Bérénice Lim Marlohe is starting to realize what it means to be a Bond girl. Getting the role of Sévérine in Skyfall was just the beginning. Now she's being scrutinized by fans, compared to 50 years of alluring friends and foes of secret agent James Bond.
"Of course I was a bit nervous when I got the part, but that's good before you start filming," Marlohe said in a telephone interview. "It feeds you. This is like a trigger. But the pressure, as you said, was maybe after we've done the movie. You certainly realize how passionate people are with the Bond girls, that this is such a heavy thing."
Marlohe, 33, was born in Paris to Chinese and French-Cambodian parents, giving her the exotic look Agent 007 prefers. Her favorite Bond girls are A View to a Kill's Grace Jones ("so powerful and beautiful, and her personality is huge") and Famke Janssen of GoldenEye.
"It was so hilarious with her killing people and having (an) orgasm," Marlohe said, laughing at the memory. "I admire this ability in actors or actresses to not be afraid to make unconventional choices, and she succeeded very much."
Bond girls are forever, even if they wind up as collateral damage in Agent 007's wake. There are four essential types: heroes, femme fatales, passing fancies and sacrificial lambs, and it would be a spoiler to reveal which category Marlohe's Sévérine fits into.
But make no mistake; that come-hither look and Beretta pistol strapped to her silky thigh means Bond girl business as usual. Sévérine has a long, leggy tradition to uphold, celebrated here with examples of the women who are James Bond's types.
Incredibly beautiful women assisting Agent 007 undercover, in both senses of the word.
URSULA ANDRESS AS HONEY RYDER IN 'DR. NO' (1962)
Grand entrance: Andress invented the classic Bond girl image, emerging bikini-clad from Jamaican waters, armed, sexy and dangerous.
Bond mot: "Looking for shells?" Honey asks. "No," Bond replies. "Just looking."
Did you know? Honey's purring voice didn't belong to Andress. It was dubbed by German actor Nikki van der Zyl, who later coached her countryman Gert Frobe in English to play Goldfinger.
JILL ST. JOHN AS TIFFANY CASE IN 'DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER' (1971)
Golden memories: More like blushing red. Tiffany is possibly the clumsiest Bond girl ever, losing vital satellite codes and wildly firing weapons with too much kick to control.
Fashion statement: When Tiffany greets him, scantily dressed: "That's quite a nice little nothing you're almost wearing. I approve."
Did you know? St. John was the first American Bond girl, beating out Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda for the role.
HALLE BERRY AS GIACINTA 'JINX' JOHNSON IN 'DIE ANOTHER DAY' (2002)
Honey redux: In an obvious homage to Honey Ryder, Bond first glimpses Jinx as she strolls from the surf (this time Cuban), sporting an orange bikini and holstered knife.
Tough talk: After a villain asks who sent Jinx to kill him: "Yo' mama. And she told me to tell you she's really disappointed in you."
Did you know? Berry was the first Academy Award winner to become a Bond girl, picking up her Oscar during filming.
- - - - -
THE FEMME FATALE
Bond's femin-enemy, usually seductive but 007 is more concerned with survival.
HONOR BLACKMAN AS PUSSY GALORE IN 'GOLDFINGER' (1964)
Shining moment: One of several femme fatales that Bond seduced into going straight, Miss Galore and her air squadron spearhead the climactic defense of Fort Knox.
Bonding introduction: "My name is Pussy Galore," to which Bond replies: "I must be dreaming."
Did you know? Blackman and Diana Rigg are the only two Bond girls older than the actors playing Agent 007 opposite them.
FAMKE JANSSEN AS XENIA ONATOPP IN 'GOLDENEYE' (1995)
Favorite weapons: Her vise-grip thighs, strangling victims and obviously enjoying it.
Bond banter: "You don't need the gun, commander." "Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex."
Did you know? Janssen did her own driving stunts in a red Ferrari Spider during the opening car chase.
LOTTE LENYA AS ROSA KLEBB IN 'FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE' (1963)
Golden girl: Technically too old and dumpy for a Bond girl, Rosa Klebb is one of the franchise's most fatal femmes. No stiletto heels, but a deadly switchblade shoe.
She's strict: After a spy assures Rosa she won't talk: "If you do you will be SHOT!"
Did you know? Lenya was the franchise's first actor to have been an Academy Award nominee, with a 1961 supporting actress nod for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
- - - - -
Lovely diversions of Bond's attention who wind up being left behind or left for dead.
LANA WOOD AS PLENTY O'TOOLE IN 'DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER' (1971)
Watery grave: Plenty gets tossed nearly nude from a Las Vegas penthouse balcony into a swimming pool.
Bonding introduction: "Hi, I'm Plenty." "Well, of course you are."
Did you know? Wood is the younger sister of the late Natalie Wood.
LYNN-HOLLY JOHNSON AS BIBI DAHL IN 'FOR YOUR EYES ONLY' (1981)
Golden moment: Showing up uninvited in Bond's bed. Even Roger Moore winced at the 31-year age difference.
Training regimen: "That's why I'll win the gold medal," she tells Bond after a long kiss. "Breath control."
Did you know? Bibi was an Olympic skier but Johnson was an Ice Capades skater.
MOLLY PETERS AS PATRICIA FEARING IN 'THUNDERBALL' (1965)
Soft touch: Turning the massage tables on his nurse, Bond rubs towel-clad Patricia the right way with a mink mitten.
Bondage talk: After strapping Bond to a traction machine: "There, first time I've felt safe all day."
Did you know? Powers was the first Bond girl shown taking off her clothes on screen.
- - - - -
Getting too close to James Bond can be deadly, as these lovers discovered.
SHIRLEY EATON AS JILL MASTERSON IN 'GOLDFINGER' (1964)
Golden girl: Death by paint suffocation, an iconic image re-created with crude oil in Quantum of Solace.
Bond is correct: "You know, you're much too nice a girl to be mixed up in all this."
Did you know? Like Andress in Dr. No, Eaton's voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl.
EVA GREEN AS VESPER LYND IN 'CASINO ROYALE' (2006)
Death in Venice: Vesper drowns, trapped in a sinking building on a Venetian canal.
Flattering Bond: "If the only thing left of you was your smile and your little finger, you'd still be more of a man than anyone I've ever known."
Did you know? Green got the role only because Audrey Tautou was still filming The Da Vinci Code.
DIANA RIGG AS TERESA DI VICENZO IN 'ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE' (1969)
Death does them part: Teresa was a drive-by shooting victim after she and Bond left their wedding ceremony.
Speaking too soon: "You have given me a wedding present, the best one I could have: the future."
Did you know? Producers considered making Teresa's murder the opening scene in the next Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever.