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How Jaws Influenced Silva, Answering "What Is The Point Of Bond?" & More From The 'Skyfall' Press Conference

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist November 8, 2012 at 10:05AM

This weekend the latest James Bond entry "Skyfall" opens nationwide and will be rocking people's socks off from coast to coast. Directed by Sam Mendes (read our interview here) and starring Daniel Craig in his third outing as the super-spy, it's a very different movie than the previous two installments ("Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace"), with more color, humor, suspense, and melancholy. While attending the film's press day, we learned the principles – Craig, Mendes, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, Javier Bardem and Bond girl Naomie Harris -- detailed the making of the movie, and the various aspects of the production. Be warned, though: MAJOR SPOILERS follow. Read this piece after you see the movie. Seriously.
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Javier Bardem Skyfall

Javier Barden's Key Word Was "Uncomfortableness"
When someone brought up the amazing scene where Bardem's Silva confronts Bond for the first time and is both threatening and seductive, Bardem said that one of Mendes' notes to him was the word "uncomfortableness" (which isn't really a word but works anyway). "It was part of the game. But it wasn't the entire game," the actor noted. Bardem then elaborated on the nebulous sexuality of the character. "Sexuality was there as something important to create a behavior but it's not the main thing," he explained. "The main goal was uncomfortableness. In that you can read it however you wish. It is more about putting the other person in an uncomfortable situation. With that comes the rest. Create something unexpected." Unexpected is definitely what Bardem created.

Bardem Also Connects With A James Bond Baddie From The Past
One of the more shocking sequences in the movie is when Bardem's Silva, explaining that he had tried to kill himself using an MI-6 suicide pill, shows that he has become grotesquely deformed. It seems to be a nod to the more freakish Bond villains of the past, and one in particular, who Bardem already had a connection with. "The first time I saw a movie was 12 and I saw 'Moonraker' and I was immediately drawn to Jaws," Bardem said. "I could tell that he was a beautiful person. So you see 007 and so many memories of the times you went to the movie theater and enjoyed those movies, it comes with you in a flash." Sometimes, though, this kind of awe got the better of him. "One day I was shooting and I saw Daniel and Judi looking at me and I forgot the lines," Bardem said with a laugh. "It was like 'Jesus, that's M and James Bond and I'm in a crystal cell.' Sam Mendes laughed and yelled cut and said, 'What the hell happened?' Because he understood."

Mendes Asked Himself, "What Is The Point Of Bond Movies?" 
A lot of the movie deals with old and new – MI-6 is relocated to a WWII-era bunker, James Bond drives his old roadster, and the old Q (previously played by John Cleese) is replaced by a hip young nerd – and for director Sam Mendes, this was the key to the entire movie, which then takes on a meta-textual quality. "It was very clear, to me, the discussion at the center of the movie, should be, 'What is the point of secret service?' and therefore 'What is the point of Bond?' and then 'What is the point of Bond movies?'" Mendes said. "And it's an argument for all three." Mendes wanted to go back to the thematic core of the series. "I'm talking about old values – honor, trust, friendship, courage. It's deeply old fashioned in its values but I think they never go out of date," he said, stating that while this all sounds highly intellectual, it's also what gives the movie its emotional heft. "That's what the old is in the movie. As embodied by the relationship between Bond and M. That's something that runs right through the picture and reaches its natural conclusion."

This article is related to: Skyfall, Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem


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