Just as famous for debuting double-crossing narratives and inventive gadgets, each James Bond film is also known for the "Bond Girl" it features, who often becomes the title character's foil and plays an integral part of the film's narrative, yet Quantum of Solace star Gemma Arterton recently admitted her regrets over being that film's Bond Girl and how she had hoped her "Strawberry Fields" character would have denied Bond's romantic advancements. The actress also admitted that, at the time, the opportunity came at an important moment in her career when a paycheck and the notoriety of the series outweighed any conflicts she had about her on-screen persona's involvement in the adventure.
"At the beginning of my career, I was poor as a church mouse and I was happy just to be able to work and earn a living," Arterton shared with The Sun. "I still get criticism for accepting Quantum of Solace, but I was 21, I had a student loan, and, you know, it was a Bond film. But as I got older I realized there was so much wrong with Bond women. Strawberry should have just said no, really, and worn flat shoes."
Much like many forms of pop culture, the James Bond franchise has undergone an evolution not only in regards to on-screen representation, but also with how audiences' expectations have changed since its earliest entries.
In the franchise's first installments back in the '60s, a Bond Girl largely served as little more than set dressing, using sexually empowered women to entice the audience while also exhibiting the secret agent's exciting lifestyle. The series also typically helped launch the career of somewhat unknown actresses who secured the role of a Bond Girl, but with each passing decade, the franchise began stunt-casting the Bond Girl, capitalizing on the fame surrounding actresses or models to draw in more audiences. This trend largely peaked with Pierce Brosnan's Bond films, which featured actresses like Halle Berry and Denise Richards, though the more recent Daniel Craig films have aimed to reinvent the franchise, which includes the reinvention of casting a Bond Girl, looking more towards lesser-known actresses for these roles.
The upcoming No Time to Die, however, breaks from the mold of its predecessors by featuring Ana de Armas, whose fame has grown immensely in recent years, as well as seeing the return of Léa Seydoux, who was previously seen in Spectre. What makes Seydoux's appearance interesting is that, despite a Bond Girl often being a significant part of any film, they rarely appear in more than one installment.
No Time to Die is set to hit theaters on April 2, 2021.
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