Bonding with the Girls

With gorgeous Penélope Cruz slated as the next Bond girl – and 90 others to choose from – here are Caribbean World’s favourite Bond women. Kennedy Wilson watches the girls go by.

When Penélope Cruz takes the role of the new Bond girl in late-2014 or early-2015 she will be continuing a long-standing movie tradition. There are around 90 Bond girls so far in the 50 year history of 007 movies. The Bond women are as much a part of the franchise as the famous car chases, underwater fight sequences, glorious gadgets and overripe villains like Goldfinger and Scaramanga.

resizedimage247600-Screenshot-2014-08-06-11.52.22Cruz is a fantastic choice. Says one observer “she’ll be a great Bond girl. Bond girls are always brainy as well as sexy, and that’s totally Penélope.” The actress’s husband is also a Bond baddie. She started dating fellow actor Javier Bardem in 2007 and they married in July 2010 in the Bahamas. They are one of Hollywood’s most low-key couples, avoiding much of the Hollywood party scene and preferring to spend most of their time in their native Spain.

Bardem played the baddie in last year’s Bond outing Skyfall, the highest-grossing Bond movie of all time. Ms Cruz came to the fore thanks to film director Pedro Almodovar (the Spanish Fellini) who captured post-Franco Spain’s la dulce vida. Cruz was quickly snapped up by Hollywood and the moviegoing public in such films as Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

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The Bond movies often went to the Caribbean partly because such an exotic location was just what audiences wanted in the drab early 60s when James Bond came of age. Moreover, the super spy’s author Ian Fleming had a holiday home, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and it was here that he wrote many of his bestselling books. The Goldeneye estate is now an exclusive clifftop resort in the village of Oracabessa, about 20 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios.

One of the most memorable cinema moments of all time is in the first Bond movie, Dr No. Swiss actress Ursula Andress appears out of the sea like Botticelli’s Venus. She is wearing a startling white bikini (which she once claimed she designed herself), a dagger in a belt around her waist Bay was the setting for Kananga’s lair; a bungalow at the Half Moon Bay Club also appears as Bond’s hotel room in the fictional voodoo island of San Monique. The famous crocodile scene in the film was shot at Jamaica Safari Village, in Falmouth near Montego Bay and now known as Swaby’s Swamp Safari.

French beauty Claudine Auger fell for Bond as Domino (so named for the moles on her upper thigh and her love of lack of white swimwear) in Thunderball which was made in the Bahamas and featured a junkanoo parade on Bay Street in Nassau, and the Café Martinique was the scene for Bond’s first meeting with movie bad guy Largo whose villa’s swimming pool is home to his pet sharks. (The original restaurant was demolished to make way for the Atlantis resort, but the café lives on at Atlantis’ Marina Village). Other scenes were shot in the Exumas, West Providence Island and Paradise Island.

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Domino made another appearance (this time played by the wonderful Kim Basinger) in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

New Providence Island (where Nassau is located) featured in the 2006 remake of Casino Royale. Nassau’s Albany House stood in for a beach villa owned by the villain Demetrius and Bond’s future girlfriend, Solange was played by shapely Sardinian newcomer Caterina Murino.

Major scenes for Casino Royale also were shot at the Atlantis resort and the neighboring One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island. Bond, played by Daniel Craig, first and a suggestive conch shell in each hand. In the book Andress’s character, Honey Ryder, is naked save for the belt. She meets James Bond, the inimitable Sean Connery, who serenades her with a song about making love under the mango trees. The 1960s had truly arrived.

The iconic scene was filmed at Jamaica’s Laughing Waters Beach in Ocho Rios and at an undeveloped Dunn’s River Falls (almost unrecognizable today).

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The Bond movies often went to the Caribbean partly because such an exotic location was just what audiences wanted in the drab early 60s when James Bond came of age. Moreover, the super spy’s author Ian Fleming had a holiday home, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and it was here that he wrote many of his bestselling books. The Goldeneye estate is now an exclusive clifftop resort in the village of Oracabessa, about 20 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios.

Beautiful babes on the beach have become a Bond staple – who can forget the magnificent Halle Berry in an orange bikini in Die Another Day? And 1973’s Live and Let Die was filmed on location in Jamaica. The moody Solitaire – played by Jane Seymour in a series of plunging necklines – had to suffer the indignities of being bullied by famous Bond villain Kananga then tied to a stake with Roger Moore at a voodoo ceremony. The Green Grotto caves in Runaway encounters Solange making a stunning entrance wearing a green bikini and riding a white horse. Screenshot-2014-08-06-11.59.55

The Bond movies often went to the Caribbean partly because such an exotic location was just what audiences wanted in the drab early 60s when James Bond came of age. Moreover, the super spy’s author Ian Fleming had a holiday home, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and it was here that he wrote many of his bestselling books. The Goldeneye estate is now an exclusive clifftop resort in the village of Oracabessa, about 20 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios.

In Goldeneye (1995) Bond is seen driving in the Caribbean with Natalya Simonova played by Polish-born Izabella Scorupco.

In Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig’s Bond heads to Port au Prince, Haiti, and is picked up by a woman named Camille Montes, played by Ukrainian-born Olga Kurylenko with whom he forms an instant bond during a daring boat race.

The one “Bond girl” who didn’t make it to Caribbean shores was, ironically, one of the most surprising and best loved of 007’s women. She played the masterspy’s boss, the head of MI6, in a number of the most recent Bond movies. Based loosely on a real-life character, Dame Stella Rimington, who headed the famed British secret intelligence bureau MI5 from 1992-96, Judi Dench made the role of Olivia Mansfield (but usually known only as M) her own.