One of the hallmarks of the James Bond franchise has always been his, err, interesting relationships with women, and it seems Spectre is no different. Ever the product of his time, if that time was always the 1960s, Bond has generally stayed pretty near the chauvinist edge of the spectrum. However, the women in the 007 movies have tended to change with the times, pretty much ever since the beginning. The first few, only until recently referred to as “Bond Girls,” were passive damsels and the ones that weren’t were usually the femmes fatale who’d end up dead, or changed to good through the sheer animal magnetism of Bond himself. I love these movies, but that’s an aspect I’ve always thought was garbage.
However, as the years have gone on, the women in Bond’s life have gotten steadily more independent, more equal to our hero in terms of intelligence and bravery, and refuse to take 007’s backward views on feminism. The Daniel Craig movies especially have mostly pushed this forward. While Skyfall‘s Severine (Bérénice Marlohe) ended up being a tragic victim, most of the others have been great additions to the canon, and the story.
Both of the main female characters in Spectre, as we see from the video above, bring something to the table that accentuates Bond’s faults and strengths. Monica Bellucci plays Lucia Sciarra, the widow of a Mafioso who is in danger of dying herself, likely from Spectre’s influence. French actress Léa Seydoux plays Madeleine Swann, a doctor who gets pulled into the world of Bond’s intrigue. Mendes speaks about just how important finding the right actress for these roles was, and it shows how concerned the director is with making the movie perfect that he cast not based on star power or being the young ingenue but with the gravitas they bring.
Spectre hits theaters November 6.
Kyle Anderson is the weekend editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Chat him up on Twitter!