NEW YORK — For baby boomers who grew up on the thrilling conventions of James Bond spy movies, the term “Bond girls” is likely synonymous with buxom babes and sexy Playboy magazine photo spreads.
Each new chapter in the franchise boasted a juicy stable of beauties — some wholesome allies of 007, others deadly femmes fatal. And over the years the illustrious roster of hot actresses fulfilling those roles ranged from Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Jill St. John, Britt Ekland, Barbara Bach and Grace Jones on up through Michelle Yeoh, Denise Richards and Halle Berry.
“Skyfall,” the newest Bond adventure with Daniel Craig taking the envious task of locking horns (and lips) with distaff adversaries, features two new Bond girls who more than hold their own against Bond. And both represent perhaps a more enlightened (say, less cheesecakey) view of women in the world.
Berenice Marlohe, Paris-born daughter of Cambodian/Chinese father and French mother, portrays the exotic beauty Severine, reluctant cohort of arch villain Silva (Javier Bardem). And Naomie Harris, London-born TV, film and theater performer (who had her breakthrough role in Danny Boyle's “28 Days Later”) plays Eve, a fledgling MI6 field agent learning her chops under 007's tutelage.
During press interviews at SoHo's Crosby Street Hotel, both actresses weighed in on what it means to be a “Bond girl.”
“When I think about Bond girls, I immediately think about a kind of strange animal between a male and a female, something vulnerable and powerful,” said Marlohe. “But I took my inspiration from an animal, a Greek creature called a chimera, which is (a fire-breathing female monster), a mixture of a dragon and a snake.