Spectre, the latest James Bond, 007, movie opens in just a few weeks. Daniel Craig, the current re-incarnation of Bond has clearly stated he’s done with the character. There’s been speculation for some time regarding a replacement, the most famous name being tossed around is Idris Elba. I’d suggest Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson truly leave their comfort zone and cast a woman in the role of the most famous and long lasting spy in movie history.
There are several criteria for choosing the next Bond. The actress must be British. George Lazenby, born in Australia, was the only Bond born outside the British Isles. Roger Moore and Daniel Craig are English, Pierce Brosnan is Irish, and Timothy Dalton is Welsh. We’ve many fine actresses to choose from who fit this category.
Next, they must be under 40. Roger Moore starred in his first Bond movie, Live and Let Die, when he was 46. Pierce Brosnan was 42 when he did Goldeneye and Timothy Dalton was 41 when he played Bond in The Living Daylights. The others were under 40 with George Lazenby a tender 30 years old when he starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Finally, they must be credible in an action movie. James Bond is a man of action and Jane must be no different. While Sean Connery’s most famous film prior to Dr. No was Walt Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People, he convinced someone he’d make a great agent with a ‘license to kill.’ And George Lazenby had only acted in a television series before being cast. (By the way, Lazenby got a raw deal with the critics. He wasn’t Connery, but he was a very credible Bond. In many ways, his film parallels the end of Craig’s Casino Royale and the issues raised in the sequel, Quantum of Solace.) So, prior experience is not required.
The following five women can pull it off. Remember, Jane Bond is not only an action hero, she’s also someone who conquers men in bed and other places. She doesn’t drink beer, only martinis, ‘shaken, not stirred’ and she can be ruthless, tossing the opposition off a cliff when necessary or dropping them into a huge vat of mud. Jane will look as good in her evening gown (remember she’s a woman, not a woman dressing up like a man in a tux) as she does in a wetsuit or a uniform.
Before beginning the countdown, there are several British actresses who might pull it off and deserve an honorable mention. They include, in alphabetical order: Gemma Arterton (‘Bond Girl’ Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace), Naomie Harris (‘Bond Girl’ Eve Moneypenny in both Skyfall and Spectre), Keira Knightley, and Carey Mulligan.
#5 – Sophie Cookson, Roxy/Lancelot in Kingsmen: The Secret Service, is the youngest of the possible Janes. Although she has the fewest acting credits, she’s listed as the lead actress in the upcoming Emperor
#4 – Rosamund Pike, ‘Bond Girl’ Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, has progressed tremendously since that role when she was 23. In addition she’s voiced Pussy Galore on BBC Radio and narrated The Spy Who Loved Me as an audiobook. She’s also played Queen Andromeda in Wrath of the Titans and starred in Gone Girl.
#3 – Natalie Dormer, Cressida in the wildly popular Mockingjay films and Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones, has all the action credits to be Jane. Give her a Walther and the keys to an Aston Martin and she’ll do as M wants her to every time.
#2 – Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Dido Belle in Belle and starring in episode VIII of Star Wars, can pull it off. She’ll shake your martini or maybe create a new one as she plays baccarat at the club waiting for the call from M. She’ll also cleverly banter with Q when he provides the latest gadget for use in the field.
#1 – Emily Blunt has it all. She played Boudica in the BBC TV production of the same name. In that drama, she fought the Romans. She also fought aliens in Edge of Tomorrow and protected her son in Looper. Most recently, she sang in Into the Woods and played FBI agent, Kate Macer, in Sicario. While I didn’t particularly like this last film, she was wonderful as a conflicted SWAT team leader who must confront right and wrong and decide which she’ll embrace. Her Walther will rest easily under her arm as she banters with the henchmen attempting to kill her. This Jane will seduce every ‘Bond Boy’ within sight, leaving them wanting more as she uses them to capture the villain. And, most importantly, she’ll kick ass when the need arises and then sip that martini afterwards.
I must confess though, that, while Emily Blunt has it all, there is another British actress who would be better. This one has the smarts as well as the charm to match, if not surpass, the six men who’ve portrayed Bond. She’s acted in almost every genre, but not played action roles. That won’t stop her as it didn’t stop Sean Connery.
She was in the supermarket. Tall, slender and pretty, she had two items in her carrier as she approached the checkout. I first noticed the zebra print dress which exposed a great deal of leg as she walked past me. Standing behind her in the line, I glanced down and saw her matching zebra print high heels. That did not surprise me since I know how important it is for some people to match their shoes to their outfits. What did surprise me was the zebra print wallet she pulled out of her purse.
Was she wearing more zebra print underneath that dress? More importantly, what was her closet like? Did it include other prints with matching shoes and matching wallets? And what would she do when fashion changed and she stopped wearing that zebra print dress? Would she get rid of the shoes and the wallet too?
He was with his wife assisting the kilt company in their tent at the gay rodeo. A customer returned several times to check the merchandise. During the third visit, he came to the husband and said, “You have beautiful eyes.”
Why did it take three visits before he got up the courage to speak? Was he looking for something long term or just a one-night stand?
What was the husband’s reaction? And his wife’s? Would he tell this tale to others? What would they think? That he was gay as well? If he spurned this advance, what would the customer do? What if the husband had responded positively to this advance?
In a story, who would have the larger role? Would the husband have been in a loveless marriage and seen this as a way out? Would he have run screaming from the tent? Why did he stay there in the first place? What if the customer had come back and pressed the issue?
“Hi, I’m Mallori and I’ll be serving you tonight. Can I get you something to drink?”
“Sure, I’ll have iced tea with lemon.”
“I’ll be back in a moment. Let me know if you have any questions about the menu.”
(Mallori leaves and returns soon with the tea and sits across from the patron in the booth. She pulls out her pad and pen. She is twenty’ish with shoulder length hair and a nice figure. She is wearing black slacks and a black tee-shirt with the restaurant’s logo on the left and a beer ad on the back. The patron is mid-fifties and dressed in a sports coat with a tie.)
“What can I get for you?”
“I’ll have the St. Louis style ribs with the dry rub, half order, with a baked sweet potato and cole slaw.”
“Good choice. Are you from this area?” Read more
Summertime and long lines of Army Reserve trucks and jeeps are caravaning down an interstate in the South.
Where are they going or coming from? What cargo are they carrying? If someone wanted to steal something in one of these vehicles, how would they do it?
[This was a personal experience with these same questions and formed the basis for my first, unpublished, novel.]
Approximately twenty years old, she would open her book and sketch the older woman sitting across from her. Every time the woman looked up, she would close the sketch book or flip the page to something else she was sketching. Over a period of about fifteen minutes, she finished the sketch and then began sketching several members of a high school aged tour group.
She was sitting in an international airport terminal waiting for her flight like everyone else there. Why was she hiding the fact she was sketching the people around her? What would have happened if the others noticed what she was doing?
If I was to use this in a story, would the artist or the older woman be a major character? Would she be sketching someone who was trying to remain anonymous, e.g., a spy or a criminal? If that was the case, and they found out, what would happen to her?
Would this sketch lead her to a life as an artist or would memories of this simply be part of her background?
“Is there ham in the split pea soup?”
“Is there bacon?”
“Are there any pork products at all?”
“No, I just like to stand here and argue with you.”
This conversation occurred in a small diner during lunch between a patron and the waiter serving them. Would I focus on the waiter and his conversation with the cook or his fellow waiters/waitresses after taking the order. Would he purposely add something just to piss the patron off? Would he come back later and apologize?
If I focused on the patron, would they be a male or female? What would their thoughts be as the waiter left the table? Read more
She was wearing brown pants, a brown jacket, a brown knit cap and brown shoes. She came out of an office building and walked to the corner just ten feet away. Her right foot was cocked at an almost ninety degree angle to the other but her gait was unaffected.
In developing a character based on this individual, I would want to know how this had occurred. Had it been an accident as a child or as an adult? Was it congenital? If as a child, how had her peers treated her? Later, had this affected her ability to get a job or carry on the normal activities of an adult? Did she see this as a deformity or just a normal part of her body? Did she blame others?
If I used her in a story, what would I emphasize? Would that foot just be an aspect of her body or the reason for her actions? Was the fact that she was dressed totally in brown affect how I would portray her? What was she thinking when she walked out of that building? Was she happy, sad or just going home for lunch? Do I portray her as having just committed a crime?
Would she be a central character or a minor one? Would her appearance in the story be shortly after the incident that caused the problem with her foot or many years later?