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Why Klara From Sentinelle Looks So Familiar

Sentinelle is a revenge-driven action thriller from France that's currently high on Netflix's daily Top 10 chart. Audiences don't seem to be loving it –- it has a dismal 21% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes -– but it's only 80 minutes long, so people will watch it to pass the time without much commitment.

It tells the story of a traumatized French soldier named Klara who returns home from the frontlines in Syria to Nice, where she reunites with her mother and sister and works as part of Opération Sentinelle, France's domestic counterterrorism operation. One night, Klara goes out to a club with her sister, Tania. During a brief period of time they're apart during the night, Tania is abducted, sexually assaulted, and beaten into a coma. The perpetrator seems to be a Russian national who's the son of a powerful oligarch, which makes him basically untouchable by the law. So Klara decided to take matters into her own hands, and goes after the bad guys.

Klara is played by a familiar face who isn't quite a household name: Ukrainian-French actress Olga Kurylenko, who's been in big blockbusters, indies from acclaimed directors, and a lot of action-thrillers like Sentinelle. Here are some of the movies from which you may remember her.

Olga Kurylenko was a Russian moll in Hitman

Kurylenko made her Hollywood debut in the 2007 film adaptation of the video game Hitman. She played Nika Boronina, the mistress of an assassinated Russian president who becomes romantically involved with Agent 47, the nameless killing machine played by Timothy Olyphant.

In the movie, 47 is given an assignment to kill Nika because she supposedly witnessed him killing the president. However, he realizes she didn't, and they're both being set up to tie up loose ends in a conspiracy that involves the Organization, the shadowy order of assassins that 47 is part of. So 47 and Nika go on the run, fall in love, and bring down the conspiracy together. They connect because they've both been forced by circumstances of their birth to do things they don't want to do, and become people they don't want to be. Plus, they both have striking tattoos — his being a barcode on the back of his head, while hers is a little dragon on her face.

In a 2008 interview with Moviehole, Kurylenko said Hitman got her an American agent and opened some doors for her that led to even bigger things. She still has a lot of fondness for the film -– she posted on Twitter in 2018 that she "loved this role." It wasn't the only video game adaptation that Kurylenko did, either, as she also appeared in 2008's Max Payne.

Olga Kurylenko was a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace

To this day, the biggest role of Kurylenko's career has been as Bolivian secret agent Camille Montes in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

In the 22nd Bond movie, Montes is out for revenge against General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio), an aspiring dictator who killed her family. She meets Bond (Daniel Craig) when she mistakenly thinks he's an assassin who's come to kill her. Later, he saves her after villain Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric) betrays her, and they team up to bring down the nefarious Quantum organization.

Camille Montes isn't a sex object to the same degree as earlier Bond girls, and the extent of her and Bond's sexual relationship is a brief kiss as they're parting. In 2008, Kurylenko told the BBC she was happy when she read the script and saw there was no love scene. Montes is "totally different" from prior Bond girls, the actress said. "First of all she has her own story in the movie and she is not connected to Bond. She can do everything by herself; she's quite strong and very feisty." Kurylenko told The Guardian that she had never seen a James Bond movie before getting the part; "James Bond didn't get to Ukraine," she explained. But she got a "big box of DVDs" and got herself caught up.

Olga Kurylenko loved Tom Cruise in Oblivion

In 2013, Kurylenko starred in the post-apocalypic sci-fi action-thriller Oblivion as Julia Harper, the scientist wife of Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), a technician who stayed behind on the remnants of Earth to repair combat drones after an alien invasion and subsequent war left the planet mostly uninhabitable.

Harper's memory was wiped, but he has real-feeling dreams of life before the alien war in which he's married to an unknown woman. He finds a crashed spacecraft with the unknown woman in stasis inside, and rescues her. Once they're together, they remember who they really are, and discover that what Jack's been told about his mission is a lie, and they're part of a conspiracy that's even bigger than they could have imagined.

To prepare for the role, Kurylenko watched the classic Soviet sci-fi romance film Solaris, which has themes of how memory gets recorded — a subject that she noticed was also present in Oblivion. "I come from Tarkovsky-land, and at that point I hadn't watched [Solaris] for many years. I thought there were themes in there though that I should pick out for Oblivion," she told Indie Wire. "The story -– both in Solaris and Oblivion –- deals with space and memory. Why does Jack remember certain things but not others? Why does he remember love? I like to believe, and it's very naïve, but perhaps it's because love never dies. You know, you can wipe someone's memory, but you can't wipe love away."

Olga Kurylenko tickled the ivories in The Death of Stalin

One of Kurylenko's most notable film appearances in recent years was a small but pivotal role in Veep creator Armando Ianucci's 2017 political satire The Death of Stalin, in which she played famous Soviet pianist Maria Yudina. There's an apocryphal story that late one night in 1944, Soviet leader Josef Stalin was listening to the radio and heard Yudina playing Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 23" and asked for a recording of the performance. However, it was a live performance, so Yudina was brought to a recording studio in the middle of the night, where she recorded a version. The only copy was given to Stalin.

A version of this story is dramatized in The Death of Stalin, where Yudina stuffs a note into the record sleeve excoriating Stalin for destroying the country. Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) then reads the note and suffers a cerebral hemorrhage. (This is inspired by how Stalin actually died, but obviously, takes a lot of liberties.)

Kurylenko was born in the Soviet Union, and performing in the film brought her back to her childhood. "To play a Russian character, even though it is a satire, in a film that takes place in the country I was born was very interesting," Kurylenko told Variety in 2017. "And I had to play piano which took me back to my days when I lived back in the country. To play onscreen, it was great to be able to use those skills I learned as a little kid."