James Bond, The Queen & The Olympics
To open the 2012 London Olympics in an epic way, the short film Happy & Glorious showed our favorite 00 agent escorting Queen Elizabeth to the opening ceremonies.
Daniel Craig’s James Bond arrives at Buckingham Palace and accompanies the Queen herself to a waiting chopper. Once hovering over the Olympic stadium the pair jump out and float down with a pair of Union Jack parachutes.
Initially I probably would have assumed the Queen would be played by an actress for this, like Helen Mirren. Or it would be shot in a way that would obscure her face and a stand-in would play the Queen’s back and feet or something. But nope. This is actually Queen Elizabeth herself! It’s pretty neat. Considering that Bond has been working for her since he came on the scene, it’s a jolt to him finally sharing a scene with her.
Danny Boyle who directed the short said the Queen had made herself “more accessible than ever before” for the sequence. She was first approached in 2011 about the idea and was said to be very happy to get involved. It was filmed in March and April this year.
Other than attending some film premieres, this is the first time she’s actually played a scene with 007. I suppose you can count paintings or images of her within the films, but this time it’s the real deal.
It’s actually a pretty amusing short. Seeing the Queen actually do some acting alongside Craig and play along with this James Bond-type of adventure is a kick. And I did find it funny seeing the stoic Craig walking past the Queen’s little doggies. I wonder what they talked about between filming? Did she get some insider dope on Skyfall? Did she ask what happened with Quantumof Solace? Did she accidentally call Craig ‘Sean’ the whole time???
One thing this certainly illustrates is how important the character of Bond is as a symbol for England and how the country embraces that connection. It boggles my mind how at one point filmmakers flirted with the idea of changing his nationality. That just doesn’t seem right.
This is the second time Craig has used his Bond persona away from the films. In 2011 he appeared in drag for a short film supporting International Women’s Day. It appears Craig can indeed have some fun with his famous character and take a comical look at himself in the role.
This short film certainly is some nice publicity for Skyfall too. If anyone at the Olympics weren’t aware that a new James Bond film was coming out this fall, Bond’s appearance here sure did remind them.
I would normally embed a video here for this short, however it seems really hard to find at the moment. It appears the Olympics are trying to keep this film and copyright close to their chest. I have no doubt eventually it will be easy to find.
Yeah, and the same goes for this second Skyfall trailer being shown in IMAX theaters. I’ve been waiting for Bond producers to release it so I can finally check it out, but so far have only heard about it.