The very concept of a Bond girl has been called into question today after actress Gemma Arterton spoke out about her disappointment with the role.
Arterton, who played the role of Strawberry Fields in 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace, spoke with The Sun about the gig and shared that with age, she’s realised “there was so much wrong with Bond women”.
In the interview, she shared that when she took the role she was 21 and poor, so at the time she “was happy just to be able to work and earn a living”.
“I still get criticism for accepting Quantum of Solace, but I was 21, I had a student loan, and you, know, it was a Bond film,” she said.
As People reports, Arterton (now 34) shared in an earlier interview with The Telegraph that she would have no interest in taking a role like Strawberry now. While the character “was funny and she was sweet,” Arterton explained that there was no real depth to her, or her story.
“…she didn’t really have anything to do – or a backstory,” she said.
The actress also touched on the fact that in the film, Strawberry sleeps with Bond after he checks them both into a five-star hotel while they’re on a job.
Reflecting on the scene, Arterton told The Sun that:
“Strawberry should have just said no, really, and worn flat shoes.”
This isn’t the first time the Bond girl trope has been criticised over the years. I mean, the idea that most of these women exist purely as a love interest (or sexual object) for Bond is a wild thing to consider in 2020. But more than that, using the term ‘girl’ at all is incredibly belittling.
Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny) and Daniel Craig (Bond himself) have commented on the absurdity of the title. As The Independent writes, Harris said:
“I look at the older Bond movies, and the term girl is probably appropriate because they aren’t fully fleshed-out characters.
“But particularly in No Time to Die, they are formidable women driving the plot forward.”
And speaking with Vanity Fair, Craig revealed that:
“I don’t even call them Bond girls.
“I’m not going to deny it to anybody else. It’s just I can’t have a sensible conversation with somebody if we’re talking about ‘Bond girls.’ “
In the Time’s Up age, it’ll be interesting to see where the Bond girl concept goes. Hopefully, Ana de Armas’ Paloma will be a fully fleshed-out character with something more interesting to her than an attractive face.
Seemingly, that’s the plan. In the Vanity Fair interview mentioned above, de Armas made a point to mention that her Bond woman (she said woman) for No Time to Die will bring something more to the table.
“Obviously I was jumping all over the place and very excited. But I needed to be sure it wouldn’t jeopardize all the work I’d been putting in, that it wouldn’t ruin everything,” she said.
“Bond women have always been, for me at least, unrelatable.”
So, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
Here’s hoping that 13 years from now, de Armas is able to tell a very different story to Arterton.