When the 23rd James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ opens in November, the name Bérénice Marlohe is likely to reach stellar heights overnight. In her role as one of the Bond girls, Bérénice will inhabit one of cinema’s most desirable parts in one of its most recognizable franchises.
As with most of the past James Bond movies, its actors are catapulted into the world’s media, starting with a series of prestigious and high profile premieres around the world, being transported around in limousines and clad in the most exclusive designer outfits. It is what any aspiring actor dreams whilst perhaps working in ad campaigns for perfumes, clothing or limo insurance.
Sky’s the limit
Most of the storylines in ‘Skyfall’ remain shrouded in secrecy till the all important opening day, but what is already common knowledge is Bérénice is cast as Severine, a mysterious femme fatale with links to Raoul Silva, played by former Oscar-winner (‘No Country for Old Men’) Javier Bardem.
Landing such a high profile part often ensures worldwide fame, and for some – the start of a lifelong career. This has already been the case for some of the past Bond girls. Just look at the way being a Bond girl turned Halle Berry from being a ‘Hollywood it’ girl into a famous ‘sexpot’. Or how virtually unknown French actress Eva Green became an in-demand actress with a host of other films under her belt post her Bond tenure (e.g. Golden Compass, Dark Shadows).
From struggling actress to Bond girl
Prior to being awarded the part as a Bond girl, Bérénice was, in her own words ‘a struggling actress’ in France. She went to Los Angeles to look for her big break in the film industry. This was not plain sailing; there were many rejections, before she found out about the imminent auditions for a new James Bond movie. She managed to find out the casting director’s email address, sent her show reel and this set off a series of auditions; first with the casting director, then with director Sam Mendes and lastly with James Bond himself – Daniel Craig.
Success has not changed her
Bérénice has been quoted as saying that despite being part of the huge franchise machinery that is James Bond, she has remained grounded.
“I didn’t come here suddenly, by accident. It was a long journey of many, many years,” Bérénice said. “I just foresee working and moving forward in my life and as an actress and in my work, but what is surprising is that I see the look of people outside surrounding me change suddenly, so this is what gives me the feeling that suddenly things are changing.”
The creation of a new type of Bond girl
A big fan of her co-star Daniel Craig, Bérénice has described how the James Bond character has changed thanks to Craig “instilling very different colors – like vulnerability, like strong and tough, almost like a robot sometimes, but on the other hand, very human, very sensible with a sense of humor”.
Bérénice terms this development “modernity” and has used this evolution of the role, a reference for her own part as Severine. She was quoted as saying that she wanted to create a ‘unique character’ for the part, rather than being influenced by earlier Bond girls.
“I see her more like a very unique character in a unique movie, more than a Bond Girl actually, so I really wanted to work on this character to create something charismatic and suspenseful on screen, more than what a Bond Girl can before have referred to, just a woman to be saved.”
Bérénice – soon the name on everyone’s lips and invites
Skyfall may not yet be out, but Bérénice has already started to make waves within popular media. Online site askmen.com declared her one of the ‘Top 99 Women’ of 2012, with a 90th place, situated between TV star US film star Lake Bell (89) and UK reality Amy Childs (91).
This is likely to be only the beginning of a whirlwind of opportunities offered Bérénice.
As a beautiful and celebrated actress, she will be hot property and in strong demand at a myriad prestigious events, such as glamorous launches and openings. Exclusive fashion designers, for instance, will be clamoring for her attention. The media is already speculating on her choice of attire for the world premiere of ‘Skyfall’, following the striking, red Antonio Berardi dress she wore at the initial press photocall.
Her Bond girl predecessor, Olga Kurylenko was spotted sitting front row at an uber-exclusive Chanel couture fashion show – expect Bérénice to be a natural addition come the next show.
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