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Natasha Bedingfield: EA's latest Bond girl

Eurogamer meets gaming's new Bond girl, as From Russia With Love gets ready for jetpack-style lift-off.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Natasha Bedingfield is "delirious". Today's been a busy day, apparently, full of radio interviews with ITN and the BBC regarding her cameo appearance in the latest chapter in EA's grinding, yearly grip on the James Bond license, the interactive adaptation of From Russia With Love. Eurogamer meets her in a lower-floor room of a London hotel where she's lying on a leather sofa barking her lines from the game in falsetto posh.

"Unhand me you buffoon!" she shouts, getting up to shake hands. "You beast! Put me down!"

We unhand her, gladly. Ms Bedingfield has obviously been working very hard indeed. She's also stupidly attractive, which goes some way to seeing why EA would want her frame and face all over its discs. Not mildly fit, like that chip shop woman with ginger hair you fantasize about while you're chewing through your battered sausage; she's actually, properly good looking. Maybe we should get out more.

While From Russia With Love is one of the biggest hitters for EA this season, as its Bond game is every year (notwithstanding last year's GoldenEye: Rogue Agent release, but the less said about that the better, in all honesty), the game marks something of a ascension in seriousness from the "media convergence" perspective. While the series is no stranger to recognisable names - Everything or Nothing saw Pierce Brosnan, Shannon Elizabeth, Judie Dench and Willem Defoe add vocal talents early last year - Sean Connery himself voiced his character in the game, with Natasha playing the role of Elizabeth Stark, the prime minister's daughter kidnapped in the title's opening throes. Connery is about as 'A' list as it gets, a fact not lost on Natasha.

"Unfortunately I didn't get to record it with him," she mutters, playing with her hands. "Obviously, we're co-starring in it together, but he got to record his stuff in his house in the... Is it the Bahamas? [It is - Ed] Anyway, some island somewhere that's really nice, and I was in LA. So they worked around the stars."

But she would have like to meet him, right?

"I would have loved to, but I don't think I would have been able to act so well. Because I would have been tongue-tied. Because I fancy him."

From Russia From Love is looking like a return to form for Bond games, harking back to the third-person perspective rolled out in Everything or Nothing; there's no point licensing Sean Connery's likeness if you can't constantly see him or his clothes. The first two current gen Bond games - Agent Under Fire in 2001 and Nightfire in 2002 - were both FPSs, but with the actors now fully on board it's unlikely we're going to see through James's eyes again for a while yet. Character is the focus for now, and character's what we're getting. And as far as Bedingfield's character's concerned, screaming is where's it at.

"I do a lot of screaming," she says eagerly. "I think that's why they chose me for the part, because I'm a singer, so I can really belt it out. I got quite into it. I'd just been on the road, on planes every day, in two different states each day, so for me it was quite liberating to get in front of a microphone and just scream my head off."

Screaming made her accept the part? Apparently that and the lure of Britain's greatest super-spy franchise was obviously too much of an attraction for the ascending vocalist.

"Well, I think it was the Bond association, because I've never been in a video game before. That's definitely attractive, because I think it's extremely cool to be linked with that legacy. Bond has been one of the franchises that's managed to successfully reproduce 'it' over the years."

Yeah, sure. Bond schmond. What about the frocks you wear in the game?

"Frocks? That's a posh word, isn't it," she says, screwing up her nose. "That's what my grandma calls a dress. I had some nice clothes, yeah. A little bit more posh than I normally wear, that's true. Because it's set in the 60s there was a kind of vintage post-war twist to it. It's a 60s feel but it's very upmarket."

And for the record, costume geeks, Elizabeth Stark's costumes don't change throughout the game "because you don't have time to change when you're being kidnapped". Just so you know. Connery is resplendent in his timeless dapperness throughout the adventure, so the game itself is looking like something of a 60s style piece from an aesthetic point of view.

But appearances aren't everything, obviously, and whether the game will produce the tense action Bond aficionados crave is a matter that'll have to wait for the review. It's the last thing on Natasha's mind; she's started squealing non sequiturs again. Last few questions. Would she do another game?

"For Bond I would."

Not for anything else?


Is she pleased with her likeness in the game?


Does she want to do any more acting?

"I'd do something if it was good enough, and it was a role that fit me," she says, serious again. "And if I had time, because right now music really is the big focus. But I have had a couple of scripts my way. If something really caught my attention and I felt I could pull it off, I'd do it. But I wouldn't want to it if it distracted from the music. It'd have to be the right time, really."

And all's left is for us to take her portrait, after she gets a fresh coating of lip-gloss. She's earnest for this as well. Guess Natasha's a career girl at heart, sports fans, so you may want to check those aspirations.

James Bond 007: From Russia With Love releases on November 18 in Europe for PS2, Xbox and GameCube.

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