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The Bond Women

MiNDFOOD chats with the illustrious Bond women: Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux and Naomie Harris at London’s glamorous Corinthia Hotel about the hit movie, Spectre, in theatres now.

The Bond Women

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A BOND GIRL?

LS:  It was beyond any dream that I could be a Bond Girl one day because I imagine a Bond Girl to be more of a femme fatale and I don’t really see myself like that.  So, I was surprised – but I like surprises.

NH:  This franchise has really had a huge impact on my career and my life in a very positive way.  I absolutely love working with Daniel (Craig) because for me he is the ultimate Bond.  He’s so dedicated to his craft and such a brilliant actor and so focused that he really helps you to raise your game and then go to another level.

MB:  I have so much respect for this historical tradition. James Bond is an institution.  He represents so much all over the world and all the feminine characters are fantastic and their femininity is so strong.  And even when they play bad girls, like Famke Janssen, I love them.  And other actresses like Rosamund Pike or Eva Green, Sophie Marceau, Halle Berry those characters are always in some way iconic and that’s why so many actresses want to play in a James Bond movie. 

MONICA, YOU WERE ASKED TO PLAY IN A BOND MOVIE BEFORE THIS ONE?  YOU TOOK A LONG TIME TO WARM TO THE IDEA?

MB:  (laughs) Yes, I was approached but that was like 25 years ago, something like that.  This was more special and of course I’m 51 years old which is a very different thing than your usual Bond woman.   I think it represents how far women have come.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

NH:  Filming late at night and trying to stay awake at four o’clock in the morning because most of the time you are not filming and so most of the time you are waiting around.  And at those moments, at four o’clock in the morning, it’s very easy to get really tired. So those were the hardest moments but also the most fun in a way because those really forced us to lean on each other and we just played silly games to stay awake

SUCH AS?

NH:   I Spy and humming games, just silly games and we just got incredibly delirious and childish so it was great fun. 

LS:  It was challenging in the way that it’s an English film for me and it’s the first time I had such a big role in a big film.  So it was challenging.  But I have to say that I was so happy to be on this film that I didn’t feel tired.  It was always such a joy to be with Daniel.

LEA, WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES THAT YOU HAVE IN REAL LIFE TO BE A JAMES BOND GIRL?  YOU HAVE THE BEAUTY, OBVIOUSLY, BUT WHAT ELSE?  ARE YOU GOOD WITH WEAPONS, ARE YOU FEARLESS? 

LS:  I have really nothing to do with being a Bond Girl I have to say.  (laughs)  I am not so good with weapons. I hate heights and I’m not so good with skiing.  I ski like a child.  I don’t know if I could be a Bond Girl in real life.

LEA, YOU’RE THE 9TH FRENCH BOND GIRL.  WHY DOES BOND LOVE THE FRENCH LADIES?

LS:  Because they have this mystery and elegance and they are elegant and attractive – but maybe you should ask a man.  (laughs).  I spoke with Carole Bouquet and she said when she did it at the time it was different back then for women.  She said he wished she could do one now. 

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT NOW?

LS:  The Bond Girls are stronger and they are a reflection of society so I feel the women today are stronger than they used to be.  But even James Bond has changed.  He is more sensitive and vulnerable and more feminine in a way and maybe the Bond Girls are more masculine. 

MONICA, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK WITH DOLCE & GABBANA? 

MB:  I have to say that Domenico and Stefano are my friends and actually when I work with them it’s not really work.  We met when we were very young.  I was a young model and they were young stylists who were already famous.  I did my first fashion shows with them and then when I got into acting we kind of grew up together.  We still have this beautiful relationship today even though when I don’t dress in Dolce Gabbana, like today, we have this beautiful relationship and I learned so much from them.  We have in common our love for the Italian cinema and all those beautiful amazing Italian ladies like Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren and Silvana Mangano and Monica Vitti.  This is part of our tradition.

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