One of the producers of the James Bond franchise has revealed the classic scene that they use to audition potential Bond performers. The character of James Bond was originally created by British author Ian Fleming in a series of 12 novels and 2 short story collections that were published beginning in 1953. The first film to adapt the story of the suave superspy was 1962’s Dr. No starring Sean Connery, a substantial hit that made nearly 60 times its budget of roughly $1 million, became a worldwide sensation, and launched a franchise that now spans 25 films and counting, the most recent being 2021’s No Time to Die.
Although the character of Bond is iconic, several different actors have played him throughout the years. Connery is perhaps the most synonymous with the role, even to this day, but many of the other performers – which include Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan, and Roger Moore – are beloved by various generations of Bond fans. The most recent iteration of Bond was played by Daniel Craig, who took on the role in 2006’s Casino Royale until his final outing with No Time to Die, the release of which marks the end of the longest tenure any actor has had in the role.
Per Deadline, Michael G. Wilson – who has been a producer for the James Bond franchise since the Pierce Brosnan era – recently appeared at an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the series at the British Film Institute in London. He revealed that, whenever they are auditioning new potential actors to star as James Bond, they always use the seduction scene from Connery’s second Bond film, From Russia with Love. In the scene, Bond returns to his room from the bathroom to discover Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) in his bed. She complains that ”I think my mouth is too big,” and he responds “No, it’s the right size. For me, that is.” Wilson says that “anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond.” Read his full quote below:
We always use the same scene … and that’s the one in From Russia With Love, where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe. Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed.
That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do.
Why This From Russia with Love Scene Captures Bond Perfectly
It makes sense why producers would pressure-test any new Bond with this particular From Russia with Love moment. It encapsulates so many of the different layers that make the character an iconic presence in Western literature and cinema. While the dialogue has a certain corny charm that brings out the central humor of the franchise, it is also genuinely seductive and suave as delivered by Connery, who knew how to perfectly balance the two sides of the character.
Although Craig’s version of Bond was slightly grittier and more realistic, every iteration of the character has a sense of embracing the iconography of the character and the world around him, which blends goofy 1960s tropes with thrilling spy action. Anyone who can pull off the classic iteration of the character can land whatever they seek to do with him next. While the next James Bond film is still a long way away, it’s likely that this scene will prove just as important in finding the newest actor for the role as it has in the past.
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