Rosamund Pike

Rising star of stage and screen Rosamund Pike talks about being a Bond girl, working with Owen Wilson and cutting up bodies in Prague: just some of the topics under discussion during a visit to her old Oxford college, Wadham, as part of its 400th anniversary celebrations this month.  

On being a Bond girl:

“I grew up as an only child, I was privately educated and raised quite strictly with no TV.  I had a rather over-protective mother –  I remember going to a party when I was about eight and having to leave early because they were going to watch a Bond film and I wasn’t allowed. I must be the only Bond girl in history who had never seen a Bond film!

When I  was in line for the part, (Miranda Frost in Die Another Day) I had to quickly go and watch some of the old Bond classics.  I remember that when we were promoting the film, they tried to get me to call myself a Bond woman rather than a Bond girl –  even though I was only 22 at the time. It was a fantastic opportunity at that age.

 On Hollywood:

Being in the movie business can open doors.  I was doing a film about monsters, with a scene where I had to dissect bodies.  We were filming in Prague and I asked to go to some dissection classes. When they found out it was for a film, they let me in, gave me a lab coat and handed me  a scalpel and there I was looking at nerves, veins and arteries.  That was amazing.

So there are some privileges to the job, but they say people in Hollywood have short term memories, and you need to keep in with them, make friends and contacts, if you want to keep making films.  Your part can get cut if it’s not relevant to the action;  if you interact more with the main characters, the  scene stays in.

On researching roles and getting into character:

I always do research for my roles. You are always observing – I observe myself all the time, sometimes I find myself doing it even in moments of intense emotion.  I’m also  watching everyone around me, noticing their behaviour.

The character I played in An Education, Helen, is a combination of Julie Christie and a friend of mine. Helen is someone who is content to be a bit dim and just happy to go along for the ride.  It was fun playing that part.

 On the secret of success:

I think if you want to do something, you should do it with real passion, that’s always been my philosophy. I always wanted to act and  took it very seriously from a young age.  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been studying actors and the way they work.

I recently worked with Owen Wilson  (on The Big Year, release date yet to be confirmed.) Owen has built up this character as a slacker and a drifter, but in reality he is a very serious person, very bright; he created that persona, and he works hard to keep himself where he is in the profession.

It’s not luck , it’s hard work. You always have to work at it – you can never take your eye off the ball.

On plans for the future:

I ‘m about to start work on a comedy, Johhny English Reborn, with Rowan Atkinson.  In the long term, I  want to carry on doing what I do; I would be very happy to be one of those “grandes dames” of the acting profession, who can still draw a crowd and fill a theatre in their sixties and seventies. “

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~ by A_A on September 15, 2010.

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