British actress Naomie Harris has suggested the phrase “Bond girl” is derogatory to the women cast as love interests and sidekicks to fictional secret service agent James Bond.
Harris, who reprises her role as Eve Moneypenny in Spectre, told the Independent newspaper recently that she is “not happy” with the term “Bond girl,” and wants to amend it to something more suitable.”Monica [Bellucci] is 50 and I think it’s respectable to say she’s a Bond woman,” she said. “It’s quite demeaning to call her a girl. So I think it’s time we had a little change there.”
In the film, Bellucci plays the widow to an assassin who is taken out by Bond, and is the oldest actress to play a “Bond girl.”
French actress Léa Seydoux also stars alongside Daniel Craig in the film, playing psychologist Dr. Madeleine Swann, and Harris says she is not the typical Bond girl either.
“She (Swann) is supposed to have the traditional role of being rescued, but actually she rejects his help and is like ‘I’ve got this, I’ll do this on my own’,” Harris said.
“She certainly isn’t a weak, Bond girl of old that needs rescuing. She’s quite capable and independent,” she continued.
Daniel Craig recently went on record as saying James Bond is a “misogynist,” who should not be viewed as a role model. Craig also said Spectre features a number of female characters who are willing to set Bond straight.
There has been much speculation over who will replace Craig when his tenure as 007 comes to a close, and black actor Idris Elba’s name has been thrown into the mix.
Previous Bond actors Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan have been criticized over their dismissal of Elba as a potential replacement to play the spy.
Moore reportedly told French magazine Paris Match that Bond should be “British-British,” and Brosnan says the next Bond will be “male and he’ll be white.”
The author of the latest Bond novel Trigger Mortis, Anthony Horowitz, also sparked outrage for saying Elba was “too street” to play Bond.
But Harris, who was the first black actress to play Moneypenny, says discussing Bond’s skin color is “missing the point.”
“When Daniel was cast people were like ‘oh, he can’t play Bond because he’s got blonde hair’…and now it’s ‘this person can’t play Bond because they’re black’ and I think it’s all a bit ridiculous because it’s missing the point,” she said.
“And the point is that Bond isn’t summed up by the color of his hair or the color of his skin. He’s made up of all these other magnetic qualities that make us love Bond and they have nothing to do with that really,” she added.
The gender of the Bond legacy has become a recent topic of discussion, with Harris saying she does not think it is a bad idea to have a female play the spy.
“I suppose everyone was up in arms when M was introduced as a woman with Judi Dench, and then everybody loved her because she’s the ultimate M. And for many, many years we loved her so… maybe, who knows,” she said.