Twenty-eight year-old Stephanie Sigman is one of Spectre's three Bond girls, a proud lineage of bikinis, bon mots, and uncertain loyalties. Spectre is the James Bond franchise's 24th feature film, and the second to be directed by Sam Mendes.
As Mexico's very first Bond girl, Sigman is excited by the rollout of her first blockbuster role, and she's admittedly a bit shy in the face of all this press. She's a fledgling pro, however. Sigman first turned heads in the Cannes critical darling Miss Bala back in 2011. And apart from Spectre, Sigman recently appeared in the FX television series The Bridge, as well as Netflix's Narcos, a surprise hit series about Pablo Escobar's legendary cocaine empire in Colombia. There's a lot of intrigue and dangerous romance in her portfolio. Still, the only hero sexier than her co-star Daniel Craig is her childhood fave, Spider-Woman.
How did you end up auditioning for Spectre?
I got a call from a casting director that they were looking for Mexican actors. I couldn't go to any of the auditions, so I did a self-tape and sent it to the casting director, who sent it to the producer, who sent it to the director. They liked it!
Did you watch Bond films growing up?
Of course. James Bond is so big everywhere. I love Skyfall, the previous film. I knew Sam Mendes was going to direct this one, too, and I was just very excited to be able to work with him.
Who's your favorite Bond?
Daniel Craig, of course.
The Bond films are all so macho. What's everyone like on set?
They're all very chill. It’s surprising when you go on set and find out that everybody is actually very nice, and they love what they do, and they’re happy. Everybody’s really polite.
Whom did you most enjoy working with?
Sam Mendes. I definitely hope I can work with him again on something else. He's one of my favorite directors. I like almost everything he's done.
Does Spectre feel different from other projects that you've done so far?
Definitely. It's a really big film, and we took more time to do everything. Coming from doing independent films and TV, the rhythm is just different.
What's the most challenging thing you had to do on set?
So many interviews! There's so much attention. I enjoyed the whole process, though. Especially the Day of the Dead scene in Mexico City—there were 2,000 people out there on the same day. Everyone was in amazing clothes—the wardrobe people and the PR department were all working so hard—but it was beautiful.
Every project is a new challenge for an actor. If it's not, it's boring. So I look for challenges. This one, I really enjoyed the whole thing, but I couldn't say that it was very hard; I'd be lying.
Do you enjoy the attention that comes with this sort of project?
I enjoy talking to people about what I do—about films, music, directors, and art. It's very strange, having to talk about yourself. It's still kinda new for me.
I was looking at your Instagram earlier. I see you've got the long Spider-Man socks and a full-body Flash costume. Are you into comics?
I'm really into Spider-Man, in particular. Since I was a little kid. Actually, while I'm talking to you right now, I'm looking at all the Spider-Man things in my room. Little toys. And I have a Spider-Man costume in my size. I know, that's weird...so yes, I'm into comics, but I'm really into Spider-Man. And Spider-Woman. Did you know there was a Spider-Woman in the '90s?
I didn't know that.
She's actually very sexy.
Can you tell me a bit about your part in Narcos?
It's about the business of cocaine. It starts with Pablo Escobar and the DEA in the 1980s. There are a lot of perspectives in the story—the government, the narcos, the population of Colombia, and the wife of Pablo Escobar. I'm the mistress. It's a very interesting story. The character that I play is based on Virginia Vallejo, who was the mistress of Pablo but also a big star in Colombia back in the '80s. A journalist, a TV host, a model—she was everything. It's a very strange, unique kind of love that she and Pablo had. They were also partners in a couple facets of his business, since she was very involved in politics.
When you say "strange, unique kind of love," what do you mean?
Not the traditional kind of love. I think they were more in love with each other's egos, and more in love with power.
Back to Bond—Bond girls are obviously a big part of the legacy of what James Bond means to people. What are the defining qualities of a Bond girl? What are your character Estrella's strengths and characteristics?
You have to be attractive, I guess. Although I don't know if I'm attractive enough. But, hey, I'm already in the film! You have to be charming. Every Bond girl has a certain charm, and sometimes—almost every time—that charm is more important than beauty. In the films and in life.
That's an encouraging way to put that.