Interview: Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe Talks Her Beauty Look for Skyfall and Graphic Eye Makeup
Mon, 19 November 2012 10:18AM
The other morning I found myself waiting in a hotel foyer before being ushered upstairs to interview actress Bérénice Marlohe, who plays Sévérine in the new James Bond movie Skyfall. Before I entered the room I was reminded by the publicist that we weren’t allowed to take photos. And I could totally understand – I mean, we all know what we look and feel like after a long-haul flight. So needless to say, I didn’t know what to expect before I walked in.
Let me paint the picture: Bérénice was sitting upright in a high-backed, Victorian-esque armchair, clad in a black, floor-length lace and embroidered gown shot through with dazzling golden threads, her hair set in chocolate curls rippling down her shoulder, her eyes awash in fabulous purple eyeshadow, winged out at the sides.
She was beyond elegant; more like regal. Breathtaking.
Image: Sony Pictures
As we began talking, not only was she so warm and welcoming that I instantly wanted her to become my fabulous French best friend, but it was evident how intensely passionate she was about her role and acting in general, as well as the influence her makeup (and nails) had on her getting into character.
Here, the beautiful French-Cambodian Bérénice and I talked all about her makeup for Skyfall, as well as her incredible beauty looks on the red carpet …
PRIMPED: Welcome to Australia, and congratulations on Skyfall – we loved the film! Can you tell us a little bit about how you felt when you landed the role of Sévérine?
Bérénice Marlohe: Thank you so much! It was actually a happy and peaceful moment, because I have felt very connected with the Bond universe since I was a kid. The first one I saw was View To Kill when I was 12, and it is a world of fantasy and imagination, with all of the invisible cars and gadgets. You feel like a child when you see them, so I felt so happy to be a part of it.
PRIMPED: Did you pick up any makeup tips Naomi Donne, the makeup artist you worked with in Skyfall?
BM: Naomi tried several different foundations on me before finding a light and beautiful colour. She then used it to show me how to do sculpting and contouring, which works to create and enhance exotic Asian cheekbones.
Image: Sony Pictures
(Primpers, we know smoking isn’t cool, but we just wanted you to see the nails)
PRIMPED: In Skyfall you had an almost Asian-inspired beauty look, particularly in the casino scene. Did this inspire you to get into character?
BM: Definitely. I wanted to have those strong eyes, because I also base my beauty inspiration – among other things – on a dragon, so I wanted to look dark and dangerous. Most of all it was the nails – I really loved them. They were like weapons, long and shaped almost like a dragon nail. I felt that it helped me so much, with my gestures and getting into character. I felt like I was inhabiting this dragon and animal, so the makeup, the hair, the nails and that dress, too, helped me get into the character of Sévérine.
PRIMPED: Speaking of nails, you wore the new OPI Skyfall collection in this scene. You wore Skyfall, a chocolate-maroon as the main colour, teamed with GoldenEye, a glitzy gold. Do you like experimenting with your nails?
BM: I love to! I love to explore different characters, so when I wear white or neutral colours, I feel calmer and then when I wear red or dark red I feel more like femme fatale character. I once went through a stage of wearing black, which was to connect with my instinct. Nails are so much a part of makeup, to get into character. And it’s also a way to express yourself.
PRIMPED: Before you became an actress you were pianist and painter. Does your artistic talent and creativity play a part in the graphic eye makeup we’ve seen wearing on the red carpet recently?
BM: When I paint, I love to draw the faces because this is when you capture the personality of people, and I find the eyes so fascinating. I love to work with shadows and the light, using colours like orange and red, and this is what I then love to put in my own makeup. I always say to the makeup artists, ‘Please put some orange and colours on me!’ because I have a strong sense of what I love to paint, and the same goes for my makeup.
PRIMPED: You also undertook extra training and worked with firearms in preparation for the film. What was that like, and what role does exercise play in your day-to-day life?
BM: I didn’t actually have to do the training for Skyfall, but I forced myself into it and running because I really love food, and if I listened to myself I would just eat all the time! I wanted to be able to get into the dress I wore in the casino scene, which was actually made a few months before. To me it was kind of like getting ready to wear wedding dress! I’m crazy about nature. I love to run in nature as far as possible, which wasn’t as easy in Paris, and I also enjoy hiking.
PRIMPED: When it comes to Bond girls over the last 50 years, do you think there is a signature beauty look?
BM: When I think of Bond girls over the years, I think of very womanly, beautiful makeup. It’s very glamorous with dark eyes and lips, or beautiful skin. It’s not overdone, it’s just fresh and beautiful.
PRIMPED: Do you have a favourite?
BM: Yes! Famke Janssen in GoldenEye. She was hilarious and brilliant! I loved it.
PRIMPED: You are of French and Cambodian heritage. Does this influence your style and beauty choices?
BM: I have a specific ways that I love to do my eye makeup, and you have to adapt with the shape of them. While sometimes makeup artist use eyeshadow on the outside of the eyes for European eyes, on the contrary I like to put it on the inside, too, so it balances it out. When it comes to fashion, I love really Asian silhouettes. It reminds me of the Film noir era, where the shapes were worn very close to the body, like Sophia Loren. Not too short, just very beautiful and feminine.
PRIMPED: When it comes to your personal beauty, what products would we find in your makeup bag?
BM: I love kohl, usually in a dark black shade. Also eyeshadow, like reds, greens and browns, and mascara. They would be the basics that I always have on me.
PRIMPED: How important is skincare to you? Does it play a big part in your beauty routine?
BM: The first steps is always to clean my skin, this is the most important part. And then I use a hydrating water or tonic, and finish with lots of moisturiser.
PRIMPED: You had a shower scene with Daniel Craig in Skyfall. What beauty products would we find in your shower?
BM: You would definitely find a scrub. I love a scrub that smells of coconut and cacao with sugar and natural oils. And recently I have started using virgin coconut oil, which smells so good, it’s almost like cake! It is so good for your skin. I love using natural products.
PRIMPED: Who is your beauty icon?
BM: I love Gena Rowlands, but for her beauty as well as her acting skills. And I think Brigitte Bardot is beautiful because she is so fresh faced, which is part of her charm. Of course, she is also so beautiful, but she has this pure face and was so full of life in her films. To me that is what makes her beautiful.
PRIMPED: Do you have a signature scent?
BM: Actually, it’s not a perfume, but I love coconuts and the scent, so at the moment I’m just using a coconut oil because I love that so much.
PRIMPED: Can I show you some our favourite red carpet looks and get you to talk them through with us?
BM: Of course!
I really like to change the traditional makeup looks, like using eyeshadow below the lower lash line and in the inner corners. I’m inspired by makeup in the desert, which I find very beautiful, and I love to use kohl to create a cat eye. I base a lot of my eye makeup looks on the cat eye. And I really love shades of red and orange to mix with brown or green to give an added depth.
Sometimes it’s better to accentuate only the eyes, but it depends on what shades you are wearing on the lips. Although when you find the right balance, it works. But I think it also depends on the colours you are wearing, the shapes of your eye makeup and also your mood. I think it can work!
Like nails and makeup and you can explore different characters with your hair. Play with it! But this dress, particularly because it was so sleek yet it had this beautiful neckline like a sculpture, you can wear your hair up so you see the line of the dress and also the neck of the woman, which is beautiful also.
Skyfall will hit in cinemas on November 22nd.
So, Primpers, isn’t she fabulous?
Has she tempted you to try the graphic eye makeup trend that we’ve seen on the red carpet lately?
Which of her eye makeup looks was your favourite?
Images: Getty unless stated otherwise