Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A Bond Girl is a character or actress portraying a love interest or sex object of James Bond in a film, novel or video game. They often (but not always) have names that are double entendres, such as "Pussy Galore", "Holly Goodhead" and "Xenia Onatopp."
Bond Girls are often victims rescued by Bond, fellow agents or allies, villainesses or members of an enemy organisation. Some are mere eye candy and have no direct involvement in Bond's mission; other Bond Girls play a pivotal role in the success of the mission. Other female characters such as Judi Dench's M and Miss Moneypenny are not typically thought of as Bond Girls.
The role of a Bond Girl is typically a high-profile part that can give a major boost to the career of unestablished actresses, although there have been a number of Bond girls that were well-established prior to gaining their role. For instance, Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman were both Bond Girls after becoming major stars for their roles in the television series, The Avengers. Additionally, Halle Berry won an Academy Award in 2002 - the award was presented to her while she was filming Die Another Day.
There is an urban legend of sorts that claims that appearing as a Bond Girl will damage an actress' subsequent career, often validated by retrospective reviews of such careers by past Bond Girls. Notable exceptions to this "curse" (actresses who went on to experience fulfilling careers) include Famke Janssen, Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg. In fact, casting for the female lead in Casino Royale was hindered by fears of this superstition by potential actresses.
Since the series began, Bond Girls have been criticized by feminists, and others, who feel that such characters objectify women as bimbos. Throughout the years, the Bond Girl has evolved from girl to woman, someone of strong character with the resourcefulness and skills Bond needs to complete the mission or, in some instances, rescue Bond. In Moonraker (1979), scientist Holly Goodhead is a trained space shuttle astronaut; in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Wai Lin is a People's Republic of China secret agent counterpart to Bond and is actually of a higher rank; in The World Is Not Enough (1999), Christmas Jones is a nuclear scientist; in Goldfinger (1964), Pussy Galore leads a women's stunt flying team; Thunderball (1965) features assassin Fiona Volpe, the first villain-Bond Girl; and You Only Live Twice (1967) features two Japanese SIS women agents 'Aki' and 'Kissy', and assassin Helga Brandt. Nevertheless, movie critics note that that none of these characters are realistic and comment that the Bond Girl, heroine or villainess, remains a sex object when compared with other portrayals of cinematic women.
In addition to those actresses mentioned above, the Bond films traditionally have groups of women in the background whose general purpose is nothing more than eye candy: they include the sunbathing Miami beauties in Goldfinger, the Thai girls at the kung fu school in The Man With the Golden Gun, Tiger Tananka's bathing beauties in You Only Live Twice, and Sheik Hossein's harem in The Spy Who Loved Me. However, in Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, and The Living Daylights these women were also referred to in the media as fully- fledged Bond girls to provide added publicity for the film through eye-catching magazine and newspaper appearances. In Moonraker this included members of Drax's "master race" and a group of women encountered by Bond in the jungles of Brazil In For Your Eyes Only, the women were seen frolicking around a villain's pool, while in Octopussy they served mainly as the title character's underlings. In A View to A Kill, they adorned Max Zorin's outdoor reception and in The Living Daylights, they served as decorations at the villain's swimming pool. One "Bond girl" in For Your Eyes Only was later revealed to be a post-operative transsexual (Tula). Although the Bond films have never stopped making use of feminine "eye candy", such large "Bond girl groups" were not featured after The Living Daylights.
EON Productions call themselves the "official" producer of the James Bond film series, having produced 21 films between 1962 and 2006 as listed above. However, other James Bond productions have been made over the years by other producers and studios. These productions are described as "unofficial" by EON Productions and as such, so are the Bond girls featured therein.
Mary Goodnight was a supporting character in several Bond novels before graduating to full Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. The short stories "Quantum of Solace", "The Living Daylights" and "The Property of a Lady" feature female characters in prominent roles, but none of these women interact with Bond in a romantic way.
Kingsley Amis (also known as Robert Markham)
Playboy Playmate Lisa Dergan is, to date, the only real-life person to be featured as a Bond girl in any literary Bond story.
In 2002, former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo co-wrote the book Bond Girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond. This book later became a DVD exclusive documentary featuring d'Abo and other Bond girls, including Ursula Andress. In some locations, the documentary was released as a gift with the purchase of Die Another Day on DVD. The featurette was included on the DVD release of Casino Royale (2006) with an updated segment referencing the newest film.
Halle Berry and Kim Basinger are the only Oscar winners to play a Bond girl. Basinger won her Oscar a number of years after her Bond film appearance, while Berry received hers during production of Die Another Day.
After the release of Die Another Day, MGM and EON Productions considered creating a spinoff series featuring Halle Berry's Jinx character. Plans for this were cancelled in 2003.
Early drafts of Die Another Day included an appearance by Wai Lin, but Michelle Yeoh was unavailable.
Media reports for The World Is Not Enough indicated the producers planned to include cameo appearances by every surviving Bond girl actress, ranging from Ursula Andress to Michelle Yeoh, but that did not occur; however, one "eye-candy" Bond girl was played by Eunice Gayson's daughter.
Ursula Andress has the singular distinction among movie Bond Girls of having actually appeared in the narrative of a Fleming novel, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, written after Fleming was present during filming of Dr. No. She is pointed out to Bond by Irma Bunt while they are dining at Piz Gloria.
Maud Adams, who played Francisco Scaramanga's girlfriend in The Man With the Golden Gun also played the title character in Octopussy.
Posted by gigihong07 at 7:48 AM