MOVIE NEWS – Michael G. Wilson has explained that James Bond candidates have to pass a specific test, and explains why a younger actor is not being cast in the role.
Speaking at the ‘In Conversation’ event at the British Film Institute in London to mark the 60th anniversary of James Bond, film producer Michael G. Wilson, who runs Eon Productions with Barbara Broccoli, revealed that a seduction scene in the 1963 spy thriller From Russia With Love is always used to test those who apply for the role of Ian Fleming’s iconic agent. As Wilson told the BFI audience on Friday night:
“We always use the same scene … and that’s the one in From Russia With Love, where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe. Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl is in the bed. That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do.”
Wilson refers to the scene in which Sean Connery’s Bond finds Soviet military officer Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi, in the middle of her bed wearing only a black velvet necklace.
After they introduce themselves, Bond compliments her beauty. But she laments:
“I think my mouth is too big.”
Before kissing her, Bond assures her that all is well.
“No, it’s the right size. For me, that is.”
The event was one of the events leading up to James Bond Day, which takes place this Wednesday, 5 October 2022. Wilson was joined on stage by screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, casting director Debbie McWilliams, actor Rory Kinnear, visual designer Mark Tildesley and associate producer Gregg Wilson for an interview with BBC presenter Samira Ahmed. The panel discussion was followed by a screening of the 1962 James Bond film Dr No, starring Connery and Ursula Address.
Wilson stressed that the casting of the new 007 had not yet begun, “not matter what others tell you.” He also revealed and explained why younger actors had been left out of the competition.
“We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. A person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”