James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson, who runs Eon Productions with Barbara Broccoli, has revealed that a seduction scene from the 1963 thriller From Russia With Love is always used to test those aspiring to play Ian Fleming’s ruthless spy.
During an ‘In Conversation’ event at London’s British Film Institute to celebrate 60 years of James Bond, Wilson noted that they always need a good actress to play opposite the actor participating in the audition.
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“We always use the same scene … and that’s the one in From Russia With Love ,where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe. Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed,” he told the audience at the BFI on Friday night. He is referring to the moment where Sean Connery’s Bond finds Soviet military clerk Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi, in the middle of his bed, wearing only a black velvet choker.
After introducing themselves, Bond offers compliments to her beauty. She, however, laments: ”I think my mouth is too big.”
Before kissing her, Bond assures her all is well. ”No, it’s the right size. For me, that is.”
Wilson explained ”That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do.”
The veteran producer shared the BFI stage with BBC interviewer Samira Ahmed, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, casting director Debbie McWilliams, actor Rory Kinnear – Bill Tanner in Quantum of Solace , Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die – production designer Mark Tildesley, and associate producer Gregg Wilson. It was one of several events held in recent days to mark James Bond Day this coming Wednesday, October 5.
Later, Wilson spoke to Deadline and reiterated a point he made to us several months ago: ”It’s a whole new world. We’ve got to see what happens with Amazon. But there’ll always be a Bond.”
He also stressed that casting has not started for the new 007, ”No matter what others tell you.”
However, he did reveal that younger actors are out of the running. ”We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”
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