James Bond and the Frenchies, a love story that lasts

Job by Alexis Lebrun March 31, 2022

The appearance of French actresses in 007 films is a tradition that is almost as old as the saga itself. But over the years, actors have also given the answer to the secret agent who often plays antagonistic characters. Here’s the best of the French touch at James Bond.

Claudine Auger

This dear 007 does not wait long to cross paths with a French actress according to her fairy tale. In 1965, he met Claudine Auger, Miss World in 1958, and was chosen to be the official James Bond girl in OPERATION TONNERRE (Terence Young).

Nicknamed Domino, her character is introduced to an underwater scene recorded in the turquoise waters of Nassau in the Bahamas, where she is rescued by a Sean Connery who clearly has an idea in mind.

Herve Villechaize

Before he was one of the two stars in the series FANTASTIC ISLAND (Gene Levitt), this instantly recognizable face played an important role in a memorable film from the James Bond saga, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (Guy Hamilton, 1974).

Most often dressed in a tuxedo and a bowler hat, Hervé Villechaize plays “Nick Nack,” the accomplice valet in the misdeeds of the film’s great evil, the terrible Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee.

Michael Lonsdale

Always within the radius of the antagonists of the Roger Moore era, how can we forget Hugo Drax in the kitschissime MOONRAKER (Lewis Gilbert, 1979)? Like many characters in this French co-production, Drax is played by a local actor, Michael Lonsdale.

This monument of French film, also known for his career in the theater, has left a rather indelible memory in the role of this industrialist who plans to poison all people before repopulating the Earth with a “superior race” from a space station. Simple and relaxed.

Carole Bouquet

Before Eva Green and Léa Seydoux, the most famous French James Bond girl was clearly Carole Bouquet. Today, the actress, who was revealed in 1977 by Buñuel and rejected for the role of Holly Goodhead in MOONRAKER, makes no secret of the fact that her experience on the set of JUST FOR YOUR EYES (John Glen, 1981) was not the funniest. But it’s hard to deny the impact of the role of Melina Havelock on her fame in France and in the world.

Melina is marked for life by the vision of her parents’ murder, and seeks by all means revenge, which in particular leads to her being tied to Roger Moore and dragged underwater by a boat offering them to sharks. Brrr …

Sophie Marceau

In the series of cult sequences involving James Bond girls, our national Sophie Marceau also left her mark on the saga. In THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (Michael Apted, 1999), she plays the terrible Elektra King, a crazy oil baroness who especially excels at torturing poor Pierce Brosnan with a “choker-string” while kissing him and sitting over him . .

Yes, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is the first episode of James Bond in which a woman is the film’s main villain, and it is the French actress who brilliantly holds on to this heavy responsibility.

Mathieu Amalric

A few years later, it’s still a French actor who has to play the role of main antagonist in a James Bond movie. In QUANTUM OF SOLACE (Marc Forster, 2008), actor and director Mathieu Amalric plays Dominic Greene, an extremely heinous businessman who supports a dictator to control his country’s water resources.

And that ironically ends up being left in the desert by Bond with a can of motor oil as his only source of hydration.

Leah Seydoux

In the history of the saga, the James Bond girls who appear in several films are extremely rare. Madeleine Swann is, of course, one of them, as she plays a significant role in SPECTER (Sam Mendes, 2015) and DIE CAN WAIT (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2021).

It is Léa Seydoux who embodies the role of this psychiatrist who works in an incredible office located in the Alps, and whose love affair with the 007s played by Daniel Craig has already entered the pantheon of the franchise.

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