Lisa Ray recalls auditioning for Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig, says Gal Gadot was also in contention
Actor Lisa Ray in her upcoming memoirs has written about auditioning for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. She describes an extensive process that involved numerous acting coaches, future Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, and of course, Daniel Craig.
In excerpts from the book, titled Close to the Bone, Lisa writes that she was excited about the possibility of playing Camille Montes in Craig’s second Bond film, because ‘She would be the first Bond Girl that the spy doesn’t (immediately) bed.’
Lisa was brought to The Landmark hotel in Marylebone, where ‘Aston Martins and Rolls Royces idling outside’. There, she rehearsed her lines with several acting coaches, all arranged by the producers. The character required a Chilean accent, which she writes she was overwhelmed by. “The whole operation was thrillingly top secret and eponymous, it bordered on the farcical,” she wrote, adding that she knew Olga Kurylenko and Gal Gadot were also in the same hotel, auditioning for the same part, but she ‘never saw them’.
Lisa was then taken to Pinewood Studios, where the Bond films are shot. There, she was greeted by producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster. “I felt dazed: What am I doing here? Marc popped his head in the door and gave me a warm hello. Barbara Broccoli appeared too. ‘Good luck, my dear,’ she said. I’ve never had such a respectful audition experience and I’m sure I never will again,” she wrote.
“And then Daniel Craig walked in,” she wrote, “It couldn’t have been a more dramatic entrance: he was backlit with a halo of light around him, a perfect specimen outlined in silhouette, just in case I needed to be reminded of where I was. He cleaved the air as I stepped into his line of sight.”
Lisa wrote that she was concentrating far too hard on her accent, and not on the emotion of the scene. “Nervousness overtook me and I started cracking jokes. What I wanted to say was: ‘I’m mesmerized by your blue eyes’. What I said was: ‘My, how shiny are your shoes!’ I made a shoe joke. Really. This makes me cringe even now. He smiled indulgently, but a rush of energy had exited the room, like a back draft,” she wrote.
She was informed she didn’t get the part in 2007. The role eventually went to Olga Kurylenko. Quantum of Solace was a big box office success, but not as positively reviewed as its predecessor, Casino Royale, or even its successor, Skyfall.
Craig will return for his fifth Bond film in 2020, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Filming is currently underway, but the actor has sustained an injury for which he will require surgery.
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