| super sirens: Bond girls (from left to right) Ursula Andress, Michelle Yeoh and Halle Berry
Los Angeles, Nov. 5 (Reuters): Ever wonder what happened to Honey Ryder, Holly Goodhead and the never-to-be-forgotten Pussy Galore from 1964 James Bond movie classic, Goldfinger'
This month film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer unleashes the 20th James Bond movie, Die Another Day for movie fans around the world, and with that comes new “Bond Girl,” Halle Berry.
But for Bond buffs wanting to know where the women of past films landed after tangling — or becoming entangled — with 007, Mayam d’Abo of 1987’s The Living Daylights has created Bond Girls Are Forever, a documentary that will debut on AMC cable TV network on Wednesday and then be repeated several times.
The new Bond film debuts on November 22 with all the gadgets, fast cars and shaken martinis audiences have come to expect. But the girls are always a little bit different, and over 40 years of Bond flicks have changed as times have changed.
“The roles are bigger and more challenging. There is more of an edge to them, but they have lost some of the fun. ... Today, you couldn’t get away with a name like Pussy Galore,” d’Abo said. That’s probably true.
Oscar winner Berry promises to bring glamour, brains and sophistication to her role of Jinx, while still kicking butt with martial arts and gun handling skills that make Bond (Pierce Brosnan) a little bit shaken, like his favourite drink.
It wasn’t always that way. Ursula Andress emerged from the warm blue Caribbean waters onto a sandy beach in a scandalously low two-piece bikini in 1962’s Dr. No, and became Honey Rider, the original Bond Girl.
At first, Rider seemed to have an independent streak that fit the fiery 1960s. She even pulled a knife on 007, but was rather easily disarmed and, in the end, saved from villains by then 007, Sean Connery.
Over the years, Bond Girls have been both victims and villains. By the 1990s, d’Abo believes, Bond girls finally became equals of 007, illustrated by the martial arts style of Michelle Yeo as Wai Lin in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. Dame Judi Dench, playing spy chief “M” starting in 1995’s GoldenEye, has become Bond’s boss.
Andress appears in d’Abo’s documentary as do Berry, Yeo, Honor Blackman, the afore-mentioned Ms Galore; Lois Chiles, Dr Holly Goodhead of 1979’s Moonraker; and Maud Adams, the only woman to be a Bond girl in two movies, 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun and 1983’s Octopussy.
Adams, 57, describes being a Bond Girl as a sort of double-edged sword that brings notoriety, but also can overshadow a career if the actress allows that to happen.
“The myth that Bond girls are one-shot actresses is really just a myth,” said Adams, noting she’s made over 25 other feature films in a career that has spanned over 30 years.
Adams said what has surprised her is the fact that the Bond movies seem to gain more notoriety each time a new film hits theatres. She said she still gets fan mail from kids around the world who see the video or DVD of her past Bond movies, and think she’s still that same woman.
“They say: ‘You’re so sexy,’ and I want to tell them I’m old enough to be their grandmother,” she laughed. Adams called the Bond movies a sort of “modern myth” with “characters we all want to play, for fun”.
“It doesn’t really matter what man you meet, he wants to be James Bond ... and I think women like to think of themselves as a Bond Girl, in their own fantasy world.”
AMC is owned 20 per cent by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and 80 per cent by cable TV company Cablevision Systems Corp.