Did you know that Olga Kurylenko, the new Bond Girl introduced in the latest (the 22nd) 007 movie Quantum of Solace, has a mortal fear of heights (acrophobia)?
In the party scene when Greene (played by Mathieu Amalric, one of France’s top actors) is supposed to push her off a high balustrade, Olga said that she froze.
“I’m scared of heights,” Olga told Funfare during a one-on-one at a function room of Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, “and at first, I told myself, ‘There’s no way I can do it.’ Why, I can’t even walk on the balcony of my apartment! But the stunt team was helpful. They took me up there and they were so patient. Surprisingly, I did the scene very calmly. I couldn’t believe that I managed to do it!”
A native of Ukraine, Olga started her acting career in France, appearing in movies like L’Annulaire, Je T’Aime and Le Serpent while at the same time working as an in-demand model (not only in Paris but also in Milan, New York and London). At 18, Olga was gracing the covers of glossy magazines like Vogue and Elle.
In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s second Bond caper (his first, Casino Royale, is so far the highest-grossing 007 movie), Olga plays Camille whom she described as “a girl with a tragic past because members of her family were killed before her very eyes when she was young.”
Asked what she found memorable about Quantum, Olga said, “Everything! It’s a different work altogether. It’s a very physical role. I learned how to sky-dive, to handle a gun, to fight. I didn’t have to go on a special diet but I had to work out every day to keep in shape. I learned so many different things, aside from traveling around the world because the movie was shot in a dozen locations.”
She wasn’t even a glint in her parents’ eyes when the first Bond movie was shown in 1962, Dr. No with Sean Connery and Ursula Andress.
“I don’t remember what was the first James Bond movie I saw but I did see a few of them. Did I ever imagine that I would be in a James Bond movie? No, no, no...never!”
Wasn’t it intimidating working with Craig, said to be the “perfect 007” as described by author Ian Fleming?
“It’s great working with Daniel,” smiled Olga. “He’s professional and very concentrated, totally focused. He’s a serious worker but he has a good sense of humor. On the set, he joked a lot and his jokes were very, very funny.”
News that Craig was the new 007 was met with boos by some quarters, dismissing Craig as “James Bland,” but only for the critics to eat back their words when Casino Royale made a killing at the tills.
“Daniel has been so successful as James Bond because he is a great actor,” Olga said in defense of Craig. “I think his look is also very important; he looks so tough and so masculine. The power in his eyes is incredible. I experienced that in one scene. He just looked at me and I felt that I would melt. He can cut through you with his light-blue eyes which are penetrating and so powerful.”
After Quantum of Solace, Olga will be seen in Max Payne with Mark Wahlberg and in the French-produced drama Kirot.