Movie News & Reviews

August 27, 2014

Olga Kurylenko shakes off constraints of being a 'Bond Girl'

LOS ANGELES — As soon as Olga Kurylenko appeared in the spy thriller "Quantum of Solace," she joined the likes of Honor Blackman, Jane Seymour, Ursula Andress and Eva Green in the cinematic sorority known as "Bond Girls."

The Ukrainian actress has seen the positives and negatives of being part of the group.

One upside is the international notoriety that comes with being in a Bond movie, which helped her land more acting roles such as her co-starring role in "The November Man."

"Also, I learned a lot working on the Bond movie. It gave me so many skills for doing action films," Kurylenko says. "I now come to all of the action films prepared. I know how to work with guns or do fighting scenes."

REVIEW: Pierce Brosnan returns to spy form in "November Man"

The downside is that many of the parts she was offered were just variations of her Bond character. Kurylenko turned down anything that seemed similar and accepted work that pushed her in new directions. The more unique roles include playing a wife of the owner of a glamorous Miami hotel in the late '50s in the critically heralded "Magic City" and a survivor in a post-Apocalyptic world in the sci-fi offering "Oblivion."

Her character Alice Fournier in "The November Man" was attractive because she has so many layers. She seems to be an innocent pawn in a battle between a Russian politician and the CIA, but as the film progresses, different facets are revealed.

"I couldn't wait to finish the script because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen," Kurylenko says. "What I found fascinating was that at some point, she realizes what a difficult situation she's found herself in. She's a regular girl who works in an office but suddenly the CIA and other killers are after her. I like how, at one point, she becomes proactive and takes the initiative to fight back."

Kurylenko likes that her character doesn't instantly turn into a highly skilled hero. She makes missteps and bad choices, which to the actress makes the character feel more real.

"The November Man" is one of five films scheduled to be released this year starring Kurylenko. She only had two days off between wrapping work on "Vampire Academy" before heading to Serbia to film "The November Man."

She is content with how being a "Bond Girl" has helped make her a busy film actress and has brought her back to a familiar place. In "Quantum of Solace," Kurylenko worked opposite Daniel Craig as Bond. In "The November Man," she teams with a former Bond, Pierce Brosnan.

"It's like I've done two Bonds," Kurylenko says. "To work with Pierce is a gift."

"What I found fascinating was that at some point, she realizes what a difficult situation she's found herself in. She's a regular girl who works in an office but suddenly the CIA and other killers are after her." — Olga Kurylenko, on her latest character

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