The idea of a “Bond Girl” is fairly outdated. For generations, over the course of two dozen films, James Bond has always found himself opposite a beautiful woman that would inevitably need saving, betray the spy, or get killed. It wasn’t until recent films that the idea has morphed, as society’s views on gender norms have shifted. And in “No Time To Die,” that shift is reportedly more striking than ever before with the introduction of Paloma, played by Ana de Armas.
In a new profile from Vanity Fair, the actress, who recently found herself nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in “Knives Out,” discussed her new role in the Bond universe and what makes it different than the stereotypical “Bond Girl.”
While there isn’t a ton of information about Paloma, we do know that the character works for the CIA and is a bit of a newcomer to the special agent/spy game. But she’s more than capable. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said, “The expectation is that she’s not going to be the most proficient agent, but let’s just say that she really packs a punch.”
The role was offered to de Armas after director Cary Fukunaga came aboard. In fact, he conceived the role “specifically for Ana, adding a layer of humor to the character that I hadn’t seen her do yet—which I thought might be fun.”
But it took some convincing for de Armas to join “No Time To Die.” She didn’t want to be one of the “Bond Girls” of the past. She wanted Paloma to be something else.
“Obviously I was jumping all over the place and very excited,” said de Armas. “But I needed to be sure it wouldn’t jeopardize all the work I’d been putting in, that it wouldn’t ruin everything. And the Bond women have always been, for me at least, unrelatable.”
Helping out with the task of making Paloma a new type of Bond character is award-winning writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was brought in to help jazz up the script before shooting.
“You could also tell that Phoebe was in there,” said the actress. “There was that humor and spikiness so specific to her. My character feels like a real woman. But you know, we can evolve and grow and incorporate reality, but Bond is a fantasy. In the end, you can’t take things out of where they live.”
So, as we get closer to the April 8 launch of “No Time To Die,” it’ll be interesting to see how fans react to Paloma. Will they embrace this new type of “Bond Girl?” We’ll find out.