One of the strong points of 2006 Bond film Casino Royale was the casting of Eva Green as femme fatal Vesper Lynd. Her casting came late and was only confirmed after principal photography had started on location in the Bahamas. Upon signing she was jetted over to the Bahamas for a photo shoot with Daniel Craig and Caterina Murino who played the sacrificial lamb Solange.
Eva Green was born in Paris in 1980, one of a pair of identical twins born to Swedish dentist Walter Green and French actress Marlene Jobert. At the age of 14 she decided to follow her mother into a career in acting, which was initially discouraged. However, her mother later backed her decision.
She spent three years studying acting in Paris, before 10 weeks in London and then to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Returning to Paris, she appeared on the stage in several plays and after being spotted by Bernardo Bertolucci was asked to star in his film “The Dreamers”, her big screen debut.
The film was rather controversial featuring extensive nude scenes and her family initially objected. While she felt comfortable filming the scenes, she later said she was embarrassed when her family saw the film. Ridley Scott then cast her in “Kingdom of Heaven” on the back of her performance in “The Dreamers”.
Director Martin Campbell initially offered Eva Green the role of Vesper Lynd in “Casino Royale” in mid 2005, but she turned it down. At the time there was no completed script for her to read, but in 2006 Campbell again approached her. When she saw the complexity of the character, she agreed: she found the character, who wore an Algerian love knot throughout, was more than the typical Bond girl, which she had no interested in playing.
In the book the character was initially cold towards Bond, not as hostile towards him as she is in the film. As you would expect from the filming of a novel many liberties were taken with the plot and the characters to the extent that when she dies it is by no means clear that she intended to kill herself in the film; in the novel there can be no doubt at all.
Casino Royale was extremely well received and on the back of its commercial success, Green was won the BAFTA Rising Star Award and the Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer, as well as being nominated for several other awards.