a little swimsuit — not the blue one from “Casino Royale.” Neither of us were completely naked.

Is James Bond a good kisser?

Yes! Not only is he a good kisser, he’s also handsome and strong.

Former Bond girl Jill St. John (“Diamonds Are Forever”) said: “It’s not easy being a Bond woman. You have to stay in shape when you’re in a bikini all those months.” Can you relate to that?

Nobody pressured me to be a certain weight. But the thing is, I have a huge appetite. I’m not one of those women who are like, “I eat loads!” when in fact they eat nothing but salad. Eating is one of my greatest passions in life. So yes, I had to force myself to go out for a run every once in a while, because if I’d listened to myself I’d have been perfectly happy staying in watching movies and eating.

Could you fall for a man like Bond?

Definitely. The James Bond played by Daniel Craig is extremely complex. He’s funny, sensitive, strong and courageous. … The combination of his virility, vulnerability and sense of humor are all magic ingredients. I could fall in love with a Bond like that. He’s also got a really pretty little swimsuit.

Bond Girl Barbara Bach (“The Spy Who Loved Me”) called Bond “a chauvinist pig who uses girls to shield him against bullets.” Is that true?

   
I’m the one who had to protect our darling Bond in “Skyfall.” He used to be a bit of a player but he’s become more subtle when seducing women. His character would be a little bit grotesque had he never evolved.


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