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Exclusive: Ralph Fiennes says “Skyfall” will be a special Bond film

Exclusive: Ralph Fiennes says “Skyfall” will be a special Bond film (photo)

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Talk about fortuitous timing. Earlier today at a press conference, Eon Productions officially announced the 23rd James Bond film, “Skyfall,” as well as its full cast list: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, and Ralph Fiennes. A few hours later, I happened to be chatting with Fiennes about “Coriolanus,” his fascinating debut as a film director. As a huge Bond fan, I had to use the last few minutes of our interview to hear what he had to say about the film, which goes into production next week.

“If you’re a Bond fan,” Fiennes told me when I confessed my 007 obsession, “then you’ll be happy. I can tell you that John Logan has written a fantastic screenplay and [director] Sam Mendes is a class act. They’re doing something quite special I think. I think they’re going to be great for Bond.”

Fiennes is a Academy Award nominated actor, but is he a Bond fan? “I love the Bond books particularly,” he said. “I like the books even more than the films. I like the darkness of the books. But I’ve also enjoyed all the films.” Fiennes also told me he vividly remembers the first Bond he ever saw: 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” with George Lazenby.

Darkness is a word you hear a lot in relation to Craig’s Bond films, but I’d read some speculation that Mendes’ take on the character may be even darker than the one in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” So I asked Fiennes if he thought that Mendes and Logan were bringing some of the “darkness” he loves from the books to “Skyfall.”

“No, for me the books’ darkness comes from their period nature,” he replied. “I always wished they’d done a Bond set in 1955 in the Cold War like a Graham Greene novel. But no, this is just a great piece of screenwriting and the human drama at the center of this is quite affecting. And it’s full of amazing stunts and action sequences.”

Will he get to join in on the stunts and action sequences? Fiennes took a long pause. “I can’t answer that question,” he said. “I don’t get laid, that’s for sure.” That might be a clue, or it might not be — typically Bond’s the guy who gets laid in James Bond films; that’s why they’re called James Bond films.

If I can put on my fan hat for a moment, here’s my totally unsubstantiated speculation. Bardem is confirmed as the main villain of “Skyfall” and there have been some hints that he might be playing the new version of Ernst Blofeld, Bond’s arch-nemesis from all the old Sean Connery films. But it took three movies to see Blofeld’s face onscreen during the original run of Connery Bonds; in “From Russia With Love” and “Thunderball” he was just the mysterious evil mastermind lurking in the shadows stroking a cat. I have a hunch Bardem works as a lieutenant for Blofeld, who’s played by Fiennes. I mean come on: who’d be a better Blofeld than Lord Voldemort? Nobody I can think of.

We’ll see if my guess is right on November 9, 2012 when “Skyfall” hits theaters. In the meantime, look for more of my interview with Fiennes about “Coriolanus” closer to its release on December 2. It’s not Bond, but it’s a very interesting movie.

Who do you think Ralph Fiennes is going to play in “Skyfall?” Give us your guesses in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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