Oscar-winning production designer Dennis Gassner returns for his third Bond film, and his fourth collaboration with Sam Mendes. “Working with Dennis is like a bit of magic; he’s got such a soul,” says Mendes. “You get more out of a drawing that Dennis would have done on the back of a napkin than out of 70 pages of technical drawings. And then his sense of colour and light, architecture and style and his taste, all these things are impeccable.”
What the filmmakers dreamed up for SPECTRE, Gassner says, was guided by what they created in Skyfall. “That was a beginning and then SPECTRE is the continuation of that,” he says of the production design. “In my initial discussions with Sam I said, ‘Where do you want to go with this film? What’s your direction?’ and he said, ‘Can you find me something hot and then something cold?’”
Shifting Bond through contrasting environments, from hot to cold, the film opens in Mexico amid a wild Day of the Dead celebration. “When the Day of The Dead came up I was extremely happy because it’s been something I have been watching for a long time, coming from California and therefore being very close to Mexican culture,” says Gassner.
“We started doing our research and when we reached the right tone and started designing it, it worked out really well. The Mexicans were absolutely wonderful to work with and are obviously passionate about displaying what their culture is invested in. Working on the Day of the Dead section of the film was one of the most exciting things I have done in my career, ever.”
The parade included 10 decorative skeleton maquettes and floats, the tallest of which towered 11 metres high. The carnival centrepiece was ‘La Calavera Catrina’ skeleton, inspired by an etching from Mexican illustrator and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada, which wore a hat that was 10 metres wide.
Elsewhere, when searching at a contrasting, colder environment, Gassner and Mendes settled on the Alps, which feature some key scenes, including Bond’s introduction to an important character at the Hoffler Klinik.
“The Klinik was really the beginning of the adventure for me,’ Gassner explains. “We went to the Alps in Switzerland and Austria and Italy. Luckily, I found Sölden in Austria, and a restaurant, the ICE-Q, at the top of this ski lift, which became the foundation for what we needed. The Klinik is a little bit of an ice jewel in the middle of the movie!”
Gassner says that the ICE-Q structure had the perfect clean and clinical Alpine aesthetic for the Hoffler Klinik, and its position atop the 3,000-metre Gaislachkogl Mountain made it especially attractive. With key scenes set inside the Klinik, however, the filmmakers built the interior at Pinewood Studios in England, the traditional home of the James Bond films.
Knowing Sam Mendes’ penchant for the symmetrical, both in set design and composition, Gassner tried mirroring the existing architecture to form a ‘butterfly’ shape. As the idea developed the new footprint was mirrored again to form a final design that was made up of four cantilevered wings radiating around a central courtyard.
To balance the symmetry of the new building, a central concrete entrance tunnel was built, both on location in Austria and on the stage at Pinewood, allowing the actors to transition seamlessly between the exterior and interior sets.
When looking for a key European city, the filmmakers selected Rome, impressed by the sense of power and scale, which fits so well with Bond in general, and SPECTRE in particular.
“All cities are challenging,” says Gassner, “and Rome was no different. But what we wanted to transfer to the screen was the sense of power you get from the architecture in that city.”
A key scene set in Rome, which was shot at Pinewood, is the SPECTRE meeting that introduces the film’s primary antagonist, Oberhauser. “Again, when designing that scene, it was all about power; that was what we were looking for,” says Gassner. “The original location that we modelled our interior on was the Palace of Caserta in Naples.”
“There was a sense of scale that was massive and we wanted to convey that during the SPECTRE meeting,” he adds. “We were able to do that on the sound stages that we had available. I think that we achieved what we needed and it is a great entrance for Oberhauser. That’s a key moment in the film.”
Another key location was Morocco, including the city of Tangier. “That was an exciting place to go,” says Gassner, “Tangier generally has a romantic image and that carried through to a number of very important scenes.”
In London, meanwhile, Gassner designed some very specific locations, including M’s office, Q’s lair and Bond’s apartment, to name but a few. “For M’s office we of course went back to the ‘red door’ room which is classic,” he says, referencing the archetypal, very traditional Whitehall environment that housed Bernard Lee’s M across the years, “and then we went from there to Q’s lab and his workshop.”
According to producer Michael G. Wilson, Q’s working environment in SPECTRE showcases his interest in inventing. “Q is back to having lots of mechanical devices and he’s fixing things but also there is some high tech behind it. It’s a bit like the mad professor’s lab!”
As well as giving Q a new environment, SPECTRE also reveals Bond’s London apartment. Producer Barbara Broccoli explains, “At the beginning of pre-production I said to Dennis that Bond’s apartment will be one of the most difficult sets to get right, and after we shot it he said, ‘You were right about that,’ because everyone has an idea in their minds about the kind of place where Bond would live.
“When you actually sit down and figure out what that should be,” she adds, “everyone has different expectations. We knew it would be tricky but Dennis did a great job. And Daniel was also very involved in that set design because it indicates a lot of about the character of Bond himself and what he calls home.”
THE LOCATIONS AND STUNTS
Every location in SPECTRE features spectacular stunts and set pieces, starting with the Day of the Dead scenes in Mexico City, which employed 1,520 extras, dressed and made up by 107 different make-up artists, 98 of whom were local. On each working day it took three and a half hours to get the crowd prepared.
The filmmakers shot in three different locations in the city — The Gran Hotel, Plaza Tolsá and the Zócalo, which is the main square in the centre of town. The stunt team replicated a massive explosion involving the hotel at Pinewood Studios in England, although the Zócalo itself played host to a huge sequence involving an out-of-control helicopter piloted by the world-famous Red Bull aerobatic pilot Chuck Aaron.
The Red Bull helicopter is built especially for barrel-rolling and free-diving. Due to the altitude in Mexico City, Aaron was limited in the aerobatics he could preform. However, he still pushed the boundaries, flying just 30 feet above the extras with two stuntmen re-enacting the fight while hanging out the helicopter.
The stunt co-ordinator, Gary Powell, says, “The world of stunts has changed a lot and we’re very story-orientated with all our action scenes, which is great because a lot of films forget the story and just do ‘crash, bang, wallop!’”
The Mexico helicopter scene, he notes, is integral to the story. “We don’t just blow stuff up because it looks good,” he says. “With all the action in a James Bond film, we tell a story while we’re doing it.”
As much action as possible was shot in-camera, as is the case with every Bond film. “We try and do as much as we can for real,” says special effects and miniature effects supervisor Chris Corbould, “and then the visual effects guys come along and make what we’ve done look better, tweaking it, painting things out, adding things in.
“But everything is based in reality. In Mexico City, you can see thousands of people in the Zócalo responding to this amazing helicopter sequence unfolding in the sky above them.”
There is more airborne action unfolding in Austria, where the filmmakers worked in Lake Altaussee, Obertilliach and Sölden, the latter being the home of the ICE-Q restaurant and the cable cars that feature in a tense sequence with Q.
According to Corbould, the main action sequence in Austria proved very complicated, technically. “We had planes hanging on high wires coming down the valley approaching one of our villains and his men who are in Range Rovers,” he explains.
“Then the plane wings hit a tree before it lands. It’s going down the hill using its engines to propel itself but it’s on the ground. Hence, we built planes that had skidoos inside so they are actually being driven.”
Corbould and his team used eight different planes that were involved in a number of separate rigs. Two of the planes could actually fly, while another two were fitted to the wire rig. Another four planes were carcasses fitted with hidden skidoos, which the stunt team could use to drive the plane down the mountainside, ensuring total control.
“It is a matter of getting the right vehicle for the right terrain and incorporating it and hiding it inside the relevant vehicle,” Corbould says. “In SPECTRE, our sequence sees the plane smash into a barn and it explodes out the other end, dropping from 20 feet.”
When shooting this sequence, the SPECTRE team added ten sheds and a barn to the area in which they filmed. Eight of the sheds were found in the local mountains nearby and were bought and rebuilt on the set. A total of 20 miles of reclaimed wood siding was used to create the remaining sheds and the barn, which the plane smashes through.
The biggest challenge in Austria, however, lay elsewhere. “Initially, in Austria, there was no ice or snow,” Corbould says. “All our preparations were delayed and we had to travel quite a few miles to a different location to test the plane rigs and skidoos.”
Indeed, so unseasonal was the weather in Austria that the filmmakers had to make 400 tonnes of man-made snow to cover the hillside, which would normally be blanketed in white. “Austria was a full-on sequence,” notes Corbould, “and then we went straight into Rome.”
In Rome, the filmmakers shot for four days at the Museo della Civiltà Romana, which doubled for a cemetery where Bond first sees the widow, Lucia. The second unit then spent a further 18 nights over the course of three weeks shooting the stunning night-time car chase sequence, where Bond in his Aston Martin DB10 and Hinx in a Jaguar C-X75 race through the city streets.
“We always try to do things on screen that have never been seen before,” says producer Barbara Broccoli, “and the result is that in Rome we had the most spectacular car chase. It is something that we feel very proud of and I think also that the Romans will feel very proud as well.”
The logistics, however, were difficult to marshal. “In Rome we saw a load of roads we liked and sometimes the road is specific to a stunt because it had a feature which would be really nice to jump,” says Gary Powell.
“A lot of the time when we asked for permission we would get a yes, but some of the time we’d get a no, so we would have to try and find other roads. It was a constant process to find the right location to fit the stunts. There was a lot of toing and froing in Rome.”
In the end, the filmmakers were able to shut down key portions of the city, including a section alongside the Tiber, looking towards St. Peter’s Square and the Coliseum. Though the audience will only ever see two cars on screen, the second unit used a total of eight Aston Martins and seven Jaguars to shoot the chase.
Corbould, meanwhile, points out that the Rome car chase allowed no room for error. “The stunt drivers were driving around Rome at 100mph, so absolutely everything had to be perfect as far as their performance was concerned,” he says.
“We didn’t want the drivers to get injured and also we didn’t want them damaging buildings that are thousands of years old. The stakes were pretty high. We spent a lot of time testing the cars, making sure they could cope with the punishing regime that the guys put them through.”
For the filmmakers, the most punishing location was Morocco. Here the main SPECTRE team filmed in Tangier and Erfoud, while the Second Unit also shot in the city of Oujda in the northeast of the county. While the cities were pleasant places to work, the Sahara desert outside Erfoud was much more challenging.
When out in the desert, the filmmakers had to make sure that everyone within a 20-mile radius knew to expect loud explosions, the locations department driving out to speak to villagers and the nomad tribes. Indeed, local nomads were hired as guides and security throughout prep and filming.
To make things even more challenging, a huge sand storm blew in on the first day of filming in Erfoud, shutting down production for the entire afternoon; there was no visibility. The crew had to take cover in their vehicles as winds reached 50mph. The temperature in Erfoud was an average of 113 degrees Fahrenheit and reached 50-degrees on the hottest day.
Here the special effects team oversaw what might well be the largest movie explosion ever. The team brought in over 2,100 gallons of kerosene to fuel the massive blast. “It is most definitely the biggest explosion of my career,” says Corbould. “It was complicated to plan and to pull off but it was more than worth it.”
Back in England, the filmmakers faced a number of very different challenges when co-ordinating their scenes in London. Key external locations included City Hall, The Home of the Mayor and London Assembly — which appears as the Centre for National Security — as well as a number of bridges along the River Thames. Westminster Bridge, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the climax and a section of this was built at Pinewood.
Supervising Locations Manager Emma Pill explains, “We have a river sequence that was all set at night, and involved a high-speed boat and a low-flying helicopter chase, which raised many organisational challenges.”
For each of the six night-shoots the filmmakers had to seek the support of the Port of London Authority. “The scheduling was very complicated,” says Pill, “due to the amount of events taking place in London at the time, including the General Election, the State Opening of Parliament and three weekends of Trooping the Colour.”
In order to complete the scenes with low-flying helicopters, the filmmaker had to send out 11,000 letters to residents and businesses that fell within the fly zone. “The biggest challenge, however, was to light the river at night,” says Pill. “This involved weeks of preparation. We lit under each arch of Vauxhall, Lambeth and Westminster Bridge, 17 arches in total.
“These lights then remained in position for five weeks. We also lit the river from 10 rooftops along the bank of the Thames from Vauxhall Bridge to Hungerford Bridge, working with Lambeth Palace, Tate Britain, and the Royal Parks to gain permission. We also worked very closely with the House of Commons, County Hall and The London Eye to keep various lights on/off, or to change the colour of their lights for each night-shoot.”
Each night-shoot involved a location team of nearly 200 personnel that included marshals, security, traffic management and police officers. “That’s a lot of radios to hand out and coordinate on a night,” laughs Pill, “but it ran extremely smoothly each time.”
The latest Bond vehicles
The 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, marks a milestone in the 50-year relationship between the film series and the car manufacturer Aston Martin who, for the very first time, have built a car specifically for the film. The likes of the iconic DB5, which debuted in 1964’s Goldfinger, the DBS from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the V8 Volante from 1987’s The Living Daylights — to name but a few — were all cars that were available for public purchase. The new DB10, however, is something else entirely.
The DB10 is a concept car. It has a chassis that is based on a modified V8 Vantage, though with a longer wheelbase, and it boasts a 4.7-litre V8 engine. It has an estimated top speed of 190 mph and can get from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds. The sleek car features a shark-inspired nose where the grille sits in shadow, tucked back beneath the main feature line. This new interpretation of the classic Aston grille hints at the car’s stealthy character
All of the car’s body panels are carbon fibre, which is exposed on the sills and diffuser, and it features a full clamshell bonnet with a heat mapped perforation pattern, ensuring that there is no need for a vent surround. In a move designed to recall the DB5, the designers worked hard to make sure that when seen in profile, the DB10 has one elegant shoulder line, running from front to back.
The DB10 is the sixth different Aston to appear in a James Bond movie, and only ten of these concept cars were built. Eight were employed to film key scenes in Spectre, while the other two were manufactured for promotional use. One of these extra vehicles will be auctioned off for charity next year.
When designing the car, Aston Martin invited Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes to offer his input. “I felt very involved,” says the Oscar®-winning director. “I don’t know whether it was Aston’s brilliance at making me feel that way or whether I genuinely was. But I went and saw the initial model and I was particularly concerned with removing unnecessary details.
“I wanted a car that had clean, clear lines,” he adds, “something classic where it is almost impossible to place its year of birth. The car felt like it was born anywhere between the early ’70s and now.”
The car features in a breath-taking night chase that careens through the streets of Rome, as Hinx (played by Dave Bautista) gives chase in a Jaguar C-X75, another high-tech concept car. Jaguar also has a strong relationship with the James Bond films and the C-X75 proves a great match for the DB10.
“The C-X75 programme represents the pinnacle of Jaguar’s engineering and design expertise,” says Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director. Indeed, the C-X75 has a combined power output in excess of 850bhp thanks to its state-of-the-art, Formula 1-inspired, 1.6-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder powerplant.
With its seven-speed transmission, the car can sprint from 0-100mph in less than six seconds. The very first C-X75 prototype exceeded 200mph in testing, and the car has a theoretical maximum velocity of 220mph. Spectre’s stunt co-ordinator, Gary Powell, was blown away by its power. “The Jag was so powerful that we had to tone down the engine so the throttle response wasn’t so aggressive,” he says. Seven Jaguars were used to film the Rome chase sequence.
As it happens, the Jaguar C-X75 isn’t the only car that Hinx drives. The muscled henchman also clambers into a Land Rover for a scene that unfolds in the Alps. A number of Land Rover vehicles were used in the scene and each had to be fitted-out to make sure it was safe for the stunts that ensued.
Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould explains, “We had to fit safety roll bars into all these vehicles when we were in Austria. We then had to give them back to Land Rover to do all the interior trim, so that the roll bars are hidden from view.”
The black four-wheel drives feature in the snow during a stunt sequence with an aircraft, the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, a 1960s British light utility aircraft that Bond uses to chase after Hinx during a crucial action sequence. Although designed in the 1960s, several hundred BN-2 Islanders are still in service with commercial operators. The British Army and police forces in the United Kingdom also use the aircraft to this day.
In all, eight aircraft were used on a variety of stunt rigs. Two of the planes were fully operational. These were hired machines and were painted with a washable black paint. A further two shells were built for use on a wire rig, which guided the plane over the top of the 4x4s and crashed it through a specially constructed barn. Four planes more were built as carcasses and then fitted with internal skidoos.
“This means that when the plane crashes in the film, our stunt team could drive the plane downhill with the skidoos,” says Chris Corbould. “It looks as though it is out of control, but we are in fact steering the plane, which has lost its wings, from inside the carcass.”
Other notable vehicles in Spectre include three different helicopters. A light utility McDonnell Douglas MD500E features in Morocco while a lightweight, twin-engine AgustaWestland AW109 forms an integral part of the climax on Westminster Bridge in London.
The most notable chopper, however, is probably the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 another light, twin-engine machine, which stars in the thrilling sequence that unfolds in Mexico City. The Bo 105 was piloted by the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter stunt pilot, Chuck Aaron, whose machine was built especially for barrel-rolling and free-diving.
Due to the altitude in Mexico City, Aaron had to rein in his aerobatics though in the exciting scene above the city’s main square, the Zócalo, he flew just 30 feet above the extras while two stuntmen hung onto the exterior of the machine trading punches.
“The Mexico City sequence climaxes with a spectacular fight inside a helicopter that is out of control,” says Mendes. “It is being flown by an incredible stunt pilot, Chuck Aaron, who does amazing things. It’s a spectacular moment and unlike anything we’ve ever seen in a James Bond movie.”
SPECTRE marks Bond’s eighth film in the snow, following snowbound appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Love Me, For Your Eyes Only, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.
SPECTRE crew were only able to access the ICE-Q location in Solden by cable car
Vehicles (Land Rovers and Range Rovers) were towed up the mountain by snowmobiles due to lack of access, which was over 3000 meters above sea level
One of the Austria locations, the village of Obertilliach, has a population of only 700 people. Still, 50 locals joined the crew, included among 250 Austrians in the total crew of 480.
Filming the Austria car chase required the use of 18 cars – 11 Defenders and 7 Range Rovers – which were all heavily modified in just 4 weeks
The studded ice tires had to be studded by hand, with each tire taking over 1500 studs
Bond returns to Mexico City, following his appearance in License To Kill. SPECTRE filmed in three Mexico City locations: Tolsa Square, the Zocolo, and the Gran Hotel
For the Day of the Dead sequence, it took 3.5 hours to create the crowd of extras – from 25 minutes to create a Catrina or a skeleton, to the Paper Bride requiring 2.5 hours of hair and makeup. Costumes required 90 minutes – 350 at a time, 15 to 20 minutes each
MAC kindly provided gave a huge range of products to help create the various looks/ characters
To ensure that no time was wasted, the makeup team employed 187 mirrors and a red-and-green “traffic light” system to show which extras were ready and which needed additional work.
75 costumers (70 from Mexico and 5 from the UK) designed 1,500 original looks — no two costumes are alike
The team made 6 paper dresses, each one different. Each dress required three weeks to make, from a team of four people.
Every costume was made or purchased in Mexico by Mexicans.
Police escorted the 12 buses that transported the crowd to and from the set
In total, the Mexico City scenes required five months of prep work, overseen by 27 locations personnel (25 of which were local)
A night team of 20 cleaned and repaired costumes, to get them ready for the next day’s shoot
The scene required two helicopters – one to film and the other to be filmed. The picture helicopter was painted and modified in Mexico City to give its evil look. Part of Zocolo Squre was turned into a heliport in order to refuel the helicopters.
Local nomads were hired as guides and security throughout prep and filming
Due to the high temperatures, the production brought in shades, cold water, and cooling vehicles to the film unit in Erfoud
SPECTRE marks James Bond’s first-ever film visit to Rome
Both the Jaguar CX75 and the Aston DB10 were reengineered by SFX Vehicles to carry out the stunt work
Blenheim Palace doubled as the location of the SPECTRE meeting in Rome. The Action Vehicles team dressed the parking lot with rare vehicles to paint a picture of the mafia types that would be attending the meeting, including a Porsche 956 Group B Homologation car, a full carbon fiber Bugatti, concept XJ Jaguars, a Lagonda from Aston Martin, and a wide selection of other supercars, including Ferrari 458 Speciales and Californias
In total, the vehicle shoots in Austria, Rome and London required the use of more than 1000 tires, varying from full summer spec to winter. In preparing for the Rome car chase, the production used over 400 tires for testing – but only replaced 12 during filming
DANIEL CRAIG — James Bond / Co-Producer
Daniel Craig is hailed as one of the finest actors of his generation on stage, screen and television. His last outing as James Bond came in the critically acclaimed box office smash Skyfall. Craig also played Bond in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. In 2011, he starred in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher, playing the lead character Mikael Blomkvist opposite Rooney Mara.
Craig’s earlier film credits include Enduring Love, The Mother, Love Is The Devil, Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, Infamous and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar®-nominated film Munich.
Craig is also an accomplished stage actor and in 2013 starred in the critically acclaimed Broadway show “Betrayal” opposite Rafe Spall and Rachel Weisz. Directed by Mike Nichols, the play ran for 14 weeks and grossed $17.5million.
Craig has recently signed on to play Iago in an off Broadway production of “Othello.” The play will be staged by New York Theater Workshop, a prestigious but small nonprofit theatre that plans to present the work for a limited run in the fall of 2016.
In 2009 Craig starred in a 12-week Broadway run of “A Steady Rain”, starring opposite Hugh Jackman. Craig’s other theatre credits include leading roles in “Hurlyburly” with the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic; “Angels in America” at The National Theatre; and “A Number” at the Royal Court alongside Michael Gambon.
CHRISTOPH WALTZ — Oberhauser
Christoph Waltz won his second Academy Award® for his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The role of Dr. King Schultz also garnered him Best Supporting Actor honors at the 2013 Golden Globe and BAFTA awards. In 2009, Waltz received the Academy, SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Cannes Film Festival awards for his portrayal of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. On December 1, 2014, Waltz was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Waltz recently starred as Walter Keane alongside Amy Adams’ Margaret Keane in Tim Burton’s biopic Big Eyes. The drama takes place in the 1960s and centres on the great success of painter Margaret Keane coupled with the legal difficulties she had with her husband (Waltz’s Walter Keane), who claimed credit for her work.
Waltz appeared alongside Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston and Chris Pine in Sean Anders’ Horrible Bosses 2, which was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on November 26, 2014. He also recently completed production on Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever and David Yates’ Tarzan, starring as Captain Rom alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Alexander Skarsgård.
In 2013, Waltz starred in Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem with Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton, and also lent his voice to Fox’s animated feature, Epic.
In 2011, Waltz starred in Carnage, an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play, “God of Carnage”. Roman Polanski directed the film and Waltz starred opposite Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. The same year, he also starred in The Three Musketeers for director Paul W.S. Anderson and Summit Entertainment. Waltz played Cardinal Richelieu alongside an international cast that included Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Matthew Macfadyen, Mads Mikkelsen and Juno Temple.
In April 2011, Waltz co-starred in Water for Elephants, the Richard LaGravanese-scripted adaptation of the novel by Sara Gruen. Waltz played the circus owner and ringmaster in the film opposite Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. Prior to that, Waltz played the villain Chudnofsky in Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet alongside Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz.
Off screen, Waltz spent a portion of 2013 directing his first opera, Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavarlier”. His production premiered in December 2013 at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp with musical direction by Dmitri Jurowski and Philipp Pointner. The comic opera follows the romantic desperation of two couples in 18th century Vienna.
Waltz’s work in European television, film and theatrical productions spans three decades. His motion picture credits include Gun Shy, the Berlin Film Festival entry Lapislazuli, Dorian, She, Falling Rocks, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Our God’s Brother, The Beast, Berlin Blues and Angst. On television, he appeared in the Adolf Grimme Award-winning films “Der Tanz mit dem Teufel – Die Entführung des Richard Oetker” and “Dienstreise – Was für eine Nacht Dienstreise.” For his work in “Du bist nicht allein – Die Roy Black Story,” Waltz garnered Bavarian and German TV awards and the RTL Golden Lion.
LÉA SEYDOUX — Madeleine Swann
After taking acting classes at Enfants Terribles, Léa Seydoux landed a role in 2007’s The Last Mistress. Then, in 2008, she starred with Guillaume Depardieu in the film On War by Bertrand Bonello. She then took the lead role opposite Louis Garrel in La Belle Personne, directed by Christophe Honoré, a role for which she was nominated for a César.
In 2009, Seydoux appeared alongside Brad Pitt in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, and in the following year appeared in Robin Hood, alongside Russell Crowe.
In 2010 she appeared in three further films, Belle Épine, which was selected at the Critics’ Week at Cannes, Roses à credit, and The Mysteries of Lisbon. She was subsequently cast in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which opened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and also starred in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol alongside Tom Cruise.
In 2012, she was nominated for a César Award in the best actress category for her performance in Farewell, My Queen. She also starred in 2012’s Sister, which won the Silver Bear award in Berlin. The following year she featured in Grand Central and Blue Is The Warmest Color. The latter won the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, and in unprecedented jury decision, the award was extended to the film’s actresses as well as its director.
Her other film credits include Christophe Gans’ last film The Beauty and the Beast and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. In 2014, she appeared in Saint Laurent and recently shot The Lobster and Le journal d’une femme de chambre. She is also the face of the perfume Prada Candy.
BEN WHISHAW — Q
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Whishaw went on to appear alongside Daniel Craig in Enduring Love and Layer Cake. In 2003, he also starred in the popular comedy-drama “The Booze Cruise” for ITV.
He made his West End debut at the National Theatre in their stage adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” and starred as Hamlet in Trevor Nunn’s electric ‘youth’ version of the play at the Old Vic, for which he received an Olivier nomination (2005).
Whishaw appeared in Brideshead Revisited, which was released to critical acclaim in September 2008. He starred as Sebastian Flyte, a young, troubled aristocrat. The project was directed by Julian Jarrold and produced by Robert Bernstein. In 2008 he also starred in the hugely popular BBC drama “Criminal Justice” which saw him pick up the award for Best Actor at the 2009 Royal Television Society Awards, Best Actor at the International Emmy Awards 2009, and a nomination for Best Actor at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. In 2008 he also played the lead in “The Idiot” at the National Theatre.
In 2009 he starred as poet John Keats in Bright Star. The film focused on Keats’ relationship with Fanny Brawne, played by Abbie Cornish. He then played the lead at The Royal Court Theatre in Mike Bartlett’s play “Cock”, a story that takes a candid look at one man’s sexuality. He then played Ariel opposite Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in “The Tempest”.
Whishaw went on to star as Freddie Lyon in “The Hour” for the BBC opposite Dominic West and Romola Garai. This was followed by the lead role alongside James Purefoy and Patrick Stewart in the BBCs adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Richard II” which was released in summer 2012 and earned him a TV BAFTA. He replaced John Cleese as Q in Skyfall, a role he reprises in SPECTRE.
In 2013 he starred in Cloud Atlas alongside an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess and Halle Berry. He also appeared on stage starring opposite Judi Dench in “Peter And Alice”, which received rave reviews.
In 2014, he played the dark and tragic character of Baby in Jez Butterworth’s “Mojo” in the West End and was the lead in the sensationally moving independent film Lilting.
This year he can be seen on film alongside Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in the sci-fi thriller The Lobster, which played in competition at the Cannes film festival and In The Heart Of The Sea, about the whale attack that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. He also stars alongside Carrey Mulligan, Meryl Steep, and Helena Bonham Carter in the eagerly anticipated film Suffragette and features in The Danish Girl. On television, Whishaw plays the lead in the BBC thriller “London Spy”. This year Whishaw also starred in “Bakkhai” at the Almeida.
NAOMIE HARRIS — Moneypenny
Naomie Harris is a critically acclaimed actress, working in film, television, and theatre. In SPECTRE, she reprises her role as Moneypenny. She first played the role in Skyfall, opposite Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes.
This past summer, Harris co-starred in Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Forest Whitaker. Harris also recently completed production on director Susanna White’s Our Kind Of Traitor opposite Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis; and Jungle Book: Origins for director Andy Serkis, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett. Harris is currently in production on Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, and has signed on to star in Clearance for director Aku Louhimies, as well as Rachel DuPree for Claire McCarthy.
In 2013, Harris starred in the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom opposite Idris Elba. For her performance as Mandela’s controversial second wife Winnie, Harris was nominated for two London Critics Circle Awards and an NAACP Image Award.
The London-born actress had her first major breakthrough performance in 2002 with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and went on to receive further international recognition and a BAFTA Orange Rising Star nomination for her role as the voodoo witch Tia Dalma in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End. Other major feature film credits include Michael Mann’s Miami Vice; Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story; Street Kings with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker; Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with Andy Serkis; and Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader.
Harris has also starred at The National Theatre in London in Danny Boyle’s production of “Frankenstein” opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. On television, she featured in the BBC’s “Small Island” for which she was awarded Best Actress at The Royal Television Society Awards in 2010. Her other TV credits include: “Blood And Oil”; the UK’s popular television adaptation of Zadie Smith’s bestselling novel, “White Teeth”; as well as the adaptation of the novel “Poppy Shakespeare” and Peter Kosminsky’s “The Project”.
DAVE BAUTISTA — Hinx
David Bautista starred as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel feature Guardians of the Galaxy appearing opposite Chris Pratt, Benicio Del Toro, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. The film follows an unlikely cast of characters including an American pilot and a group of futuristic ex-cons going on the run with a highly coveted object. They must then join forces to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. The sequel will begin production in 2016 with a May 2017 release date.
Bautista has recently shot the independent films Warrior’s Gate produced by Luc Besson and Heist starring opposite Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, which can be seen in theatres in November 2015.
A former professional wrestler and mixed martial artist, Bautista is best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a six-time world champion and an international spokesman for the organization. He retired from the WWE to focus on his acting career in mid-2010.
Past film credits include Universal’s Riddick and The Man with the Iron Fists. Past TV credits include “Chuck”, “Headcase”, and “Smallville”.
MONICA BELLUCCI — Lucia
Monica Bellucci has become an icon the world over. Born in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, she began modelling while studying Law at the University of Perugia before signing with Elite Model Management in Milan. She has been the face of both Dior and Dolce & Gabbana and featured in some of the world’s most famous publications.
Moving to television and then into film in the early 1990s, she starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and L’apparement for writer-director Gilles Mimouni, which saw her nominated for a César Award. Her transcontinental and multi-lingual portfolio has gained critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe she has won the Italian Golden Globe for her worldwide success. Her most recent release, The Wonders (Le Meravigile) won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year.
Other credits include Malèna (2000), Under Suspicion (2000), Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), Irréversible (2002) The Matrix: Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) as well as The Passion of the Christ (2004).
RALPH FIENNES — M
Ralph Fiennes made his feature film debut as Heathcliff in 1992’s Wuthering Heights. His subsequent film credits include Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The End of the Affair, The Reader, Quiz Show, Oscar and Lucinda, Onegin, Spider, Sunshine, Strange Days, The Hurt Locker and Skyfall. He played Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and M. Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel. He recently completed production on A Bigger Splash and Hail, Caesar!
Fiennes made his feature film directorial debut in 2011 with Coriolanus, in which he also starred in the title role. In 2013 he directed and starred in The Invisible Woman.
His television work includes David Hare’s trilogy “Page Eight”, “Turks and Caicos” and “Salting the Battlefield”. He played T.E Lawrence in “A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia” and also appeared in “Prime Suspect” and “Rev”.
Fiennes’ work at the National Theatre includes “Man & Superman”, “Oedipus”, “The Talking Cure”, “Six Characters In Search Of An Author”, “Fathers And Sons” and “Ting Tang Mine”.
His extensive work at the Royal Shakespeare Company includes “Troilus & Cressida”, “King Lear”, “Love’s Labours Lost”, Henry VI in “The Plantagenets”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, “King John”, “The Man Who Came To Dinner” and Ibsen’s “Brand” which later transferred to the Haymarket Theatre.
For the Almeida Theatre he has appeared as Richard II, Coriolanus, Ivanov, and Hamlet, all under the direction of Jonathan Kent. “Hamlet” was presented at The Hackney Empire and then The Belasco Theater on Broadway where he received the Tony Award for Best Actor. Fiennes returned to Broadway in 2006 and received a Tony Nomination for his role in Brian Friel’s “The Faith Healer” following a run at The Gate Theatre Dublin.
In 2016 Fiennes will play Solness in “The Master Builder” directed by Matthew Warchus at the Old Vic theatre.
Fiennes has been the recipient of many significant awards and nominations for his work in film and theatre. He was nominated for Academy Awards®, Golden Globes and BAFTAs for his roles in both The English Patient and Schindler’s List, winning the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the latter. He was also nominated for BAFTAs for The End of the Affair and The Constant Gardener. He was nominated for the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Coriolanus. Most recently he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his leading role in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Fiennes has also been honoured with the Variety Award for Film Achievement, The Richard Harris Award by the British Independent Film Awards and The Empire Film Legend Award.
ANDREW SCOTT — Max Denbeigh/C
Andrew Scott is a BAFTA and Olivier award-winning actor. He began his acting career at the age of 17 in the acclaimed Irish film Korea. He is best known worldwide for his portrayal of Moriarty in the multi-award winning “Sherlock”, for which he received many awards, including the BAFTA for Best Supporting actor. Scott’s forthcoming projects include Victor Frankenstein with James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, and Alice Through the Looking Glass with Johnny Depp. He will also appear in the all-star BBC Shakespeare project “The Hollow Crown”. He recently finished filming the British independent film This Beautiful Fantastic and children’s classic Swallows and Amazons.
Andrew’s television credits include “Legacy” for the BBC, directed by Pete Travis; “Dates” with Sheridan Smith; the critically acclaimed drama “The Town”, written by Mike Bartlett; “Blackout” alongside Christopher Ecclestone; and “The Hour” with Ben Whishaw and Dominic West. Other work includes the multi award-winning “John Adams” opposite Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti; “Sea Wall”, a one-man show written especially for him by Olivier-award winning playwright Simon Stephens and “The Vertical Hour”, his critically acclaimed Broadway debut opposite Julianne Moore, written by David Hare and directed by Sam Mendes, for which he was nominated for a Drama League Award.
Andrews other films include Saving Private Ryan and Nora, the Irish films Dead Bodies, and The Stag, The Scapegoat, and Locke, the latter with Tom Hardy. In 2014 he also starred in the BAFTA- winning Pride alongside Bill Nighy, Dominic West, and Imelda Staunton, for which he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.
In 2014 Andrew returned to the Royal Court for a second time to star in Simon Stephens “Birdland”, for which he received rave reviews. His other extensive theatre credits include “Sea Wall”, “Emperor” and “Galilean” (National Theatre); “Cock”, and “A Girl In A Car With A Man” (Royal Court), for which he won an Olivier award: “Design For Living” (Old Vic); and many other plays in Dublin and London.
Along with his BAFTA, Olivier and BIFA awards, Scott has received two IFTA awards, a Drama League nomination, and has twice won the BBC Audio award for Best Actor for his work in Radio Drama.
RORY KINNEAR — Tanner
Rory Kinnear read English at Balliol College, Oxford before going on to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), graduating in 2001. Kinnear is well-known for his extensive theatre work which includes critically acclaimed performances as Sir Fopling Flutter in the Restoration comedy “The Man Of Mode” (Olivier Award); Pyotr in “Philistines” (Ian Charleson Award); the title role in “Hamlet” (Evening Standard Best Actor Award); and Iago in “Othello” (Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor), all at The National Theatre.
Turning his hand to writing, last year Kinnear won the Critics Circle Award for his writing debut “The Herd”, which played at the Bush theatre. The play received its American premiere at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago this April.
Kinnear has become a regular on television screens too, recently starring in bold dramas including “Southcliffe” as David Whitehead; “Penny Dreadful” as The Creature; “Black Mirror” as Michael Callow; “Lucan” as Lord Lucan; and “The Casual Vacancy” as Barry Fairbrother. Kinnear’s recent film credits include comedies Man Up and Cuban Fury, and the critically acclaimed The Imitation Game as Detective Nock. He won a British Independent Film Award for his role in Rufus Norris’ Broken. This is Kinnear’s third instalment as Bill Tanner, having previously worked on Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall.
JESPER CHRISTENSEN — Mr. White
Jesper Christensen will reprise the role of Mr. White in SPECTRE, continuing his work with the character he first played in Casino Royale and then expanded in Quantum Of Solace. One of Scandinavia’s leading actors, Christensen has won five Bodil Awards, most recently for his work in 2012’s En Familie (A Family), 2006’s Drabet (Manslaughter) directed by Per Fly, and four Robert Awards, including one for Baenken (The Bench), also directed by Fly, in 2000.
His international career includes a starring role in Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter, opposite Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn; a leading role in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia; and a lead role in the American TV series “Revelations” which starred Natascha McElhone and Bill Pullman.
Christensen’s big-screen resume dates back to the mid-1970s, when he first started working in Danish cinema, and he is now well-known around the world. A selection of his feature credits include; Flammmen & Citronen (Flame & Citron) written and directed by Ole Christian Madsen; and The Young Victoria, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, starring Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson. Most recently he starred with Daniel Brühl in the Wolfgang Becker film Ich und Kaminski.
STEPHANIE SIGMAN — Estrella
Stephanie Sigman is a Mexican actress, currently starring in the Netflix series “Narcos”. She is widely known for her lead performance in the feature Miss Bala on which she worked with director Gerardo Naranjo. The film debuted in Cannes and was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the 2011 Academy Awards®. The film was also nominated for the 2011 International Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Film.
Sigman was also be seen on the FX series “The Bridge”. Her other feature, Pioneer, premiered at TIFF in 2013. It was Norway’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Oscars® that year, and she starred opposite Aksel Hennie and Wes Bentley. She recently joined the cast of John Ridley’s critically acclaimed “American Crime” opposite Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman.
SAM MENDES — Director
Sam Mendes’ film and theatre career spans 25 years. At just 24 years old he became the first Artistic Director of the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. At 27 he founded the Donmar Warehouse in London, which he ran for ten years, and where he directed many productions including “Assassins”, “Cabaret, Translations”, “Glengarry Glen Ross”, “Company”, “The Glass Menagerie”, “Habeas Corpus”, ”The Blue Room”, ”To The Green Fields Beyond”, ”Uncle Vanya” and ”Twelfth Night”. It has become one of the world’s leading playhouses.
He has many other theatre credits. For the Royal Shakespeare Company: “Troilus and Cressida”, “Richard III”, “The Tempest” and “The Alchemist”. For the National Theatre: “The Sea”, “The Birthday Party”, “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice”, “Othello” and “King Lear”. In the West End: “The Cherry Orchard”, “London Assurance”, “Kean”, “Oliver!” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, which is currently running in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. On Broadway: “Cabaret”, “The Blue Room”, “Gypsy” and “The Vertical Hour”.
In 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, for which he directed “The Winter’s Tale”, “The Cherry Orchard”, “The Tempest”, “As You Like It”, and “Richard III”. His many theatre awards include: four Olivier Awards, two Tony Awards, four Evening Standard Awards, several Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize.
In 1998 he directed his first film, American Beauty, winning the Academy Award® for Best Director and Best Picture, as well as the Golden Globe and Directors’ Guild Awards. He has since directed the Academy Award®-winning Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, and the BAFTA and Academy Award®-winning Skyfall, the most successful film of all time in the UK and one of the most successful of all time worldwide.
In 2003 he founded Neal Street Productions with Pippa Harris and Caro Newling. Neal Street has produced the BAFTA award-winning television series “Call the Midwife” and “The Hollow Crown”; several movies including Things We Lost in the Fire, Stuart: A Life Backwards and Starter for 10; and in the theatre the long-running “Shrek The Musical”.
He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and a Directors’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
MICHAEL G. WILSON – PRODUCER
Michael G. Wilson joined EON Productions in a legal-administrative capacity in 1972 and was named assistant to the producer on The Spy Who Loved Me. He became executive producer on Moonraker and continued with that credit on the following two Bond films. His creative abilities are evident in For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence To Kill, all of which he co-wrote. He became producer with his stepfather, the late Albert R. Broccoli, on A View To A Kill, continuing with The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill. He is currently President of EON Productions Ltd.
When James Bond returned to the screen after an absence of six years, Wilson produced the hugely successful GoldenEye with his sister Barbara Broccoli, followed by the next six Bond films including the box office hit Skyfall, which earned a BAFTA for Best British film in 2012.
Wilson graduated from college as an electrical engineer. He then studied law at Stanford University, worked for the US government and later became a partner in a Washington D.C. firm that specialized in international law.
Wilson is interested in all aspects of still photography and is recognized as a leading expert on 19th century photography and, in 1998, he founded the Wilson Centre for study and research on the history and aesthetics of photography.
Together with Barbara Broccoli he has produced a number of stage productions including “La Cava” (2000), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (2002 London, 2005 Broadway), and “A Steady Rain” (2009). In 2012 they adapted the critically acclaimed film “Once” which opened on Broadway to rave reviews. More recently, Wilson and Broccoli adapted “Chariots of Fire” which ran in London’s West End during the 2012 Olympic summer.
Wilson was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2008. In 2014 he was honoured by the Producers’ Guild of America with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures.
BARBARA BROCCOLI –PRODUCER
A graduate of Loyola University, Los Angeles, where she majored in motion picture and television communications, Barbara Broccoli has worked in the production and casting departments at EON Productions for many years.
Starting her career as an assistant director on Octopussy and A View To A Kill, Broccoli became associate producer on The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill with Tom Pevsner. She and Wilson then went on to produce the next eight Bond films including the box office hit Skyfall, which earned a BAFTA for Best British film in 2012.
Apart from her work on Bond, Broccoli recently executive produced The Silent Storm starring Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough and through her own independent production company, Astoria Productions, Broccoli produced “Crime of the Century” (1996) for HBO.
Broccoli was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2008. In 2014, she was honoured by the Producers’ Guild of America with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. Broccoli was chair on the board of directors for the film education charity, First Light until 2014.
Together with Michael Wilson she has produced a number of stage productions including “La Cava” (2000), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (2002 London, 2005 Broadway), and “A Steady Rain” (2009). In 2012 they adapted the critically acclaimed film “Once” which opened on Broadway to rave reviews and garnered 8 Tony Awards and has recently finished showing in London’s West End. Wilson and Broccoli also adapted “Chariots of Fire” which opened in the summer of 2012 in London’s West End. More recently they produced the play “Strangers on a Train” which ran in London’s West End (2012/2013).
JOHN LOGAN — Writer
John Logan is one of Hollywood’s most in-demand screenwriters. He has been nominated three times for the Academy Award® — for Gladiator, The Aviator, and Hugo. His other film work includes Any Given Sunday, Sweeney Todd, The Last Samurai, Rango and Coriolanus. For television, he created and produces “Penny Dreadful” starring Eva Green. Logan also wrote the upcoming film Genius, a drama about literary editor Max Perkins, starring Colin Firth and Jude Law. SPECTRE is Logan’s second Bond film after Skyfall.
Logan received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards for his play “Red”, which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and at the Golden Theatre on Broadway. It has been seen in over 200 different productions in America and over 30 international productions. He is the author of more than a dozen other plays including “Never the Sinner”, “I’ll Eat You Last” and “Peter and Alice”, the latter starring Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw.
NEAL PURVIS & ROBERT WADE – WRITERS
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had their first success in 1991 with the screenplay of the controversial drama Let Him Have It. The critically acclaimed film, directed by Peter Medak, was screened for Parliament and played a part in Derek Bentley’s eventual posthumous pardon.
They have worked in a variety of genres with screenplays such as Plunkett & Macleane, starring Robert Carlyle and Liv Tyler; Johnny English, starring Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich; and The Italian Job, starring Mark Wahlberg and Edward Norton. In addition to writing the James Bond films The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, they wrote and co-produced Return To Sender for director Bille August and performed the same duties on Stoned for director Stephen Woolley.