A chat with Olga Kurylenko (“Oblivion”)

Olga Kurylenko has starred alongside “Seven Psychopaths” and nearly taken out superspy James Bond in “Quantum of Solace.” It seems only obvious that her latest role would be fighting side-by-side with Tom Cruise in the new sci-fi film “Oblivion.” As Julia, she helps Cruise determine his role as he fights to save the Earth. The beautiful Ukrainian actress recently sat down with us to discuss her latest role, as well as how being a Bond girl prepared her for it.

Bullz-Eye: Did the director give you a lot of leeway in expanding your character?

Olga Kurylenko: It’s always teamwork. I spoke with him a lot. He, Tom and I would have meetings and discuss our characters, the backstory and we rehearsed. I watched videos of astronaut trainings. I watched some old romantic movies as preparation and inspiration. It’s a working process and you grow together.

BE: Was it hard to play a character that’s so mysterious early on?

Olga Kurylenko: That’s what I found initially very interesting. There’s this mystery to Julia and that I couldn’t reveal everything right away with the first appearance of her. The fact that she had to unravel and uncover her story during the whole film, she’s a completely different thing in the end from what we see in the beginning. All that mystery was interesting to work on.

BE: You’ve recently worked with two of the biggest stars in Hollywood. How is it different working with Tom Cruise and Daniel Craig?

Olga Kurylenko: A couple of things that they both have in common is that they’re both action heroes. I think another similar thing is that they both do their stunts by themselves. They train a lot and physically work a lot. They’re very hard-working. Tom is fascinating. I don’t know what that man doesn’t know how to do. He flies a plane, a helicopter, everything. It’s very inspiring to work with them, but don’t try to outshine them in action scenes. It’s just incredible. I think a stunt guy tried to compete in running with Tom Cruise and Tom ran faster. And stunt guys are tough. They’re the strongest, the fastest, and Tom Cruise is still stronger and faster. He’s one of a kind.

BE: Creatively, what was it like working with Tom?

Olga Kurylenko: Very interesting, creatively. It was unexpected to see how much he gives. He’s a big star and a wonderful actor, but only his partners and other actors know how much he gives to the other. He gives so much. He’s such a generous partner and that’s not always the case. I’ve never seen him sit in his trailer. Even if he’s far away or in my eyeline, he would prefer to be there. He would never leave the set, even if I told him, “Seriously, I don’t need you.” (laughs) He would still be there. He is involved a hundred percent and that’s a wonderful thing. He is very supportive, of course. He’s done all these stunts. When I came on set and there was this gimbal that was spinning, he talked me through it. He knows how it works. It’s very reassuring and it’s very reassuring to have a partner like that. He’s not just an actor who is there who has no idea. He actually, technically, knows how things work. You feel safe with him.

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A chat with Morgan Freeman (“Oblivion”)

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Fans might think it would be a burden to not only be one of the most respected actors in film, but to have a voice that is universally recognized. From science documentaries to films involving a certain caped crusader, Morgan Freeman has seemingly done it all and shows no signs of slowing down. He sat down recently to talk about his relationship with fans and working with a screen idol of his, Tom Cruise, in the new sci-fi flick “Oblivion.”

Bullz-Eye: This is the first time you’ve worked with Tom. Do you have differing ways of how you approach a role?

Morgan Freeman: I don’t know. Everybody works the same. Preparation, very often, may be different, but you can’t work differently. You have to say the words that were written on the page. You have to make your marks. That’s the work.

BE: This film has many aspects that sci-fi purists enjoy. What do you think sets it apart?

Morgan Freeman: One of the things that stands out in this film is the love story. It’s not like one we’ve seen before. Then, there’s the awesome technology. The bubble ship can be remotely controlled. I agree that this is unlike many we’ve seen, or any we’ve seen prior. It’s very intelligent and extremely creative. Joseph designed these doggone toys. Awesome. Those drones are things you can’t believe, but there they are… believable.

BE: What aspect of the script most appealed to you?

Morgan Freeman: When I first read it, it talked about the mysteriousness of this group. At the outset, you don’t see them. They’re there, but you don’t see them. Then, when they are finally revealed, they’re the good guys and I’m the leader.

BE: In “Olympus Has Fallen,” you play your usual authoritative figure, but in this movie, you got to use some heavy machinery. Was that a choice on your part?

Morgan Freeman: No, I don’t make choices like that. (laughs) That’s written in that he goes up there and mans the machine gun. How these things work out is strictly the writer’s thing. It’s not the director. It’s not the actor. It’s strictly the writer.

BE: Was it fun?

Morgan Freeman: It was fun. That was dual 50-calibers on that tractor. I’d never fired a 50-caliber machine gun before.

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