Lea Seydoux was one of the big new additions to the James Bond franchise when she took on the role of Madeleine in Spectre.

Lea Seydoux in Spectre

Lea Seydoux in Spectre

The actress talks about her character and working with Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes.

- How does it feel to join such a well-known and exciting film series?

It is great. And when I got the part I was so excited because James Bond is such a big part of our culture. We all know it. And for an actress, it's a special thing, and very exciting. You become, in a way, part of film history!

- How aware of James Bond were you when you were growing up in France?

I knew of the films, of course, everyone does. But I really started to watch the Bond films when they cast Daniel in Casino Royale. I remember really loving that film. It was something that is really a part of my generation.

- So many wonderful actresses have starred in the Bond films. Is it at all intimidating or nerve-wracking, following in their footsteps?

Yes, of course, it's a bit intimidating. But it's not only being cast as a Bond Girl, it's also working alongside all these extremely talented people, like Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz. Even the technical crew is amazing. The special effects, for example, are the best of the best, the crème de la crème!

- Did your work on Mission: Impossible help prepare you for a film of this size and scale?

Yes. I'm glad I did Mission: Impossible because it helped me a lot. In this kind of film, it's very technical so you have to be able to adapt yourself to the camera and to the sets. But it was, of course, not the same. You can't really compare the two parts. Spectre is much bigger and it's my first big part in an English film. It is much deeper and much more complex.

- Madeleine seems a good match for James Bond, on so many levels, don't you think?

I think so. I think that she understands him much better than other women because of her background and her upbringing. She can help him in his quest. It is a very strong understanding that they develop, and that makes it a very strong relationship between them.

- At first, though, there's a lot of mistrust...

Yeah, I like that it's very cold between them to begin with. And they meet in the mountains so it's in a cold location and then it becomes hotter when they go to Morocco, and their relationship warms up too. To begin with it's not easy but when they connect, they really connect, and it's a very strong emotional relationship that they have.

- And she gets involved in the action, too.

The role of Madeleine is not that physical but she has a stunt and I did that myself, which was exciting. I was quite scared because I had to jump down from quite high. But I was pleased that I did it. As Madeleine, I go beyond my fears! It was really nice to do it. Also, I had to get involved in the fight on the train with [Dave Bautista's character] Hinx and I worked with the stunt guys. It was on a train and it was not easy to make it work. I think that the scene looks great, though.

- What do you think of Madeleine's fashion - she gets to wear at least one nice dress?

I think she is elegant but she doesn't think too much about her clothes. She is more of an intellectual and pragmatic lady. I think that is what makes her quite modern in a way. She is not all about her style and her fashion. She is more practical than super sexy.

- You worked in some beautiful locations...

Oh, yes. Austria, for example, was so beautiful. All the locations are amazing. Morocco, too, was wonderful. They chose the best places for us to work! The desert was amazing. It was around 50 degrees [centigrade], which made it very tough. Also, the sets are amazing. The set designer worked for a year-and-a-half on the sets before we even started, and he did an amazing job. Everything is so detailed and elegant.

- How was your working relationship with Daniel Craig?

At the very start, I was a little bit afraid because I was not really sure of myself. Madeleine is a real woman and it's the first time I think that I've played a woman who is that powerful. But when I started the preparation and rehearsed with Daniel, the chemistry was really fantastic.

I really enjoyed being Madeleine and it was a great experience. Daniel is a very generous actor, and very nice. I was very lucky to work with him. He is very helpful, and he listens and is caring, so that was great for me. I'm very glad I met him.

- And what impressed you most about Sam Mendes as a filmmaker?

He is very clever and very detailed. He is very precise and sensitive at the same time. And it is a dream for an actor or actress to work with a director like that.

Spectre is available on Digital HD 19th February, Blu-ray & DVD 22nd February, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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