Meet the newest Bond beauties

Actor Daniel Craig (C) poses with actresses (L) Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe during a...

Actor Daniel Craig (C) poses with actresses (L) Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe during a photocall to promote the new James Bond film "Skyfall", at a hotel in central London October 22, 2012. The world premiere of "Skyfall" takes place in London on Tuesday. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:02 PM ET

Like all good 007 films before it, Skyfall introduces some beautiful new 'Bond girls'.

French actress Berenice Marlohe is the conflicted mistress of the villainous Silva, and Naomie Harris is the capable fellow agent at MI6 who almost gets Bond killed.

Artist and pianist Berenice Marlohe, 33, says, "When I think of a Bond girl, I think of a kind of strange animal, something powerful and yet vulnerable. I took my inspiration from the chimera, a mythical Greek animal, and I imagined a panther and a dragon."

Marlohe, whose French mom is a teacher and whose Cambodian dad is a doctor, attended the respected arts school Conservatoire de Paris. She's had some roles in television but was told by various French agents that she had the wrong 'look' to work in France.

As far as director Sam Mendes was concerned, however, her look was perfect.

He told GQ, "There's a real mystery to her ... In some light she's Western, in some lights she's very exotic."

Like everyone else in Skyfall, Marlohe says working with Daniel Craig was a great experience. "And I almost got to see him naked in the scene where he comes up behind me in the shower, trying to kiss me. It was difficult," she says, laughing.

"I tried, but I never managed to see him."

To work shoulder to shoulder with Bond, Naomie Harris had to undergo rigorous training before filming began.

"I was out five days a week, two hours a day, with yoga, combat training, and running, three days a week on the gun range and one day a week with just combat training with stunt guys," she says.

It was actually very difficult, says Harris, 36, "Because I'm incredibly unfit. When we started, I couldn't run around the block, and now I can do two and a half k, which for me is amazing."

She's done big movies before (including two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films) but Harris was daunted by the prospect of working on a Bond film. She leaned on Craig for support.

"I was like, my God, it's Bond, it's bigger than anything I've ever done. But Daniel kind of took me under his wing and held my hand and said, 'We're going to get through this together.' "

Harris, a Cambridge graduate, got her first break when Danny Boyle cast her in 28 Days Later. "He started my career and changed my life," she says. And then he did it again.

A decade after that, Boyle cast her in the play Frankenstein. And that's where Mendes saw her. "So once again, Danny Boyle changed my life."

When she was asked to audition, says Harris, she didn't take it seriously.

"I know they audition thousands of girls around the world, and I never saw myself as a Bond girl.

"Not until the third audition, when they told me it was down to me and two other girls did I think, 'Wow, this is actually serious.' I was over the moon when I found out I got it, but that was a bit difficult because I was told I couldn't tell anybody. Anybody! It was difficult living with that secret."

 


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