Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bond Girls! Then and Now

"Careful with this one, Mr. Bond. She won't go to bed with you unless you give her something she really wants."

And he doesn't. They are not in love, there is no sex, and only a short kiss. That's the buzz on the upcoming 007 flick, Quantum of Solace, due out November 14th.

For the first time, the perennial playboy (Daniel Craig) doesn't bag the Bond Girl. Unknown Ukrainian model-turned-actress Olga Kurylenko plays a hard-as-nails chica Latina agent from Bolivia (confusing, no?) with her own private vendetta. (Even St. Petersburg seems confused: the Communist Party says Kurylenko has betrayed her roots.)

The modern Bond Grrrls are more forceful, stronger women who no longer giggle in their bikinis. But they still ooze sex, the kind that gets you into trouble. And the accents are still fake, the breasts still real.

Which got us to what ways has the Bond Girl evolved?

In the '60s Bond was about swinging in the Cold War, a spy who combated the evil forces while making love to lots of beautiful women. It was the kind of film your parents wouldn't let you see.

Ursula Andress (72) first walked out of the ocean and into male America's fantasies as Honey Ryder in Dr. No (1962). She's had a facelift sometime in the past and only in the last few years has begun to lose her looks. Fluent in four languages, her accented english was dubbed over.

Honor Blackman (81) played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964), probably the first to flex her brains and brawn on screen. Shown here in faux brusing to publicize a British campaign working to end domestic violence against women.

Diana Rigg (70) played Italian Tracy diVicenzo, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), an British actress cast as a lovelorn Mafia heiress. To date she's the only Bond Girl to score a wedding ring. She confesses to a blepharoplasty at 44 and 20 cigarettes a day. Smoking is not a Bond Girl's best friend.

In the '70s the Bond franchise brought several women to the big screen and then took them off again.

Brit Jane Seymour (57 ) appeared in Live and Let Die and Swede Britt Ekland (66) in The Man With the Golden Gun. Neither performance was memorable – but that's quite the facelift (and browlift, and lip filler).

Jill St. John's (68) IQ of 162 was definitely higher than that of her character Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), a voluptuous lady running around a burning oil rig in a technicolor bikini. St. John had a rhinoplasty at age 16, at the urging of her mother, but she didn't stop there; this is not the face of a sexagenarian.

Barbara Bach (62) was Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), an American actress playing a Russian KGB agent, the Bond Girl incarnation of women's liberation as 007's first modern co-worker. Ringo has gifted her some lovely surgical work.

The '80s were pretty dry.

Most memorable was the French actress Carole Bouquet (50) playing Melina Havelock, a half British-half Greek in For Your Eyes Only (1981). The face of Chanel, she went on to captivate Gérard Depardieu, have her phone bugged by François Mitterand, and (allegedly) enjoy an affair with President Sarkozy.

In came the '90s. It just wasn't going to be a good decade, either, for Bond Girls.

Teri Hatcher (44 ), remember her? She played Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Okay, you don't remember it, only Desperate Housewives. Her real breakout role was uncredited in Star Trek: Next Generation in 1988. Some ongoing use of Botox (which she denies) seems indicated in this recent candid photo. Her periocular (crowsfeet) and glabellar (between the eyebrows) areas appear frozen.

Turn of the century?

But never say die – or in this case, Die Another Day (2002). Halle Berry (42) playing Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson rises out of the sea, resurrecting the Bond franchise for the next century.

Did you miss hearing Anne flesh it all out today with Kevyn Burger on-air? Use this link to find the FM107.1 audio archive of Knifestyles broadcasts by date (second hour). Step one: select the date shown on the blog posting; step two: click on Kevyn Burger; step three: click on second hour. Enjoy!

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