Ben Whishaw Interview For ‘Skyfall’
Daniel Craig is back as James Bond 007 in ’Skyfall,’ the 23rd installment of the longest-running film franchise in history. In ’Skyfall,’ Bond’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past returns to haunt her. 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. When Bond’s latest assignment goes gravely wrong and several undercover agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked, forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows – aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, Road to Perdition), ’Skyfall’ also stars Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Albert Finney and Ola Rapace. ‘Skyfall’ will begin its worldwide roll-out in the UK and Ireland on October 26th, with a North American release following on November 9th.
Playing this new incarnation of Q, how do you perceive him? He’s very much rooted in this modern world of 007.…
Ben Whishaw: Yeah. He’s the new breed really, he’s the new breed of intelligence. It’s terrifying, and this is why I think ‘Skyfall’ is such an exciting film, the terror, it’s largely conducted through cyber space and a kind of cyber warfare. This Q, the new Q, he is a sort of computer genius, one of only six people in the world who has certain knowledge. He’s quite a mysterious person with a sly sense of humour.
His characteristics play a part with one of the themes in ‘Skyfall’ as well….?
Ben Whishaw: Yeah. Q sort of represents something in ‘Skyfall,’ one of the conflicts in the film, which is between the “old” and the “new”. It’s a battle and a theme that runs through ‘Skyfall,’ between the way the world is going now and the way that the intelligence services are traditionally run. He’s one of the pieces that represents that.
What was your first impression in both meeting Sam Mendes and reading the script of ‘Skyfall’?
Ben Whishaw: I’d met Sam Mendes before making ‘Skyfall,’ I think I was going to work with him on a theatre thing a few years ago. So then to finally have the opportunity to work with him was so thrilling. And then when I read the script for ‘Skyfall,’ it felt like exactly the right progress, for me, about where the James Bond story needed to go. It seemed to bring it so wonderfully into the present. It was very exciting.
How was it finally working under the direction of Sam, what qualities do you think he brought to the movie?
Ben Whishaw: I love his appetite for new genres, he hasn’t really done anything like ‘Skyfall’ before. And I really love that courage. It was fascinating to see the qualities he brings from his other work into this new form. And like all great directors, he has amazing attention to detail. There’s nothing that passes him by , he’s on top of every minute element of filming.
‘Skyfall’ features an amazing cast, each playing characters with really depth. How was that experience working with the likes of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem….?
Ben Whishaw: It’s amazing to be among that group of people, I can’t really believe it (laughs)! I think it’s wonderful regarding the quality of actors that are in ‘Skyfall,’ that was very exciting to me – and across the board, you know? I think it really roots the story and the characters in something very real, and in something that feels very contemporary and kind of dangerous. It’s a terrifying film, it has some real moments of terror, and I think the actors help bring that home.
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