Thursday, October 18, 2012

Secrets from James Bond backstage

The fabulous "Skyfall," the latest adventure in the 50-year-old James Bond franchise, includes thrills, chills and many glorious surprises. But, no, they won't be revealed here yet. At least not before audiences get a chance to check them all out for themselves when the excitement fills the screen on Nov. 9.

However, during a series of press interviews Monday at New York's Crosby Street Hotel, two key members of the cast -- hey, would you believe Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem? -- did confess to a couple of interesting revelations.

Craig, making his third Bond appearance after "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace," admitted to absolutely loving any action sequences that take place in water.

"The great thing about doing those underwater scenes," Craig said, "is that no one can find you.
That makes it my favorite bit.

"You know you can't see it, but we've got safety divers off camera with oxygen tanks, and I like to spend most of my time under the water. When we're not shooting, I swim to the bottom -- it's this huge, great big tank at Pinewood (Studios in London) -- about 30 feet deep, and I just sink to the bottom, put the respirator in (my mouth) and hide.

"I mean, it's great that sometimes I actually can get some sleep down there," Craig concluded. "It's just kind of wonderful being under water. I love scuba diving anyway, and then you'll even hear a voice from above asking, 'Where's Daniel?' "

Meanwhile, Bardem, who plays a grand villain named Raoul Silva (his opening salvo with Craig/Bond is above left), added some surprising nuggets about forgetting his own lines and the cell-phone tone actual belonging to Dame Judi Dench (back as the no-nonsense "M" and shown with Mendes below right).

"When I see the poster now, it's like, 'Whoa!' " Bardem explained. "This is James Bond! When you receive a script that (mentions) 007, of course something clicks inside you.

"I'm always telling this story, but it's absolutely true that, when I saw Judi and Daniel looking at me for the first time, I actually forgot my lines because it was like, 'Jesus, that's M and that's James Bond both looking at me so I really am the villain in a James Bond movie!'

"(Director) Sam (Mendes) immediately yelled cut and asked what happened," Bardem continued with a laugh. "Fortunately, he was laughing, too, because he knew why, but I said, 'Well, man, I'm sorry. I'm a human being who just realized he's in a James Bond movie.' Then we kept on shooting."

A few hours later the same day, Bardem said he was in the midst of a "very intense scene" with Dench when the very familiar Bond theme (which he hummed right on note) came out of nowhere.

"When I heard it," he explained, "I asked where it was coming from, before realizing it was on Judi Dench's cell phone. I simply said, 'Wow!' That was really pretty cool, I have to say. It was like a dream come true, with M's cell giving the music to the scene.

"What can I say? It's simply a privilege for me to be in a movie that celebrates 50 years of Bond -- and it's such a very good movie at that!"

Read more features and reviews, including a Daniel Craig interview, by John M. Urbancich at Sun News.

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