Since the 1960s when Ursula Andress stepped into the role of Honey Ryder in Dr. No, Bond girls have perpetuated and conformed to a certain standard of beauty. And that can put a lot of pressure on the actors who play them. Now, nearly 50 years after her stint as a Bond girl in 1974's The Man With the Golden Gun, Swedish actor Britt Ekland is sharing the lengths she went to in order to look a certain way. In a recent interview with the U.K.'s Platinum Magazine, 78-year-old Ekland said she feels like she "ruined her face" with plastic surgery. Read on to hear how things went wrong, and how she feels about aging now.
Britt Ekland feels like the plastic surgery she did in her 50s "destroyed [her] looks."
Ekland was 25 when she appeared in The Man With the Golden Gun as Bond girl Mary Goodnight. "Being a Bond girl has, in many ways, been the gift which never stops giving," the actor told Platinum (via The Daily Mail). "It has offered me nothing but joy." However, the pressure to keep up her appearance in Hollywood brought her anything but.
She said she had plastic surgery when she was in her 50s, and described her lip augmentation specifically as the "biggest mistake of [her] life." Ekland told the outlet, "It destroyed my looks and ruined my face."
She believes her plastic surgeon used her as an "experiment."
Ekland says the Parisian surgeon who did her lip augmentation "used [her] as some sort of experiment and destroyed [her lips]," as she told Platinum.
Instead of the treatment she expected after a consultation, the doctor injected Artecoll around the rim of her lips, describing it as "new dental material." While the material became popular as a lip injection in the '90s in some parts of the world, it was never approved for use in the U.S., due to many reported complications. "Most doctors today don't want to use it," Ekland told the magazine.
She even stopped working as an actor because she was so self conscious.
"For a really long time I couldn't do television or films," Ekland said. "I've had to live with newspapers printing horrible pictures of me."
She did "excruciating painful" corticosteroid injections to try to reverse the damage and "melt" the Artecoll, but she wasn't happy with the results.
Eventually though, she realized the plastic surgery was not going to change her situation. "It's not going to give me more roles to make me look better. This is who I am and people have to accept it," she told Good Morning Britain in 2020, according to The Daily Mail. "I've accepted it, you accept it!"
Today, Ekland said, "When I look at photographs of myself before I had it done, I looked very good. I can see that now, but I couldn't see it at the time."
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Today, Ekland has embraced getting older.
"Everyone has the right to choose," Ekland told Platinum of the decision to get plastic surgery. "[I] wouldn't consider it again. I have no desire to look any different than I am."
In her 2020 interview with Good Morning Britain, Ekland said, "I think it's tragic because the one time you look really good is before you're 25. Everyone is altering themselves so they all look older and older and older."
Now, a year later, Ekland seems to have embraced aging a bit more. "Getting older happens to everyone. It's pointless complaining about it or wishing you could change," she told Platinum. "We're all going in one direction and there is nothing we can do about that. It's just about looking after yourself while on that journey."