Bond girl Berenice Marlohe has hailed Heath Ledger's maniacal turn as The Joker in The Dark Knight as her favourite performance in movie history.
The French actress, who plays villain-turned-ally Severine in Skyfall, says the late WA actor not only inspired her own performance in the latest Bond film but her fledgling career.
"I love those kind of characters in general because you have so much freedom to explore things, but he was so brilliant and talented," the 33-year-old told Access All Areas.
"He was so free and bold to explore things without limits. For me this is the most fascinating performance in movie history."
Marlohe, who will walk the red carpet at the Australian premiere of Skyfall in Sydney tonight, has been catapulted from relative anonymity in her native France to international stardom thanks to her role in the 23rd film in the Bond franchise.
She landed the part of Daniel Craig's love interest after hearing about the auditions and doing everything she could to secure an audience with the production team, going as far as "Facebook stalking" director Sam Mendes' agent.
"It's the first time I have felt deeply in my guts that people would understand my work because it was an international movie ruled by English and American people," said Marlohe, who for years was told by French directors she was too tall and wasn't connected to the right people. She said she spent five days before the audition working day and night creating her character's past, her history, "because the day I entered the room I wanted Sam and everybody to feel the character".
Six months before the audition she dreamt about acting alongside Javier Bardem, without knowing he had been cast as Bond's main antagonist Raoul Silva.
Marlohe said it helped break the ice with Bardem on set. She also felt immediately at ease with Craig - just as well given the steamy shower scene they had to film.
"When I read the scene I thought 'Oh no, a naked scene'," said Marlohe, who has just been cast in Terence Malick's as-yet-untitled latest film.
"But Daniel is very funny and would do these crazy impersonations between takes. We had a lot of laughs. It was actually the opposite of what you see."
Skyfall opens on November 22.