With the upcoming release of 'Spectre' as the latest 007 instalment, we unwrap the girls behind Bond to see what lies beyond the beauty.
Every Bond movie has its pick of eye-candy and it appears this year's 007 installment has four, in the form of Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Stephanie Sigman and Naomie Harris. However, this time it seems the girls are far more complex than their predecessors, by introducing a doctor who specifically wants to stray away from the stereotyped "Bond girl” and the most mature Bond girl in history.
After the release of the very first full-length Spectre trailer, we decided to take a closer look at the girls behind this year's 007.
Who: Léa Seydoux Hometown: Paris, France Age: 30 Bond Character: Madeleine Swann
Description: Swann is a psychologist working at a private medical clinic in the Austrian Alps. The daughter of Bond’s old nemesis Mr. White, Swann understands Bond in a way most others cannot and may hold the clue to untangling the web of Spectre.
There might also be some real meaning behind her name, with possible nods to the Madeleine scene in Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way: In Search of Lost Time, which features themes of involuntary memory and so links to Spectre’s logline, “A cryptic message from Bond’s past…” After all, it’s not the first time the franchise has referenced early literature - Agent M in Skyfall quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses.
The double reference to Proust in Madeleine Swann’s name surely makes her the most highbrow Bond girl to date, although it’s still not exactly clear what memories of Bond’s past she’ll stir up.
Where you've seen her before: Inglorious Basterds (2009), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Who: Monica Bellucci Hometown: Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy Age: 50 Bond Character: Lucia Sciarra
Description: The widow of murdered Marco Sciarra, Lucia comes from a man’s world but when the attraction between the Italian beauty and 007 takes place, she realizes her feminine power over him.
Bellucci also makes history for this role - at 50 years old she has officially become the oldest Bond girl to grace the screen in the film series - taking over from Honor Blackman, who was 39 when she played the iconic character Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. With a distinct similarity in age between Sciarra and Bond, could she be an old love interest and Bond's ultimate femme fatale?
Spectre isn't the first Bond movie Bellucci has been linked to in her illustrious career as the actress was almost cast as Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies, losing out to Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher.
Where you've seen her before: The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Who: Stephanie Sigman Hometown: Obregon, Sonora, Mexico Age: 28 Bond Character: Estrella
Description: While little is actually known about the character, Estrella accompanies Bond while in Mexico during the pre-title sequence.
James Bond movies typically feature three female actors who are romanced by 007, with at least one killed off during the events of the film. As the lesser-known of the three stars, perhaps Sigman will take the sacrificial-lamb role.
Where you've seen her before: Miss Bala (2011), Pioneer (2013), TV's The Bridge (2013-2014)
Who: Naomie Harris Hometown: London, England Age: 38 Bond Character: Eve Moneypenny
Description: Moneypenny was a young MI6 agent in 2012's Skyfall and the events of the film, in which she nearly killed Bond by accidentally shooting him, have helped her to grow into a more mature role this time around.
Where you've seen her before: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), Southpaw (in theaters July 24)
What You Need to Know About Naomie Harris' Miss Moneypenny
The character of Miss Moneypenny may not have been considered an actual Bond girl, but there has always been plenty of sexual tension between her and 007. As M’s secretary, she and Bond would trade flirtatious lines and perhaps a kiss or caress, but nothing more, making her the perfect stand-in for every female audience member who longed to live dangerously with the spy.
Backstory to Miss Moneypenny at Large
Moneypenny is an iconic feminine role in the James Bond franchise.
Lady “Paddy” Ridsdale, as an assistant in naval intelligence during the Second World War became inspiration for Ian Fleming's depiction of Miss Moneypenny. In 1939 Paddy was given a job in the directorate of naval intelligence. She was the only woman working for seven officers, to which, Ian Fleming was one, under the command of Admiral Godfrey, who became the model for Fleming's spy-chief "M."
Four actresses have since portrayed the secretary with no first name: Lois Maxwell in the films from Dr. No (1962) to A View to a Kill (1985); Caroline Bliss in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989); and Samantha Bond, who appeared in four films, including Die Another Day (2002). When Naomie Harris joined the Moneypenny roster in 2012 she also gave the agent the first name Eve, for the first time in Bond history.
The Bond franchise has not been known for its generosity to female characters, but it’s good to see that Spectre has a collection of interesting, capable women. Especially considering that Bond’s longest-running female foil, Dame Judi Dench, is no longer around.
Spectre opens November 6 in the U.S. and October 26 in the U.K. Watch the full trailer here.