Naomie Harris starts out in Skyfall as a peer for James Bond, another one of MI6's team of field agents. She's capable and smart and manages to be funny during a full-on action sequence. It's undoubtedly one of the better roles for a so-called Bond Girl in the full history of the series. Later on… it gets more complex still. I don't want to spoil anything, but they're shaking things up a little with Bond 23.
I spoke to Naomie about this ongoing Bond Girl idea, about how her character is represented in the film, and how that contrasts with the arguably more traditional character of Severine. Here's what she told me.
When I was offered the role the producers and Sam said they wanted to make a real distinction between this Bond Girl, Bond Woman, and the ones of the past. One of the things Sam said was "I want you to represent the modern woman. I want women to be able to watch you and feel that respect you and admire you and look up to you and you are just as capable as Bond."
I think this is a very modern Bond but with all of these classic elements to it. That's part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary, that you really do respect and honour the history of Bond as well as moving it forward… and I think that kind of traditional Bond Woman or Bond Girl is part of that, one of those classic themes that they obviously wanted to keep and that people enjoy, but I'm happy to offer an alternative view of women as well.
I love my character, basically. That's the character I really enjoyed playing, that's the character I identified with. I'm always looking for characters that challenge me and that I truly identify with. I'd choose Eve, first, yeah.
Things do go wrong as the film goes on – obviously, she shoots Bond which is a major error – but she is a very capable field agent, actually, she is just as capable as him. That was really important to me and was one of the reasons I wanted to play this role. I love playing strong independent women and anything that helps foster a better impression of women on screen, for me, is hugely important. It is a male dominated industry and it skews so that men are much better represented on screen than women, it's really important for me to redress that balance where I can and offer positive role models.
Skyfall is released across the UK on Friday and then in the US on November 8th. Go see it.