The No Time To Die saga continues.
The latest bit of news of the film involves Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas. The actresses were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter on November 6, 2019. Obviously, the beginning of the marketing push for No Time To Die is starting up. The title of the article is ‘Bond Women: How Rising Stars Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas Are Helping Modernize 007’.
In the article both actresses discuss the evolution of the female roles in the James Bond series and explain that their characters will be “more fully realized than the ‘Bond girls’ of films past.”
Writer/actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge is also heavily mentioned, as she’s been hired “to bring a fresh female perspective (and some humor) to the film’s script”. And producer Barbara Broccoli is quoted about the franchise’s continue need to evolve. “#MeToo has influenced our culture, which is a great thing, so of course it’s going to influence everything we do on Bond. The films are representative of the times they’re in.”
Now, to casual moviegoers this might all sound like a fresh new approach to the female roles in a James Bond movie. However, to longtime Bond fans most of what the actresses say about their roles will all sound awfully familiar. With every Bond movie it’s almost become a requirement that the actresses in the current film will proudly announce their characters are drastically different than the Bond Girls in the past.
Although, they never do specify which Bond Girls they’re referring to when they eagerly dismiss them and proclaim their characters will be much better. They just generalize the role of past Bond Girls with a big dismissive sweep of their hand.
It’s a strange thing. Actresses talking about how Bond Girls have been sexualized and were stereotypes, yet they never provide specific examples of this and just generally stereotype all the Bond Girls who came before them, (unfairly I feel) feeling assured they’re going to be different somehow. I wonder how truly familiar they are with the individual films and female characters that have appeared in them
They make the point that they aren’t going to be bikini-wearing bubble heads who need saving by James Bond and quickly jump into bed with him. Their character is strong, smart, confident and more than capable to stand toe to toe with 007 than those old Bond bunnies.
Could they be referring to Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny? Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd? Judi Dench’s M?
This declaration from the newest actresses towards the female roles in the Bond movies has been going on for decades. It is nothing new. It’s almost become as predictable as seeing 007 walk in his gun barrel.
Sometimes I suspect EON gives the same Bond Girl bullet point list for their actresses to reel off when talking to the press as they have since 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me. It’s the same exact playbook.
So, basically it’s nothing we haven’t heard before about the ‘Bond Woman’ role in a Bond movie in this article. There however was one interesting quote by Lynch about her character and what she wanted to bring to her role of Nomi, the woman who has inherited the 007 number since James Bond’s retirement.
” She even talked to Waller-Bridge, who is only the second woman in the history of the franchise to be a credited writer after Johanna Harwood (1962’s Dr. No and 1963’s From Russian With Love), about adding an issue that nearly every woman faces but rarely makes its way into action films. “We had one conversation about her maybe being on her period in one scene, and maybe at the beginning of the scene – and I spoke to Cary about this – throwing her tampon in the thing,” says Lynch, making a motion of tossing trash into the bin. (She’s mum about whether it made it in.) “
Well, that’s certainly something that we’ve never seen in a Bond film before.
When I first read this article this ‘tampon’ quote really stuck out at me and I was surprised that I didn’t see anyone talking about it. Maybe it got breezed over by most people. Or maybe barely anyone read the full article, but it certainly caught me off guard and got me shaking my head.
One thing I couldn’t understand is how this ‘period action’ was meant to help ‘modernize’ James Bond. It’s not like menstruation is something new that something woman are experiencing only within the last few years. I suspect Bond Girls in the past dealt with this issue.
Maybe the reason why we rarely have seen instances of this taking place in action films is because the audience is not interested in seeing it. Maybe it seems pointless. Or maybe it’s because it doesn’t seem a relevant subject to be featured in a big-budget action film. Maybe the audience paying to see the film are more interested in seeing a well done car chase than be reminded women have menstrual cycles.
I also don’t understand what this says about her character of Nomi. I figure, you hire an actress who you hope to bring something special to her role and performance. Maybe she can help add further dimension to the character with suggestions about motivations, background, attitude, character moments. I’m not sure acknowledging that she’s on her period in a scene does much for any of that.
And it certainly doesn’t say a lot for Lynch if that was one of the best things she came up with for Nomi to make her a unique compelling character. I hope she contributed more than just that suggestion.
This quote sat for a few days not getting a lot of attention, but eventually it did pick up steam and fans have become aware of it since it was reprinted in the Daily Mail. Now it’s become a bit of a hot button topic in James Bond fandom.
It’s most likely all worry for nothing. I highly doubt this ‘tampon’ moment will make it into the final film, if they even filmed it. I envision the reporter loved hearing this from Lynch and was fully aware of what a juicy inclusion it would make in the article. It certainly is working to get folks talking about the movie. I’m not necessarily confident that it’s the most beneficial kind of talk though.
I discussed this news with fellow Bond fan and Youtuber DutchBondFan (who has a fantastic channel, check it out!). We both were confused and surprised by this revelation and concerned with where potentially No Time To Die could be headed.
Anyway, as I’ve always tried to do during this exasperatingly long buildup to what was once Bond 25, now officially known as No Time To Die, I’ve tried to have some fun with this latest report about the film. My latest video project is titled ‘A Public Service Announcement From No Time To Die’, humorously trying to imagine how the Bond film would handle the inclusion of this female issue.
Is anyone else feeling completely exhausted by this film yet or is it just me? Boy, I hope the trailer is good…
A Public Service Announcement From No Time To Die