Wednesday, 26 November 2014

007 Film History: Black Bond Girls - From Trina Parks To 'Skyfall' Star Naomie Harris

007 Film History: Black Bond Girls - From Trina Parks To 'Skyfall' Star Naomie Harris

NON-WHITE BOND GIRLS have only featured sporadically within the history of the 007 films. Naomie Harris in 'Skyfall' is the first black British actress to star. Will others now follow? By Ben Arogundade.


BLACK BEAUTY IN BOND: Actress Naomie Harris, the first ever black British Bond girl, stars in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall with Daniel Craig as 007. The star of Pirates Of The Caribbean and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, is one of only five black actresses ever to feature within the famous film franchise. Trina Parks was the first, in the 1973 movie Diamonds Are Forever, opposite Sean Connery as Bond.

THE LATEST BOND film, Skyfall, stars actress Naomie Harris opposite Daniel Craig as 007. She has made history as the first ever black British Bond girl to appear in the franchise. The Cambridge University graduate and star of the films Pirates Of The Caribbean and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, follows in the footsteps of only four other black actresses that have appeared in the role since the series first hit cinema screens in 1962. Some might contend that this is a relief, considering that Bond girls are traditionally no more than eye candy, and have a tendency to end up dead or cast adrift romantically, but nevertheless the part still holds tremendous prestige for any young actress.

The first non-white Bond girls did not feature until the late 1960’s, assisted by the momentum of the American Civil Rights Movement, which expanded the landscape for alternative definitions of beauty. In 1966 Star Trek launched on television, featuring a multi-racial crew aboard the starship Enterprise, and the makers of the Bond films responded in similar fashion the following year with the movie You Only Live Twice, which featured three East Asians — Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama and Tsai Chin.

Next, the first black Bond girl debuted in 1973 when African American actress and dancer Trina Parks starred as the light-footed villain, Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever (1973). The timing coincided with the Blaxploitation era, and the Bond franchise picked up on a new beauty archetype — the ass-kicking, chocolate-skinned Blaxploitation goddess, armed with an Afro and an attitude.

Parks’ debut was closely followed by that of model and former Playboy bunny Gloria Hendry, who starred as double agent Rosie Carver in Live And Let Die (1973). She was the first black Bond girl to be sexually involved with the British agent — on this occasion, Roger Moore as 007. When the film was first released in South Africa during the apartheid era, sex scenes between the pair were cut.

There would be a 12-year gap before the next black Bond girl would feature, this time recording artist and former fashion model Grace Jones, who starred as the ultra-macho and slightly scary May Day in View To A Kill (1985). But there would be an even bigger wait for the next Asian Bond beauties — 30 years would pass before actress Michelle Yeoh starred in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

Halle Berry became the most popular black Bond girl ever when she played Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day (2002). In a tribute to Ursula Andress’s famous scene from Dr No, Berry — dressed in a skimpy orange bikini — rose gracefully out of the sea as a racially upgraded sex bomb for a new multi-ethnic age. Today’s racially diverse film fans now have Naomie Harris as James Bond’s fifth black femme fatale. Five is a conspicuously low number, and the large gap between their appearances suggests that the franchise’s racial revisionism is moving at a slower pace than it is in Hollywood. One can only hope they catch up quickly.

The new book BLACK BEAUTY by Ben Arogundadeis out now.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

'James Bond 24': Christoph Waltz Cast as Iconic Villain Blofeld?

'James Bond 24': Christoph Waltz Cast as Iconic Villain Blofeld?

Christoph Waltz has reportedly signed on to play classic 007 villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in 'Bond 24', which will shoot in London and Rome.

Just weeks after we reported that Christoph Waltz is playing the main villain in Bond 24The Daily Mail claims that the actor is actually playing the classic James Bondnemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in this highly-anticipated sequel.
Eon Productions is expected to confirm Christoph Waltz's casting during a press conference to be held in the first week of December. At that time, they will announce that the actor is playing Franz Oberhauser, son of the late Hans Oberhauser, a ski instructor who was a father figure to 007 (Daniel Craig). However, one unidentified source claims that the announcement will be a misdirect, and that Christoph Waltz is actually playing Blofeld.
"Christoph Waltz is playing Blofeld in the next Bond film. The tone of the 007 films has changed significantly in recent years and the producers have changed the character to fit in with the new-look 007."
We reported in November 2013 that Eon Productions won the rights back to the Blofeld character and his evil organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E., after MGM won a 50-year legal dispute with the estate of writer Kevin McClory, who created Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Blofeld has appeared in six 007 movies, played by Anthony Dawsonin From Russia with Love and ThunderballDonald Pleasence in You Only Live TwiceTelly Savalas in On Her Majesty's Secret ServiceCharles Gray inDiamonds Are Forever and John Hollis in For Your Eyes OnlyMax von Sydowalso played Blofeld in the "unofficial" James Bond movie Never Say Never Again.
Daniel Craig is returning as 007 in Bond 24, alongside Skyfall stars Ralph Fiennes(M), Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q). Léa Seydoux has also signed on to play a femme fatale, while Dave Bautista is playing an evil henchman named Hinx.
In related news, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Bond 24 will film some scenes in Rome, along with their primary location at Pinewood Studios in London. The production will shoot at least three key action scenes in Rome, including "nighttime high speed car chases" through the city's narrow and winding streets, and on the historic street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. One scene will feature a car that ends up in the Tibur River.
Another scene will reportedly feature a Fiat 500 getting crushed at Borgo Vittorio near The Vatican, and 007 himself will be seen parachuting from a helicopter onto the 15th Century pedestrian bridge Ponte Sisto. Production will also take place outside of Rome at the Royal Palace of Caserta in Campania. Production in Italy will run from February 19 through March 12, with the production offices based in Cinecitta Studios.
Bond 24 comes to theaters November 6th, 2015 and stars Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Christoph Waltz. The film is directed by Sam Mendes.

Naomie and Idris have a reunion over a brandy at La Maison Rémy Martin in London.

Suits you! Naomie Harris goes braless in plunging blazer and two-tone trousers for launch of new pop-up members club

Finding the right balance between sexy and sophisticated can often be tricky, however Naomie Harris made it look effortless when she stepped out on Monday evening.
The Bond girl left her bra at home for the launch of new pop-up members only club, La Maison Rémy Martin in London.
With her tresses worn up in a relaxed 'do, the 38-year-old set pulses racing with her plunging outfit before reuniting with her Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom co-star Idris Elba. 
Scroll down for video 
Turning heads: The actress caught up with Yasmin Le Bon at the capital's newest members club
How low can you go? Naomie Harris looked stunning as she arrived at the La Maison Rémy Martin launch party on Monday evening
The beauty stood out from the crowd in her black blazer, which was teamed with a pair of two-tone ankle-grazing trousers, complete with orange hem.
Elongating her already lengthy pins with elegant strappy heels, Naomie added just a simple silver chain to her ensemble.
However the Skyfall star made sure to give her classic look some edge with thanks to a printed clutch bag.
Turning heads: The actress caught up with Yasmin Le Bon at the capital's newest members club
Turning heads: The actress caught up with Yasmin Le Bon at the capital's newest members club
Plunging: The 38-year-old went braless under her black jacket, which she teamed with a matching pair of trousers, complete with orange hem
Naomie was seen chatting to Yasmin Le Bon while Idris, 42, looked dapper in a grey jumper, jeans and dark leather shoes.
The 28 Days Later actress looked upbeat after tweeting at the weekend to say: 'Was anyone else totally wiped out this weekend? I couldn't stop sleeping! Apparently it was the change of seasons affecting us all!'
The star recently finished filming Our Kind of Traitor opposite her on-screen love interest Ewan McGregor. 
Stand out: The James Bond beauty polished off her attire with eye-catching clutch and a relaxed up 'do
Stand out: The James Bond beauty polished off her attire with eye-catching clutch and a relaxed up 'do
The thriller – an adaptation of the 2010 novel by John Le Carre - was shot in Paris and is expected to be released next year.
Susanna White’s new film will see the couple in the middle of Russian oligarch Dmitri ‘Dima’ Vladimirovich Krasnov’s plan to defect after he reaches out to Perry, believing him to be a British spy.
Their involvement with the billionaire money launderer puts them in a precarious position when they are caught between the British Secret Service and the Russian mafia. 
Reunion: Naomie's former Mandela co-star Idris Elba was also in attendance, where he looked dapper in a grey jumper and jeans
Reunion: Naomie's former Mandela co-star Idris Elba was also in attendance, where he looked dapper in a grey jumper and jeans

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Naomie Harris In Alexander McQueen – La Maison Remy Martin Members Club Launch Party

Naomie Harris In Alexander McQueen - La Maison Remy Martin Members Club Launch Party
I was delighted to see Naomie Harris back on the red carpet again for the launch of La Maison Rémy Martin members club on Monday (November 24) in London, England.
The British actress was looking very sharp wearing an Alexander McQueen classic tuxedo jacket updated with a contoured, feminine shape.
Working the look sans blouse for a more sultry vibe to this mannish offering, I’m not usually a fan of ankle-swinging trousers, but the red colour block gives this piece a new dimension and totally helps win me over.
Styled with Bionda Castana ‘Alexandra’ pointy pumps and Bee Goddess jewels, the look was pulled effortlessly together with a red, black and white McQueen clutch.
One for the BDOTW list, methinks.
You can buy Naomie’s Alexander McQueen Contrast Cuff Trousers from
Credit: Getty