Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux : Strong Women of “SPECTRE”

James Bond, of course, is always drawn to women and Columbia Pictures’ new
007 action adventure SPECTRE proves that he can still woo them. Italy’s
Monica Bellucci (“Malena,” “The Matrix” sequels) and France’s Lea Seydoux
(Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color”) play the new women
in Bond’s life.

In the film, a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel
Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he
meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of
an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the
existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Italian Monica Bellucci is an actress that producers Michael G. Wilson and
Barbara Broccoli had tried to recruit in the past, denied only for
scheduling conflicts. “We’re delighted to finally get her,” says Wilson.
“She is terrific in the role.”

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Bellucci, meanwhile, says that she was delighted to finally join the
series. “I said yes right away because I was very happy to work with Sam
Mendes and to be part of this project,” she explains. “I have so much
respect for the James Bond films in general because I think they are such a
big part of cinema history. And I respect so much all the James Bond girls;
I think they are beautiful actresses and talented and it was very
interesting for me to be part of this history.”

The character she plays is a seductive Italian woman who holds a number of
secrets. “Her Mafioso husband is killed and she risks the same thing
happening to her,” Bellucci explains. “When she first meets Bond she
doesn’t trust him because she comes from a world where only corrupt men
have the power.

“But the chemistry and the attraction between them is so strong and she
realises her feminine power over him. Then she trusts him. He saves her and
she gives him the information he needs.” She laughs. “And they find an
interesting way to sign a contract with each other!”

Another woman playing a pivotal role in SPECTRE is Madeleine Swann, who is
brought to the screen by French actress Léa Seydoux. “She’s a doctor and
she’s a strong woman,” Seydoux says of her character. “She is intelligent,
independent and she doesn’t want anything to do with Bond when she meets
him for the first time. She’s not impressed.”

As the story progresses, however, events force a change in their dynamic,
and their relationship softens. “She understands Bond very well because she
has an insight into the world that he lives in,” the actress continues.
“For his mission he needs to understand things from his past and he needs
Madeleine for the information she can provide. Eventually, it is a very
strong relationship between them.”

* Opening across the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 06, SPECTRE is distributed
by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing
International.

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