Dr. Madeleine Swann
PLEASED TO MEET YOU
James Bond runs into Dr. Madeleine Swann at a private clinic in the Austrian alps. Although Bond is looking for Swann in order to fulfil a promise to her father, the alluring doctor is quite unsuspecting. Bond reveals his hand when he announces that his profession is not the kind of thing that looks good on a form.
"Why, given every other possible option, does a man choose the life of a paid assassin?"
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
Swann resists 007's help and his charms for much of the SPECTRE mission, demonstrating herself to be an independent woman and indispensable ally. However, after Bond receives a savage beating from Mr. Hinx, and the reluctant Madeleine is forced to wield a firearm and save Bond's life, she propositions the spy, asking "What do we do now?" The pair return to their sleeping quarters but emerge the next day impeccably dressed.
As the daughter of assassin and Quantum kingmaker, Mr. White, Swann has known the danger of the profession since she was young and was forced to kill an unwelcome guest in her father's house. She quickly takes stock of James Bond and initially judges him a threat to himself and others. Her suspicions are correct when 007 inadvertently leads SPECTRE agents to her remote hiding place.
Madeleine forms an unwilling alliance with Bond but makes it clear she disapproves of his choice of career. She also pushes Bond, challenging him to leave the risky profession he's known and embraced for years. Clearly Swann has a powerful affect on the usually stone-cold secret agent, who rather than assassinating his nemesis, instead hands Blofeld to the authorities and surrenders to Madeleine's wishes.
Swann is worldly and intelligent and as a result of her past, unwilling to take up arms. She comes to 007's rescue on a couple of occasions: first when Bond is fighting Hinx aboard a sleepy steamer through Tangier, and second when Bond is held prisoner and tortured by Blofeld. She is also the key to the mission, being able to lead Bond to Mr. White's cache of information hidden in the honeymoon suite of L'Américain, a modest hotel in Tangier.
Madeleine: You shouldn't stare.
Bond: Well, you shouldn't look like that.
Born on 1st July, 1985, Léa Seydoux grew up in Paris, France. Throughout her childhood Seydoux made regular trips to Senegal where her mother, Valérie Schlumberger, still lives today. Her bonds to the film industry are strong, with paternal grandfather Jérôme having a controlling share of Pathé since 1990 whilst Jérôme's brother - her great uncle - is chair of Gaumont. At age three her parents split and Valérie returned to Africa. As a child she learned English via a visit to America for the summer.
This young Parisian always had an interest in the performing arts. Initially Seydoux wished to become a opera singer, studying at the Conservatoire de Paris. When the course of her career changed, Seydoux looked to acting. One of her earliest roles was in the ensemble film "Mes Copines" (2006), focusing on a band of teenage girls who win a dance competition. Seydoux costarred with Soko, the singer, actress and composer best remembered for "Her" (2013). Other early screen appearances included "13 French Street" (2007) and "The Last Mistress" (2007).
She earned a César nomination for Most Promising Actress off the back of her work with director Christophe Honoré in "La Belle Personne". She bet out a series of younger rivals for the Lecce Festival award-winner and earned herself her first starring role. Seydoux's first Hollywood production came when she was cast as Charlotte LaPadite in "Inglourious Basterds" (2009). The actress joined an all-star international cast that included Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger and of course "SPECTRE" co-star Christoph Waltz. Seydoux's next Hollywood brush was "Robin Hood" (2010), wherein she played Isabella of Angoulême, second wife to King John. In 2011 the up and coming actress appeared in Brad Bird's contribution to the Mission Impossible franchise, "Ghost Protocol". She plays Sabine Moreau, and goes fist to fist with IMF agent Jane (Paula Patton) in a hotel room in the Burj Khalifa.
Perhaps her most famous role to date is as Emma in Abdellatif Kechiche's critically acclaimed "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (2013). The romance/drama won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. For the first time the award was officially presented to director plus his two co-stars: Adèle Exarchopoulos and Seydoux. The film won at the British Independent Film Awards, César Awards, and Lumiere Awards.
The next year Wes Anderson cast Léa in his ensemble piece "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014). She joined Ralph Fiennes, Mathieu Amalric, Jude Law, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray amongst other big names. "SPECTRE" reunites her with her "Inglourious Basterds" co-star, Waltz.