Unrivalled special agent, notorious womaniser and masculine icon, James Bond is, to many, the ultimate British gentleman. Since initial publication of Ian Fleming’s first novel in 1953 and the release of the debut official film in 1962, Bond has served as a worldwide inspiration in terms of lifestyle, gear and sophistication. And that isn’t something that’s going to change anytime soon.
While you might know how the nation’s super-spy likes his Martini, there are some things you might not be so familiar with. So, with the release of No Time To Die just around the corner, take a moment to acquaint yourself further with the 007.
1. The name ‘James Bond’ was actually taken from a birdwatching book Ian Fleming had handy when in search a name “as mundane as possible” – the quintessential British hero is named after ornithologist Dr James Bond.
2. For the opening scene of Skyfall, Daniel Craig was given 85 identical versions of Bond’s Tom Ford suit, and Skyfall’s cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition during weapons training.
3. Goldfinger was both the first film to feature a laser beam and the first film in which Bond drives an Aston Martin.
4. The corkscrew car jump featured in The Man with the Golden Gun was performed in just one take, and was the first stunt ever calculated by computer modelling.
5. The name of the 17th Bond film, Goldeneye, came from the Jamaican estate where Ian Fleming wrote 14 of his novels.
6. The missing 00s – 002, 003, 004 and 009 have all been killed in different movies. The supposedly dead 006 returns as the villain in Goldeneye before being disposed of. While 001 and 005 have never been mentioned, the unnamed 008 is referred to at various points as Bond’s replacement in the event of his death or being removed from a mission for insubordination.
7. On the set of Quantum of Solace, Bond’s Aston Martin took a dip in the Italian Lago di Garda after a stuntman lost control.
8. One of the various spies Fleming based his protagonist on was 16th-century English polymath John Dee. Dee would sign his letters to Queen Elizabeth I with a ‘007’ glyph to signify that they were for her eyes only.
9. Pierce Brosnan was the deadliest Bond. In Goldeneye alone he ended 47 lives. In contrast, Roger Moore only does away with one person in The Man with the Golden Gun, the film with the lowest Bond kill-count.
10. While his favourite card game is Baccarat, James Bond is reportedly brilliant at snap.
11. Daniel Craig was the first Bond younger than the series itself.
12. Despite starring in seven Bond films, Roger Moore actually suffers from hoplophobia – fear of firearms.
13. Not only was From Russia, With Love the last movie that President JFK ever saw, he was arguably responsible for Bond’s success across the pond. After naming From Russia, With Love as his favourite novel in an interview in 1961, sales rocketed and it was the next Bond film to be made.
14. During the filming of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), more than 15 BMW 750s were destroyed.
15. In Casino Royale, the seven full barrel-rolls completed by the Aston Martin DBS set a new world record for the most barrel rolls assisted by a canon. Aston Martin also reportedly has a deal with Daniel Craig allowing him to have any of its cars he wants straight from the factory – for the rest of his life.
16. Krystyna Skarbek (aka Christine Granville), the British-Polish WW2 agent who met with Ian Fleming, was the inspiration behind the character of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.
17. The opening boat chase sequence in The World Is Not Enough used 35 boats and took seven whole weeks to shoot.
18. Smirnoff, as major sponsors of Dr. No, didn’t want the gin in Bond’s iconic Martini to be mentioned.
19. In the novels, James Bond became 007 at 38. Out of the various actors that have played the role, Daniel Craig is the only one to have earned his ‘00’ status at the same age.
20. The title of Spectre is an anagram for ‘Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion’.
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