Best known for her role as a Bond Girl, the model-turned-actress reveals a special journey, her favorite view and an unforgettable meal
Olga Kuryleno’s hair is playing on the soft breeze that’s blowing gently in, over the leafy green treetops, through the open windows of her suite in Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
It’s the sort of glossy, luxuriant hair that major advertisers splash photographs of on billboards across the world – but Kurylenko’s undeniably gorgeous tresses are just one of her many assets.
The Ukrainian-born actress’ luminous screen presence and vital, dynamic energy have made her a firm favorite with directors in search of powerful female leads.
Kurylenko made her first major international film appearance opposite Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace, released in 2008, as the vengeful Bond Girl Camille.
She has since starred alongside Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman in the visually stunning, futuristic sci-fi thriller Oblivion and James Purefoy in Momentum. She has recently finished filming Johnny English Strikes Again – the third installment of the spy comedies with Rowan Atkinson – due out later this year.
Taking some time out from her energetic on-set activities, Kurylenko settled into a velvety-soft chair at the Trianon Palace Versailles, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, to tell us about her life-long passion for travel, most treasured memories, and how she is never afraid to try something new…
What is your earliest memory of travel?
When I went to St Petersburg with my mother. I was about eight years old. The city was so beautiful, and it was summer. We walked along the river and visited the palaces of the Peterhof and the Hermitage.
Who is your perfect travel companion?
Any of my close friends would make a great travel companion! But it’s hard to say, as I’ve almost never traveled with anybody. I always travel on my own. Therefore I don’t have a perfect travel companion. I wish I did.
What has been your most unforgettable journey?
Udaipur, India. I stayed in a lake palace and in the evening went on a boat ride on the lake. It was so romantic and the food was delicious.
Where is your perfect view?
I have a place in the south of France. There is a turn in the road as you approach the house and you can see across the hills for miles. I always love seeing that view as it means I’m on holiday.
Is there one dish you have tasted on your travels that you will remember forever?
Hitsumabushi – grilled eel over steamed rice with broth. I tried it in Nagoya in Japan while on promotional tour for “Oblivion” and loved it. Japanese people were very surprised as – apparently – not even all the Japanese locals eat that. But I’m adventurous with food. I love discovering new tastes.
Is there a place to which you could return again and again and never tire of?
I love being at home in London and I don’t spend as much time there as I’d like to. I still have lots of areas to explore and I know there will always be a great play to see in the West End or a new restaurant to try. It is such a diverse place to live.
Name the destinations you have always dreamed of but never yet experienced?
I’m lucky to have traveled to many places for my work but I’ve never been to Cambodia and Hawaii and I hear it’s beautiful there.
Photographed at Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, by Bruno Barbazan
Fashion editor: Ursula Lake, Make-up artist: Alexandra Rouger, Hair stylist: Alex Price, Fashion assistant: Annachiara Biondi