There are three things that you can always count on from a James Bond movie: seedy villains, shaken—not stirred martinis, and smokin' hot Bond Girls. And the newest film, Spectre, delivers on all three.
This time around, Bond (Daniel Craig) is chasing down Christoph Waltz's deliciously evil baddie, Oberhauser. All that action happens when he’s not knocking back Belvedere, natch. But it’s French actress Léa Seydoux who really steals the spotlight as his sexy (and smart!) girl du jour.
In honor of the film, in theaters now, we’re flashing back to our 2012 shoot with 11 of our favorite former Bond Girls. From Tomorrow Never Dies star Teri Hatcher to Live and Let Die's Jane Seymour, read on as they reminisce about landing the coveted role and what it’s like to be part of the world’s most exclusive sorority.
1. Bérénice Marlohe
"I prepared for this for eight years of my life," said the Parisian actress who played Sévérine. Marlohe was so fixated on becoming a Bond Girl that "even before my Skyfall audition, I had two fake guns at home," she confessed. "I wanted to feel the sensation of power, and they helped me get into a character's skin."
2. Michelle Yeoh
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Having trained in martial arts for her early films, Yeoh did many of her own stunts. Her fighting style, which she employed to brilliant effect in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, draws upon the discipline she learned as a young ballet student, first in Malaysia and then at London's Royal Academy of Dance. Yeoh told us she'd like to bring awareness of the spiritual values of martial arts to a wider audience: "It can be lethal, but it's not about attacking. It's about defending your honor and the people you love. And the moves can be very sexy.”
3. Maud Adams
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Octopussy (1983)
Following their meeting to discuss the role of a doomed assassin's mistress in Gun, producer Cubby Broccoli asked Adams, then a top fashion model, to meet his wife at their suite at the Plaza. "I thought that was very, very curious," said the Swedish-born actress. "I went with trepidation, but it turned out she was very much involved in choosing the Bond Girls." She obviously approved of Adams.
4. Olga Kurylenko
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Growing up in a small town in Ukraine, Kurylenko just shrugged off those who constantly told her, "You should be a Bond Girl." "With all the people who audition, what are the odds?" said the former model. Discovered at 14 on a subway platform in Moscow, she moved to Paris at 16, then graced magazine covers and landed small film roles. Her breakthrough came when she played Camille Montes, a Bolivian siren seeking revenge for her family, opposite Daniel Craig.
5. Carey Lowell
License to Kill (1989)
When Lowell auditioned for the role of Pam Bouvier, she thought, CIA agent, tough chick, so she pulled on a pair of jeans and donned a leather jacket for the audition. The casting agents took one look and sent her out to change into a dress. "I went to a tacky store and got a pink lamé one that zipped down from chest to skirt," she recalls. "I looked like a hooker, but it was sexy—and I got the part.”
6. Talisa Soto
License to Kill (1989)
Though the initial script called for Soto's sultry Lupe Lamora, girlfriend of a drug kingpin, to be a total villain, "the producers switched it up in the middle of filming so James and I would fall in love," she recalled. And who could blame Timothy Dalton's 007?
7. Tanya Roberts
A View to a Kill (1985)
"I wasn't used to playing Miss Goody Two-Shoes," says Roberts of her View role as geologist Stacey Sutton, who teams up with Roger Moore to shaft the bad guys. Makes sense: She rose to fame as tough-fisted Julie Rogers in the last season of Charlie's Angels.
8. Britt Ekland
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
"Once you've done a Bond film, you're a Bond Girl. Never a Bond woman. It's like a club. And it has been a real privilege,” she said.
9. Jane Seymour
Live and Let Die (1973)
Seymour was so excited to be offered her role opposite Roger Moore that she backed her VW Beetle into the Rolls-Royce of 007 producer Harry Saltzman. "He forgave me," said the British-born star. And why not? The producers had found their Solitaire, an exotic and virginal tarot card reader. "They were on thin ground looking for a virgin in the '70s," she joked. "I just marginally made it.”
10. Caterina Murino
Casino Royale (2006)
Just before Murino and Craig filmed their passionate love scene, Murino remembered Daniel Craig whispering: "I apologize for everything." "Unfortunately for me, he didn't do anything wrong," she said.
11. Teri Hatcher
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
When Hatcher was chosen to play Paris Carver, Pierce Brosnan's ex-girlfriend in Tomorrow, her Bond Girl bona fides were already well established: In a 1993 episode of Seinfeld, Hatcher played Jerry's girlfriend, Sidra. When speculation arose as to whether her breasts were enhanced, Sidra famously responded, "They are real...and they are spectacular."