Jessica Chastain Reveals Bond Villain Aspirations — But Would She Be The First Woman To Menace Take On The Role?
What does a woman have to do to be a Bond villain? That is the question Academy-Award Nominated actress Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Martian) will make you ponder the answer to. In an interview with W, Chastain revealed her Bond villain ambitions: "One of my goals is to play a villain in a Bond film," Chastain told W. "People ask me if I want to be a Bond Girl, and I say, 'No, I want to be the villain.' I’m waiting for that call!" Given the way Chastain has defied stereotyping by taking on as many diverse roles as she can, it's not surprising she would rather slide into the shoes of the menacing villain who makes James Bond's life complicated than his love interest. I can imagine just how amazing Chastain would be in the role too: Seeing her order around henchmen and trading barbs with Bond would be a cinematic pleasure of the highest order. Would she be the first woman to take on the instantly iconic position of Bond villain though? Surprisingly, she would not.
Over the years, Bond has faced his share of women who were working for the bad guy, but the vast majority of them were not the lead villain. However, a couple of female Bond villain hold the distinction of working for themselves: One such villain is Elektra King from 1999's The World is Not Enough. Sophie Marceau played King who used Bond (Pierce Brosnan)'s affection for her to throw him off her trail. She wasn't the only villain in the movie, but still: King was doing no one's bidding but her own.
The only other lead female Bond villain was Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) from 1963's From Russia With Love, and she was a certified badass. Also known as No. 3 — because she was the third highest ranking SPECTRE agent — Rosa was the lead on an intricate mission to end Bond. She even chose a female agent to seduce 007. She may not be as memorable as Dr. No, but Rosa was a formidable opponent for Bond whose focus on her mission never wavered.
Though the fact that there have been female villains in the past is great, only two lead female bad guys over the course of 24 canonical films means only one thing: We need more. Every movie has female henchmen, but it's not the same as having a brilliant, villainous woman heading up her own operations. With the Bond franchise once again set to go through changes after Daniel Craig's most recent turn as Bond, now would be a great time to start rethinking the villain situation.
If an actress of Chastain's caliber seriously wants to take lead in the next round of torturing Bond, then Hollywood should listen up. Chastain has all the makings of a special Bond villain — it would not only be iconic, it would be historic.
Chastain, a woman who has played duplicitous wives, government agents, astronauts, and everything in between, is without a doubt the perfect muse for the Bond franchise. All of her characters are memorable because Chastain is just that good. Let her join the ranks of Rosa and Elektra — let her surpass them. A new Bond movie deserves a new villain, and Chastain is clearly happy to oblige.
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