Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko starring in the new Bond film Quantum of Solace
The new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, is facing a great opening weekend. The previous Bond film, Casino Royale, gained significant attention of the female audience, compliments of shirtless Daniel Craig coming out of the ocean. The new 007 film is guaranteed major success with the male audience, not only because of the numerous car chases and explosions, but mainly because of the Ukrainian model and actress Olga Kurylenko. Coincidentally, November 14 is Olga's 29th birthday! Even though the Communist Party of the Russian Federation condemned Olga and called her "a traitor," all she's betraying is her real identity. In the movie she is a Bolivian, not Ukrainian, and a fighter, not a model.
Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko (ÐžÐ»ÑŒÐ³Ð° ÐšÐ¾ÑÑ‚ÑÐ½Ñ‚Ð¸Ð½Ñ–Ð²Ð½Ð° ÐšÑƒÑ€Ð¸Ð»ÐµÐ½ÐºÐ¾) was born on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union. Her mother, Marina Alyabysheva, divorced her father, Konstantin Kurylenko, soon after her birth. After the divorce, her mother struggled to survive as an art teacher. Young Olga Kurylenko was brought up by her mother and her grandmother, Raisa. During her youth, Olga had a humbling experience of living in poverty; she had no choice but to wear rags and had to darn the holes on her sweater. During the years in Ukraine she studied art, languages, did 7 years of musical school studying piano and went to a ballet studio until 13.
At age 13, Olga and her mother made a trip to Moscow. There she was scouted by an agent who approached her at a subway station and offered a job as a model. Initially, Olga's mother was suspicious, but eventually Olga made a good career choice and took training as a model in Moscow. By age 16, she was ready for the next step. She moved to Paris, learned French in six months, and was signed by the Madison agency. At age 18, Olga appeared on the cover of Glamour, then she graced magazine covers of Elle, Madame Figaro, Marie Claire, and Vogue, and also became the face of Lejaby lingerie, Bebe clothing, Clarins and Helena Rubinstein cosmetic companies.
In 1999, Olga married her friend, French photographer Cedric Van Mol and divorced him 3,5 years later. One day Olga presented herself to an acting agency. Eventually, she swapped the catwalk for celluloid, and her acting career took off. In 2005 she made her film debut as Iris, a sensual beauty in L'Annulaire (2005) by director Diane Bertrand.
Olga's cinematic roles have been notably steamy, and her natural beauty and explicit nudity attracted the attention of the male audiences. She appeared opposite Elijah Wood in Paris, je t'aime (2006) and as Le Sofia in Serpent (2006), then co-starred as Russian beauty Nika Boronina opposite Timothy Olyphant in Hitman (2007). She also appears as Mina Harud in the indy surveillance-thriller Tyranny (2008) and is billed as Camille, the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace (2008), a sequel to Casino Royale (2006).
Olga Kurylenko with Timothy Olyphant in Hitman
When she arrived for her initial audition in Paris last year, Kurylenko realized the script she had been given in advance ''wasn't the right one, not the text they were using that day.'' In order to play catch-up, the actress let others audition in front of her. ''All I could do was listen and try to pick up the correct lines, but in the end I really had to improvise a lot.
''Maybe because of that, it made me relax, knowing I had nothing to lose -- figuring there was no way I'd get the part since I was so clearly unprepared.''
Olga Kurylenko in Kiev, Ukraine
Imagine her surprise when she got a callback for a second audition, and then a third one -- ultimately doing a scene with Daniel Craig in London. ''By that point I was really nervous, because you know you're close to getting it, but you still haven't got it. You suddenly get your hopes up but don't want to want it too much, in case they pick someone else.''
An added challenge for her was the fact her character ''is a Bolivian, and I knew I was competing with actresses who were Hispanic. Spanish was their first language. ''They didn't have to fake the accent. To make sure I was convincing as a Bolivian, I worked hard on my accent every day for two weeks before I had to audition with Daniel.''
Olga Kurylenko and Daniel Craig on a Bloomberg outdoor deck in Moscow
After she got the good news she had won the role of Camille, Kurylenko underwent intensive stunt training -- to prepare her for several scenes involving rough fighting.
''The funny part is I have a big fight scene with Joaquin [Cosio, who plays the corrupt and very vicious Bolivian General Medrano] -- and he's such a teddy bear in real life, a real sweetie! Even though the stunt coaches spend months teaching you how to do certain movements so you don't get hurt, at the end of the day, certain things you have to do for real.''
In a climactic struggle with Cosio, Kurylenko said her co-star really did throw her around the room, violently pulling her hair. ''It did hurt, especially because you have to do about 20 takes of each scene. It's not the first time you fall that's so bad. It's when you fall on that same bruise, over and over again. That's the hard part, but it's what makes it all look real. When you hurt for real, you can communicate that pain in your acting.''