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The Hottie Stop interviews Olga Kurylenko, star of Momentum and Oblivion

10.12.2015by: Paul Shirey

Most likely you first say the lovely Olga Kurylenko for the first time in 2007's HITMAN, which introduced the Ukranian-born actress to American audiences and has left an indelible mark on us ever since. She dabbled in another videogame-to-film movie, MAX PAYNE, before becoming a full-fledged Bond girl in QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Since then she's remained consistently busy with back-to-back projects that keep her going from set to set all over the world, starring in flicks with Tom Cruise (OBLIVION), Ben Affleck (TO THE WONDER), Pierce Brosnan (THE NOVEMBER MAN), Michael Fassbender (CENTURION), Russell Crowe (THE WATER DIVINER) and even Christopher Walken (SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS).

Now, Kurylenko is taking the lead for herself, starring in the action-thriller MOMENTUM, opposite James Purefoy (HBO's Rome) and kicking some serious ass along the way. I had the pleasure of talking to Kurylenko about her role in the new film, how she stays fit and prepares for her action roles, working with two of the living Bonds, her Instagram account, her favorite action film, and more!

I’m curious what the appeal was to play a character like this? I mean, it’s not the first time playing a badass, but this is kind of front and center for you…

This is like the worst (laugh) The very badass of all. Yeah, she’s quite powerful and quite tough. She’s a tough cookie. Definitely the description, the fact that she is very tough and that it’s a female led film where a woman has got it under control, she’s not following anybody, she’s her own boss, she knows what she’s doing. She’s got a serious past from what we understand, serious training. She’s basically an equal to a man, which is why we hear her opponent say “I really like her” because I think he’s amazed and he respects her in a way. I mean, they both respect each other, which is what’s great about their relationship even though they’re adversaries. There’s that fascination about each other.

It’s definitely the fact that I was going to be the lead and I was going to carry the film on my shoulders and that was appealing and I wanted to try that. I just realized that it’s so much more intense. I was on set every single day, there were no days off, no resting (laughs) No rest for the wicked.

The fight scenes are definitely very intense in Momentum , so I’m curious how you stay in shape and stay prepared to take on roles like this. Do you have a regimin you follow, or…?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean you workout, I worked out with a coach and just general gym stuff. I just went to the gym every evening and did some weights and some cardio and then also, before every scene, you do separate work with the stunt team and you rehearse and go through all the choreography of every fight, which is the most fun. This is what I love, I absolutely love doing that (laughs) I love rehearsing fight scenes and then shooting them. It’s great.

I was also eating special things, like lots of protein (laughs). I met with a nutritionist who wrote a special eating plan for me, because I remember in the beginning when I started training I felt really tired so I realized I was missing energy, so I needed more energy than I usually need in my life. I don’t do this stuff usually so of course it’s a big shock to my body. And, of course I’ve done it before, but because I go through phases, like I’ll try really intensely for two months or six months for a specific project and then I’ll go and do things where it’s not required, y’know, like different genres and then the body goes in a different mode, so I go in and out. I don’t maintain it. Yeah, I don’t do this every day (laughs). So yeah, I had to adjust. But, it’s all worth it and it’s so much fun.

Also, there was stunt driving, so of course the car and the motorcycle that’s a total different thing, but it’s also fun. I love driving, so-

Did you do your own stunt driving?

Yeah! Most of it. Of course there are some scenes that I didn’t. It’s funny how when I was at the wheel I had absolutely no doubt that everything was going to be great, y’know, I was so powerful and I would go 200 miles an hour and I would have to make dangerous turns and I’d be like, yeah that’s fine, I know I’m not gonna hit that wall , I’m gonna turn left (laughs).  And the stunt coordinator was like just make sure you turn, don’t go straight into the wall. I’m like, yeah, yeah, I’m fine.

It’s power, ‘cause I’m in control and when I would be driven by a stunt driver who, like, those people are the best in the world, y’know, and are so much better than me, but it’s psychological, right, because you’re not the one in control. That’s when I’d be scared and be like, ‘Oh, God, I hope he’s gonna make that turn!’ (laughs) But, that’s how it is. When you have the wheel in your hands it’s that silly thing that, “Oh, I can do anything.’ I’m absolutely nowhere near having the skills that the stunt guys have, but yeah, the fear is a funny thing. The fear and the control, it’s a funny balance.

You’ve done a healthy amount of action films, do you have a favorite action film?

If we’re talking about my own, I think about Centurion, it was so different, more raw and savage and different types of weapons and not at all what is used in Momentum. I quite enjoyed doing November Man, but again I don’t do as much stunts as I do in Momentum. I do enjoy action-good action films when they have a good female lead in them, which is happening more and more often now. I quite enjoyed SALT most recently. I even rewatched it before doing this part, because she was so great and she really kicks ass.

That’s good practice...

It’s great, yeah. As a woman it’s so empowering when you watch another woman being so much in control and having so much power. To me, as a woman, it’s more fun because I can identify-like, I enjoy movies, of course, where men lead, but when it’s a woman it’s a different experience. I imagine myself in her place. I identify her.

By the way, I love Centurion. It’s one of my favorite unseen action films. You were especially vicious in that, which I loved...

Yeah, very. I mean, so much that when I saw it I terrified myself. I didn’t know I was that bad (laughs) I was like, ‘God, I come off as a total heartless savage.” It’s savage, I mean, that woman is savage. Alex [character in Momentum] means good, that woman does not mean good (laughs)

You’ve worked with two of the Bonds, both Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace and Pierce Brosnan in The November Man. I’m curious if you have a favorite Bond?

No, I would never dare (laughs). Y’know, working with both of them was such a great pleasure and the experience was so different with each. They were also different times in my life. When I did James Bond it was the very beginning of my career, I hadn’t done much then. While, y’know, The November Man came much later, it’s one of my more recent ones. By November Man I knew so much more, y’know?

Yeah, Yeah…

I had so much more experience and skills and I felt a little more confidant, while on Bond…Oh God. There were times that I was terrified. I didn’t really say this to anybody, but I was. I was worried and I was always thinking, “Am I gonna manage to pull this off?’ You kind of doubt yourself and you think, ‘Can I make it?’ (laughs) So, yeah, both were great and Bond definitely taught me a lot. It was like a very good school. I acquired so many skills that I still carry with me and now any action movie I go to I’m ready, I’m prepared, and I know what it’s gonna be like.

Essentially you’re kind of a James Bond character with Momentum now…

Yeah, that’s what I liked about it. Definitely what attracted me to it.

What was the last really good movie you saw in theaters?

Oh, wait, what did I just see? Um…I saw 45 Years with Charlotte Rampling. I mean, that’s the movie that won-I was actually on the jury for the Berlin film festival. God, y’know, I watch a lot of movies on iTunes (laughs)

A lot of people watch movies that way now. It’s kind of the new way...

Yeah, because it’s so much easier because I travel a lot and often when I get back to wherever I am, I’ve missed half the movies that already came out and they aren’t in cinemas anymore, so I have to watch things on DVD or iTunes. But, 45 Years was definitely a great film. But, very different from Momentum (laughs).

It seems like you travel a lot, just looking at your Instagram account it seems like you’re very worldly and kind of everywhere-

Oh, I’m not good at Instagram! I never post anything (laughs) I’m very bad with that. The thing is if I really posted- it’s not even half of where I go and what I do. If you really knew how often I travel, I’m basically never home.

That’s the way it seems just looking at it as is, so I couldn’t imagine how much more it would be if you posted more. Is there a place you enjoy traveling to the most?

Yeah, y’know in some places I have more fun.  Actually, with Momentum it’s the case, because the nature. The nature is amazing. I’ve also posted pictures on Instagram-I was good on Instagram back then (laughs).  I climbed the table mountain, I climbed the Lion’s head, I went on safari, y’know, places like that that are so picturesque and that you can go see things. Australia was that kind of place, too. I guess I just appreciate-I think I must like nature and animals a lot. I like discovering, so it’s great when you can go to a place where you’re working but you also have things to do on your spare time. And exotic places are always more interesting. So, Australia or South Africa or, y’know, I’d like to go to mid Africa. So, when day, I’m sure if I go to Kenya I’m gonna love it. Places that completely throw me out of my usual environment, like Asia for example. I love going to Asia. I remember when I went to China I loved it, but I didn’t get to stay long.

Is there anything you do to unwind when you’re done working?

Yeah, well, y’see, with Momentum, because I was the lead I almost didn’t have time, and still, I don’t know how I manage, I mean we had weekends, we had time off. That’s when I did the mountain climbing and all the safari trips, but during the week it’s impossible. I come home, I’m exhausted. I look at everything I’m gonna do the next day and usually I do some training and then that’s it. You just fall off your feet. And with Momentum it was really the case. I remember I was exhausted. I was everyday exhausted, because it was so physically draining, it was so intense that I was just-the night was the only time that I could catch up. And, my main goal was just to have enough energy to go through the next day. That’s all I had in mind and I was just thinking eight more weeks of these, now six more weeks of this, okay, five more weeks of this, y’know, it was like that. You try to get through it (laughs).

It is enjoyment.  It’s difficult, but you do enjoy it, but it’s not like you’re hanging out and drinking wine every day. Definitely none of that. You have to be quite serious. Sleep and food is my unwinding.

You’ve worked with a lot of big stars, I’m curious who you would like to work with in the future?

Yes, of course, tons. I don’t know if I should point them out, because there’s so many great actors.

You’ve got to have a a few favorites, maybe a bucket list.

Yeah, maybe, but I’m…

Maybe De Niro, Pacino, Meryl Streep…

Of course I like those guys! To me, it’s like even if I say that, isn’t it going to be kind of obvious, like who doesn’t like those guys? Who wouldn’t? All of these guys that are basically legends. Of course, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ralph Fiennes, all those people. I admire them, but the list is long and I could go on and on.

We could just say you want to work with everybody...

Exactly, yes (laughs) Yeah, anyone that’s inspiring and great.

Awesome. Well, I really appreciate the chat and wish you the best with Momentum

Thank you very much!

MOMENTUM opens in Theaters and VOD this Friday, October 16th. You can check out Olga Kurylenko on Twitter HERE and on Instagram HERE.



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