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Mathieu Amalric on Being the 'Bond 22' Villain
Premiere talks to Bond's new nemesis, Mathieu Amalric, on set in Panama about idyllic islands, Bond babes, and why he really took that part in 'Marie Antoinette.'

By Karl Rozemeyer

Mathieu Amalric in Quantum of Solace
Mathieu Amalric in Quantum of Solace
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Read the first part of Premiere's interview with Mathieu Amalric.

Premiere's interview with Mathieu Amalric from the set of the 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is interrupted several times. Filming is taking place in Panama's second city, Colón, a port on the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, and the actor is called away more than once to complete a film sequence. "Yeah, it's very busy. I had a big scene," he says. As are most actors from the highly secretive Bond 22 sets, Amalric is a little evasive on the subject. He fails to divulge much more about the details of the day's shoot other than that he displays the "habits of a villain guy" by showing the corpse of someone he has just executed to Bond vixen Olga Kurylenko (of Hitman fame) in order to impress upon her that the idea of betraying him shouldn't even cross her mind.

What is known is that Amalric is Dominic Greene, a ruthless businessman and major force within Green Planet, the mysterious organization that blackmailed Vesper Lynd (played in the previous Bond installment by Eva Green). Greene, it is revealed, is also linked to Vesper's death. Quantum of Solace picks up the thread of Casino Royale a little over thirty minutes after the credits of the most successful Bond film rolled. Forensic intelligence links a traitorous MI6 agent to a bank account in Haiti. While there, James Bond (reprised by Daniel Craig) is introduced to the seductive Camille, a Ukrainian-Bolivian femme fatale played by Kurylenko — who has her own personal axe to grind with Dominic Greene.

The Panama location is meant to double for Bolivia and, aside from the Colón shoot, scenes were also filmed in the now dilapidated club of former dictator General Manuel Noriega in Panama City, including a confrontation involving James Bond and Dominic Greene as well as Camille and MI6 Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) who works at the British Consulate in Bolivia.

Playing the villain hellbent on taking down agent James Bond can be exhausting. "It's a lot of work and I'm not allowed to leave for more than one day, unfortunately," says Amalric. But now, after a few weeks in Central America, he finally has had a day to himself. "Yesterday was Sunday so we went to [an island archipelago] called San Blas. It's absolutely beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! There are 350 little islands, with just sand and coconut trees and Indians that live there. No tourists, or very [few] tourists... So I just spent one day in a postcard, really a cliché of happiness, just eating fish and swimming in blue water." But the idyll will not last for long, Amalric believes, and so he considers himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy this unspoiled stretch in the Caribbean: "It's going to [change] because Panama is just becoming a big, big tourist center. Hotels are being built absolutely everywhere. They don't have enough cement; they have to import cement from Russia because it's just expanding everywhere. Big companies are making a lot of money here."

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