What convinced you to get on board a Bond film?
I think it’s always about the material in the script. When I read it, I felt ‘Wow, this is powerful!’
Of course, you have everything that you can expect in James Bond movies, but it has more than that. It’s very accomplished and powerful.
And then I talked to Sam and he gave me his ideas. I thought they were very good – brave, in some way.
And then there was Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench and Daniel, and then it’s like, ‘What the hell am I doing? Of course!’
Come on then, tell us a little bit about your character Silva. What’s his beef with Bond?
Jesus. So hard! It’s very difficult to talk about a movie that you cannot talk about, and also talk about a movie that you are doing!
Is he more of a cool, ruthless bastard or a screaming maniac?
Screaming maniac? What about a bit of everything?
Listen, many Bond villains have been beautifully made, and I’m the one to discover the fire.
Now it’s about pointing at that from different perspectives, bringing a different idea of that.
What kind of physical training did you have to do to prepare?
Very easy. White meat and fish on the grill. Vegetables. And gym. And sweat.
You’ve got blond hair in the film – how much input did you have into how Silva looked?
I cannot tell you what that blond hair is. Because… [shrugs mysteriously] Yes, I have some input in the way he looks and the way he talks. But it was Sam’s ideas that I wanted to follow and go with.
Is it difficult to balance more artistic and commercial work?
Really commercial work – I’ve only done two movies, Eat Pray Love and this one. I’m kind of new in this territory.
But I don’t see the difference, as long as you more or less carefully choose.
And you may be wrong. I’ve been wrong many times. I’ve done very bad movies. But the good news is that I choose them for the right reasons and I felt good doing it, I was proud doing it, and then the movie was a disaster or my performance was a disaster. But I believed in it.