The name is Bond, James Bond, but after dozens of movies and billions of dollars in ticket sales, there’s no need for this super spy to introduce himself. The world already knows who he is… But hold on. How much do we really know about the tux-clad man of mystery? From behind-the-scenes facts about the movies to Ian Fleming’s dark real life inspiration, we dive into the hidden life of the world’s most infamous spy.
James Bond Facts
1. Suit up.
While under contract to play James Bond, Pierce Brosnan wasn’t allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other films.
2. Quantum of Tylenol Please
While filming Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig could not catch a break. He lost the tip of a finger, needed to get four stitches in his face, and had six screws surgically inserted into his shoulder.
3. Ultimate Bond Girl
Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin is one of the most beloved Bond girls in the franchise’s history for a reason. Yeoh was such a skilled martial arts fighter that the film crew for Tomorrow Never Dies had to call in people from Jackie Chan’s stunt team to be her sparring partners. When she was an up and coming actress, Yeoh had trained with them—everyone else was too afraid to fight her!
4. Plot Twist
In Goldfinger, the titular villain uses nerve gas to murder anyone who witnesses his crimes. The actor who played Goldfinger, Gert Fröbe, disliked this part of the movie for an incredibly dark reason. Fröbe had been part of the Nazi party, who famously used nerve gas in concentration camps. In the end, Fröbe was right: Israel banned the movie for years and only lifted the restriction when a Jewish family revealed that Fröbe had actually protected them during the Holocaust.
5. Do you like your martinis shaken?
As one of the longest-running and most profitable film characters, James Bond has seen a lot of high-profile actors up for the role. Some of the more famous could-have-been-Bonds include Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler and Sean Bean (who got to be a baddie in 1995’s Goldeneye).
Cary Grant – the debonair leading man whom Fleming turned to as the physical model for his character – was considered for the role, but Grant turned it down, fearing he was too old to pull it off.
6. Um, Barthes Said The Author Doesn’t Even Matter, Ian
Ian Fleming detested the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. The author called it “Dreadful. Simply Dreadful.”
7. I’m Not Crying, It’s Just Raining on my Face
Few viewers know about the heartbreaking behind-the-scenes tragedy of From Russia With Love. The actor who played Bond’s ally Kerim Bey, Pedro Armendariz, was actually dying as the movie filmed. He had come from a movie that was shot near a nuclear test site and only took the part in From Russia so that after he passed, his family would be provided for. As his condition deteriorated, the director Terence Young had to step in and act as Armendariz’s body double. Just a month after the movie finished shooting, Armendariz died by suicide, rather than let the cancer progress any further.
8. Double Oh No
Poor Sean Connery was hounded by the press so viciously that a Japanese newspaper published a photograph of the actor while he was using the toilet.
9. On Set Drama
Diamonds Are Forever proved that Connery brought some of Bond’s playboy qualities into his own personal life. Two of the Bond Girls, Jill St. John and Lana Wood, were dating Connery at the same time. But their feud goes much, much deeper than that: Lana Wood is the little sister of Natalie Wood, the famous actress who mysteriously drowned in 1981. At the time of her death, Natalie Wood was married to Robert Wagner…who soon married Jill St. John. And as if that wasn’t enough, Wagner is currently a Person of Interest in Wood’s death. Yikes.
10. January-December Romance
Roger Moore’s final outing as Bond hasn’t exactly gone down in history as a fan favorite—even for Bond himself. Moore admitted that, in hindsight, he shouldn’t have made the film. At 57, he was too old to play Bond—but he had to learn that the hard way. He made the realization when he learned that his love interest’s mother was younger than him. Ouch.
11. Petition for Dalton to Appear in The Fast And The Furious
Timothy Dalton almost died while shooting Licence to Kill. On the famously dangerous La Rumorosa Road, the film crew had blocked it off so that Dalton could drive through the road’s twists and turns without needing to worry about going over the edge of the cliff. In actuality, when he turned a corner, Dalton had to swerve because somehow, a vehicle had gotten onto the road. If Dalton had reacted differently, he could have flown off the cliff and died.
12. Inspiration From An Unlikely Place
The original title of Tomorrow Never Dies was Tomorrow Never Lies. It changed when the producers saw a typo and liked it more than their initial title.
13. And They Say Filming Love Scenes Isn’t Romantic
Halle Berry has said that she’d love to play Bond girl Jinx again—even though she ran into her fair share of trouble on the set of Die Another Day. After a piece of debris flew into her eye, she needed surgery to remove it, and when she and Brosnan filmed a love scene, she started to choke on a fig and needed Brosnan to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre.
14. Shneaky, Shneaky
In Dr. No, the production team used an ingenious hack to make Connery’s bond look as imposing as possible. To make Bond look intimidatingly large, they scaled all the sets and furnishings to be smaller than usual.
15. Talk about a particular set of skills…
Irish-born actor Liam Neeson, who at the time was known for films like Darkman and Schindler’s List, was heavily courted by producers to become the next James Bond after Timothy Dalton moved on. In a 2014 newspaper interview, he said: “It was about 18 or 19 years ago and my wife-to-be said, ‘If you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.’ And I had to take that on board because I did want to marry her.” Neeson added that he didn’t regret turning down the role, and it’s fair to say the star of Taken, The Grey and The A-Team has satisfied his itch for action since then.
16. Like the Writing Teachers Say: “Write what you know.”
While Bond’s name may have been based on an ornithologist, there’s no denying a lot of the character came from Fleming’s own experiences. Both he and Bond were commanders in the British Navy, they preferred coffee to tea, liked their martinis shaken not stirred… oh, and of course, there’s that bit about Fleming working as a spy. Once he was recruited into Naval Intelligence, Fleming became the personal assistant to Rear Admiral John Godfrey – who likely served as inspiration for M.
17. George: I’ve Done This Before. Narrator: He Hadn’t
After he was scouted at a barbershop by producer Cubby Broccoli, then-model George Lazenby quickly landed the coveted role of James Bond—only for everything to derail in a spectacular mess. Partway through shooting, Lazenby burned all the bridges, describing how the producers treated him like this was his first acting job (it was?). Producer Cubby Broccoli called Lazenby his “biggest mistake” while co-star Diana Rigg opted for “bloody impossible.
18. Because Yellowface Wasn’t Offensive Enough…
The production of You Only Live Twice was a bit of a disaster. Connery was tired of playing Bond and his exhaustion came to the surface during a catastrophic interview with the Japanese press. At one point, reporters asked Connery if he found Japanese women attractive. He said no. Later he clarified that he was tired and grumpy at the interview, but the damage was done.
When Ian Fleming wrote Bond’s obituary for the novel You Only Live Twice, he included a touching gesture toward Sean Connery. He made Bond’s father Scottish as an homage to the actor.
20. Bond Remixed as a Body Horror Movie
While filming The Man with the Golden Gun, Roger Moore fell into the Klong waterways in Bangkok—and saw something that he’d never forget. The actor opened his eyes to swim to safety and quickly realized that he was in an underwater graveyard. Apparently, the city’s undertakers would dump bodies into the Klongs. Moore was surrounded by corpses.
21. The Sad IRL Roots of Fridging
Where did Ian Fleming get the idea for all those Bond girls? According to The Times, the glamorous, tough women were based on his own love life—but much like Bond, Fleming never got a happy ending with his Bond Girl. Fleming was deeply in love with Muriel Wright, a wealthy model and athlete. She died in an air raid ten years after they met. Wright was just 36 years old.
22. Creeper Love is Deeper Love
Robert Davi played a chilling drug lord Bond villain in Licence to Kill—but one day, fiction came much too close to reality. A group of men abducted Davi and actually brought him to a real South American drug lord. Imagine his relief when it turned out that the man was pulling Davi’s leg: He just wanted to tell him that the actor did a good job.
23. Secret’s Out, Stan
When the cinematographer of The Spy Who Loved Me started having trouble with his eyesight, a curious person stepped in to help: Stanley Kubrick. The famous director oversaw the movie’s lighting but insisted that his involvement be kept top secret.
24. A birdwatcher, huh? Well, that’s… kind of dangerous.
Author Ian Fleming said he chose the name “James Bond” because he wanted to a “brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name” for his fictional spy. But few viewers realize that Bond’s namesake is the ornithologist Dr. James Bond. Fleming lifted the now-famous name from a very strange place: a birdwatching manual.
25. He Shimply Refushesh
While shooting You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery and the producers were, um, not on great terms. Apparently, Connery was so furious at them that he would simply refuse to act if they were on set at the same time as him. Things got so bad that the studio announced this would be Connery’s last Bond movie, even though he returned to the franchise a few years later.
26. Dumbledore Just Gets It
After George Lazenby refused to appear in more Bond movies, the studio approached a few actors about playing the super spy. Adam West (TV’s Batman) and Burt Reynolds both turned down the role for scheduling issues—but the most entertaining “I’ll pass” story comes from Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in Harry Potter). He refused to play Bond because he was “in terrible shape,” had breasts “like a woman,” and evidently didn’t want to go to the gym. Same, Michael, same.
27. Fingers Crossed For Dwayne To Be a Bond Villain
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s grandfather plays a henchman that Bond fights in You Only Live Twice.
28. Market research, 1960s-style
When Bond producer Cubby Broccoli was looking for the perfect actor to play James Bond in the 1960s, he happened to see Sean Connery in 1959’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People. He was impressed with how Connery handled a fist fight in the climax of the film and immediately wanted the Scottish actor to be his super-spy. But he had to be sure Connery had the sex appeal that would attract female moviegoers. He brought his wife to another screening of the film, and suffice to say, she was impressed.
29. Big fans in High Places
Elvis Presley saw The Spy Who Loved Me on August 10, 1977, during a special viewing at the General Cinema in Whitehaven, Tenn. It was the last movie the avid film buff saw before dying six days later at the age of 42.
30. So Much for my Plans to Leave a Pretty Corpse
In 1964’s Goldfinger, the main villain dispatches a traitorous secretary by painting her entire body gold. As Bond explains, her cause of death was suffocation; since the body breathes through pores in the skin, blocking them with paint deprives the body of oxygen. This is not true; you can’t die from suffocation unless the mouth or nose is blocked. Still, producers were concerned enough about tempting fate that they left a six-inch patch of the actress’ stomach unpainted just in case.
31. Ninjas Save the Day Yet Again
Before You Only Live Twice started shooting, the production team lived out the film’s title in a truly chilling way. The director, producers, cinematographer, and more decided to skip their flight and go see a ninja demonstration for research. Mere hours later, they learned that the plane they were supposed to be on had exploded in mid-air.
32. Um… ouch.
In 1996, while promoting his film The Rock, Sean Connery talked to Jay Leno about getting injured during his Bond years. When Connery worked with a young martial arts trainer, Connery admitted that he “got a little cocky because I thought I knew what I was doing…and he [the trainer] broke my wrist.” That trainer was future action star Steven Seagal.
33. Ziggy Stardust, on the other hand? Huge Bond fan.
David Bowie was offered the part of Max Zorin in 1985’s A View to a Kill, but he turned down the role to star in Labyrinth instead. Bowie later said he thought the script was “terrible” and the producers weren’t impressed by his bluntness. In 2003, he admitted he didn’t like Bond films in general and hadn’t seen one since the Sean Connery era.
To be fair, most people would say that Bowie was right. A View to a Kill is now considered one of the worst Bond movies ever made.
34. Worth It
In Thunderball, one shot features a shark swimming toward Bond as he’s exiting the pool. The shark is supposed to miss Bond by mere inches, so instead of using a real shark, the crew decided to use a dead shark pulled by wires. Special effects coordinator John Stears got in the pool to control the shark, surrounded by other live sharks. Plot twist: as they began to shoot it became clear the shark wasn’t really dead. It started thrashing, and other sharks took notice. A feeding frenzy erupted, leaving Stears in the middle of a bloodbath. Stears survived and went on to win an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for Thunderball.
35. The Perks of Being Bond.
For his service in the James Bond series, Daniel Craig is allowed to take any Aston Martin for a spin whenever he likes.
Despite handling and being around many firearms on set, Roger Moore suffers from hoplophobia, a fear of firearms. This phobia dates back to a terrifying childhood accident in which Moore’s brother shot him in the leg with an air rifle.
37. Hold that note
When Shirley Bassey recorded the Goldfinger theme song, she sang as the opening credits were running on a screen in front of her so that she could match the vocals. When she hit her final high note, the titles kept running, so she was forced to hold the note until she almost passed out.
38. Instead of Pierce!?
Before GoldenEye started filming, the press reported that Bond’s gender was going to be swapped. At the time, Sharon Stone was considered to play the role. More recently, Emilia Clarke has said that she’d love to play Jane Bond.
39. Not a Day too Soon
U.S. President John F. Kennedy was a huge James Bond fan. In a 1961 interview with Life, he listed From Russia With Love as one of his favorite novels. Sales boomed and the next Bond film made was, naturally, From Russia With Love. Kennedy viewed From Russia with Love at the White House on Nov. 21, 1963 – just one day before his fateful ride in Dallas.
40. From London with Love
Sean Connery never traveled to the United States to film Goldfinger. Every scene where he appears to be in the United States, he was actually in Pinewood Studios outside London. This explains why Bond flips a light switch down to discover the golden corpse of Jill: English light switches are generally turned on by flicking them down, instead of up like American switches.
41. Womp Womp
Both Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore have admitted that they don’t think Die Another Day is a very good movie.
42. Naughty names
In Goldfinger, when the promiscuously-named Mrs. Galore introduces herself to Bond, he replies “I must be dreaming.” The original script had a much saucier reply. Bond is supposed to wake up and mumble “I know you are, but what’s your name?” In the end, the studio said this version was too suggestive and made the filmmakers change it.
43. Doing his Part for Better Race Relations
1973’s Live and Let Die is the first Bond film in which 007 has a liaison with an African-American woman (Rosie Carver, played by Gloria Hendry). When the film was released in South Africa, however, viewers realized that something had gone very wrong. All their love scenes had to be removed because of the apartheid policies of the South African government.
44. Looks Aren’t Everything
Sean Connery wasn’t actually supposed to be James Bond. The film production company held a contest to generate buzz for the movie. The basic idea was to publicize their quest to find the perfect James Bond. The man who won was a model named Peter Anthony. Apparently, he had the perfect look…but he was an absolutely dreadful actor. And so the role went to Connery.
45. Honestly, Would Watch
File this under wacko side plots in film history: In 1967, Sean Connery’s younger brother Neil starred in a James Bond spoof called Operation Kid Brother. The movie featured multiple actors from the elder Connery’s official Bond movies and, rumor has it, Sean was ticked about their appearances. If you want to watch it, good luck: To this day, it’s never been officially released on DVD.
46. IRL Villain
One day, after filming On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Telly Savalas (who played the iconic villain Blofield) invited George Lazenby (James Bond) to play poker with him. Lazenby lost such an enormous amount of money that night that one of the producers decided to visit Savalas…and promptly win all of Lazenby’s money back.
47. Can’t Keep a Good Villain Down
Played by actor Richard Kiel, “Jaws” is the only time a henchman ever returned in a James Bond movie. Jaws first appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and returned for 1979’s Moonraker. Kiel, who stood at 7’2”, could only keep his metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time. In one famous scene in The Spy Who Loved Me, the chain he bit through was actually made of licorice.
48. Keep Wood Girls Away From Pools
While Lana Wood was filming Diamonds are Forever, her character (the Bond Girl with the classic name Plenty O’Toole) drowns and tragically dies. Behind the scenes, Wood nearly shared her character’s dark fate. Her feet were loosely tied to a block on the bottom of the pool and as the filming progressed, the block slowly slid deeper into the pool until Wood actually couldn’t get close enough to the surface to breathe.
49. Cry Him a River
Bond has only cried in two movies: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when his wife Tracy DiVincenzo dies and, decades later, in Skyfall when M passes away. In OHMSS, the scene with Tracy’s passing was shot just two times. In the first take, Lazenby wept—only for a producer to insist that “Bond does not cry” and demand a tearless take. They used the first version, and made a piece of movie history in the process.
50. Long Con
When Sean Connery returned to the Bond franchise with Diamonds Are Forever, two of his co-stars played a long practical joke on him. Bruce Glover and Putter Smith convinced Connery that they were a gay couple. Years later, when Glover put the moves on a female flight attendant, he heard a gravelly voice behind him say “You son of a [witch].” It was Connery—and with his words, the jig was up.
51. Is that a Gun in your Opening Credits or…
The famous gun barrel sequence that starts every official James Bond film is credited to Maurice Binder, a title designer who created the opening titles for 14 Bond films. The look of the sequence was achieved with a pinhole camera shooting through a real gun barrel. Dr. No is the only film to feature the shot at the beginning and the end.
52. Thanks for the tip!
If you didn’t follow the high-stakes game of poker that’s played in 2006’s Casino Royale closely, you may not have noticed that James Bond tips the dealer with a half-million dollar chip after he wins.
53. Success at last!
Skyfall’s Raoul Silva is the first Bond villain to succeed at his primary objective: In this case, murdering M.
54. Safety First
In Thunderball, The Bell Rocket Belt used in the film’s opening sequence was an actual working jetpack. Filmmakers flew two qualified pilots to France to operate it. Bill Suitor, who flew the jetpack on camera, was asked if he would mind flying without a helmet so that Bond could look cooler, because there’s nothing cooler than leaving your brains splattered all over the streets of London. Suitor refused for safety reasons, which is why Connery wears a helmet in the final film.
55. How Un-Bondly of Him
Roger Moore’s wife would come to set and supervise her husband’s romantic scenes. Awkward…
56. Licence to Stay at Second Base
When audiences saw Licence to Kill, they noticed something strange about the movie: all of a sudden, Bond wasn’t leaping into the sack nearly as much. At the time, dark rumors swirled that the studio had limited Bond’s bedroom time because of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, when the movie was filmed and released. At the time, Timothy Dalton denied these claims—but in 2007, he revealed the truth: the rumors were right all along.
57. Hop on in…
During the Goldfinger premiere in Paris, a crazed fan climbed into the car Sean Connery was driving. This prompted him to shy away from the Thunderball premiere.
58. Lucky Man
For 2006’s Casino Royale, Michael Wilson and director Martin Campbell debated whether or not to show Judi Dench’s M sleeping alone or with someone else. In the end, they decided to put someone in the bed with her. The lucky man selected for the role was incredibly glamorous: He was the production’s transportation coordinator.
Tomorrow Never Dies features a tense chase scene where Pierce Brosnan’s Bond and Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin bicker over who gets to ride a motorbike. This wasn’t scripted—the director privately told each actor not to let the other one ride the bike. After sparring about who gets to take the reins, Bond and Wai Lin ride the bike together, each with one hand on one of the handles.
60. Mind. Blown.
In Skyfall, the antagonist’s name contains a chilling hidden meaning. Raoul Silva is actually an anagram for “A rival soul.” It’s a fitting double meaning, seeing as how Silva and Bond muse about their similarities throughout the movie. Is the anagram a way to suggest that Bond could very well have turned into Silva if his circumstances had been different? Maybe so.
61. Rocket Woes
The making of Thunderball wasn’t without its mishaps. Stuntman Bob Simmons handled the scene where Fiona Volpe uses rockets launched from a motorcycle to blow up Count Lippe’s car. Bob Simmons was tasked with driving the car, then leaping out after the explosion took place. He jumped out as the car crashed into a ditch, then seemed to disappear.
As the crew frantically searched for him, he crept up behind director Terence Young and asked him if he’d done the scene right. Footage from another angle later showed that Simmons had actually tried to stand up in the ditch and fallen backwards into the flaming car before escaping the inferno through the passenger door.
62. Behind the Scenes Scandal
One of the actresses in For Your Eyes Only had to deal with a media frenzy after her brief appearance in the film. The tabloids revealed that Caroline Cossey, a model who worked as an extra in the Bond movie, was born as a man. Sadly, they hounded Cossey so intensely that she contemplated suicide. Thankfully she did not and has gone on to use her platform to advocate for trans rights.
63. Hello, Olivia
M’s real name is revealed in the film Skyfall. It’s a little difficult to make out, but there’s an inscription at the bottom of the box M sends bond that reads “Olivia Mansfield.”
64. Here For a Good Time, Not a Long Time
George Lazenby didn’t stick around the Bond universe for long—but before he left, he definitely made his mark. Lazenby was actually the person who came up with an iconic stunt where Bond skis off a cliff, seemingly to his doom, only to open a parachute and flutter down to earth. The stunt opens The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore.
65. Grace Jones For President
Not all co-stars get along, and the performers in the Bond movies are no different. Roger Moore and Grace Jones absolutely detested working together on A View to a Kill. They barely spoke throughout the movie shoot and in the scene where their characters share a bed, Jones brought along an, um, intimate toy to taunt Moore with.
66. Kaboom! Well done, Thunderball stunt crew…
The Thunderball scene where Largo’s yacht crashes into a rock and explodes didn’t go as planned. The resulting explosion was way bigger than anyone expected. They had loaded the yacht with rocket fuel without understanding just how powerful the stuff was. The resulting explosion was so huge that it launched the boat into the air, almost causing it to land on top of the crew. The crew later learned that their explosion had broken windows 30 miles away.
67. Playing Hard to Get
Timothy Dalton turned down the role of Bond five different times! The first few were because Dalton thought he was too young. The last few were because of script issues or scheduling problems. The studio clearly wanted Dalton bad and in the end, they got him. The classically trained actor played Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.
68. When We Said Licence to Kill, This is Not What We Meant
While filming the famous bobsled chase in For Your Eyes Only, the film crew encountered utter tragedy. A stuntman named Paolo Rigoni somehow became pinned underneath a sled that was moving at incredibly high speed. He died of his injuries.
69. He Speaks the Truth
When a reporter asked George Lazenby about the most exciting part of being James Bond, he quipped “the bread and the birds.”
70. Cutting-edge Military Technology
In Thunderball, Q gives Bond a tiny breathing apparatus that allows him to survive underwater for several minutes. A member of the Royal Engineers instantly wanted the tech and called chief draftsman Peter Lamont to ask how long the apparatus actually worked. “As long as you can hold your breath,” Lamont replied. The engineer countered that Bond was underwater for several minutes. Lamont explained the beauty of video editing, and the engineer eventually hung up.
Connery is morbidly afraid of spiders, a slight problem given that one of the stunts in Dr. No involved a giant tarantula. The shot of the spider in Bond’s bed was done with a sheet of glass between him and the spider, which can be seen in one shot in the movie. When it didn’t look realistic enough, additional close-up scenes were re-shot with stuntman Bob Simmons, who later said the tarantula, whose real-life name was “Rosie,” crawling over Bond was the scariest stunt he had ever performed.
72. When Knowing a Guy Doesn’t Work Out
Ian Fleming is cousins with the famous actor Christopher Lee. In the 1970s, Lee would portray one of his cousin’s characters by playing the three-nippled villain Scaramanga in the notoriously weird Bond movie The Man With The Golden Gun.
73. All in a Day’s Work
Stuntman Bill Cumming was paid a $450 bonus to jump into Largo’s shark-infested pool in Thunderball. Thankfully, he survived to collect it.
74. Bond Girls In Alternate Dimensions
Over the years, we’ve seen everyone from Halle Berry to, um, Denise Richards play Bond Girls. But for each part, there were dozens of auditions and actresses under consideration. Some famous almost-Bond-Girls include Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Hurley, Elle Macpherson, Raquel Welch, and Faye Dunaway. Monica Bellucci, meanwhile, got to experience both sides. She was turned down for GoldenEye only to land a role a few years later in Spectre.
75. Full Grown Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo…
The sharks in Thunderball weren’t exactly well-behaved. Sean Connery was wary of swimming unprotected with live sharks, so production designer Ken Adam constructed an underwater partition made of Plexiglas. There was just one problem. wA four-foot gap in the partition allowed one shark to swim right through. Connery said he narrowly escaped the pool.
76. “We can’t have spies running around here!”
When they found out that scenes for 1999’s The World Is Not Enough would be shot near their headquarters, MI6 wanted the studio to stop shooting, citing security concerns. However, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, at the urging of Member of Parliament Janet Anderson, moved to overrule them and allow the shoot. “After all Bond has done for Britain, it was the least we could do for Bond,” he said.
77. No Blood, No Glory.
Things got a little too real during one of Spectre’s fight sequences when Daniel Craig ended up hitting Dave Bautista, giving him a bloody nose.
78. Sweet Wheels, Bro
For the production of Goldfinger, Aston Martin was reluctant to provide two of their cars to the filmmakers. The producers had to pay for the vehicles, but after the success of the film, both at the box-office and for the car company, the film studio never had to spend money on an Aston Martin ever again. The company was happy to give them as many as they needed.
79. Shaken, not Stirred
Bond’s alcoholic drink of choice is a Vesper martini, named after Bond’s first love. It is made with three measures Gordon’s gin, one measure vodka, half of Kina Lillet, shaken over ice with a thin slice of lemon peel. It appears in many Bond novels and films and is first described in the novel Casino Royale.
80. Probably not the Biggest Hazard in his Line of Work
Fleming was a notoriously heavy smoker, smoking up to 80 cigarettes a day. Bond is a heavy smoker in Fleming’s novels and has lit up frequently on film over the years; the inclusion of a real-life cigarette brand in 1989’s Licence to Kill led to a required Surgeon General’s warning in the closing credits. The last time Bond lit up was when Brosnan smoked a cigar in 2002’s Die Another Day.
81. “I can’t do that and then run two-and-a-half miles.”
Daniel Craig broke with tradition by refusing to smoke in several scenes in Quantum of Solace despite the script calling for it. “I don’t wish for him to smoke,” he told a British newspaper. “Fleming wrote a Bond who smoked 60 cigarettes a day. I can’t do that and then run two-and-a-half miles down a road — it just doesn’t tie in.”
82. “No, Mr. Bond, open a chocolate factory.”
The screenplay for 1967’s You Only Live Twice was written by an unlikely person: Roald Dahl, who was a close friend of Ian Fleming. The writer of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was tapped to write the screenplay adaptation of Fleming’s novel despite having no film experience; he ended up tossing most of the book’s plot and put the book’s characters in an entirely new story.
83. Odd Line, Sir.
The sinister sidekick Oddjob never speaks in the film Goldfinger. His only dialogue is an “Aha!” on the golf course, “Ah” when ordering men to pick up Tilly after he hits her with his hat, a grunt when he hands Bond a gas mask, and a scream at the conclusion of his fight with Bond. The source novel explains that he can’t speak due to having a cleft palate.
84. The More You Know
Most James Bond movies get their titles from Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories about the super-spy, but as time went on, studios had fewer and fewer titles to choose from. Goldeneye, the name of Brosnan’s debut Bond flick, isn’t actually the name of a Fleming story, but the name of the Jamaican mansion where Fleming would craft Bond’s plots and missions.
85. Beam me up, Bond
Goldfinger was the first film to feature a laser beam. The script originally called for a spinning buzzsaw (as in the novel), but the filmmakers decided this was boring and unoriginal.
86. Movie Magic Has Never Been Crueler
Sean Connery wore toupees in every Bond movie from Goldfinger onward.
87. “We Have All the Time in the World” Plays in the Distance
Pierce Brosnan embodied James Bond in the 1990s—but few viewers know that his link to the spy began in utter tragedy. Years before Brosnan took the role, his wife Cassandra Harris lit up the screen as a Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only, until tragedy cut her promising career short. Harris passed away of ovarian cancer in 1991 at just 43 years old. When asked about the loss, Brosnan described it with heartbreaking words: “There is an incredible cruelty in losing a person you shared everything with.”
88. Tell Us How You Really Feel
When an interviewer asked Daniel Craig about what people could learn from James Bond, the actor’s response made fans’ jaws hit the floor. Craig simply said “nothing” and went on to call the character a “misogynist.” Combine that interview with the one where Craig said he’d rather “slash his wrists” than play the super spy again, and it’s easy to see why 2020’s No Time To Die is going to be Craig’s last performance as Bond.
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