James Bond franchise film producer Michael Gregg Wilson revealed that one specific scene is used to test all actors aspiring to play the role of the iconic British spy.
Wilson explained that would-be 007s always audition with the classic bedroom scene from the 1963 film “From Russia With Love” starring Sean Connery as Bond and Daniela Bianchi as his love interest, Tatiana Romanova.
“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,” the producer told the audience at an “In Conversation” event, according to Deadline.
During the famous scene, Bond meets the Soviet cipher clerk for the first time when he discovers her in his bed wearing nothing but a black velvet choker.
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The two introduce themselves and after setting his gun aside, Bond tells Romanova, “You’re one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen.”
“Thank you, but I think my mouth is too big,” she responds.
“No it’s the right size. For me, that is,” he says as he leans in to kiss her.
The scene concludes with the two consummating their affair, though they are unwittingly being filmed through a two-way mirror.
“That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do,” Wilson said.
According to Deadline, he noted that they always need a good actress as a scene partner for the actor taking part in the audition.
The “In Conversation” event, which was held at the British Film Institute on Friday night, kicked off “James Bond at 60,” a three-day weekend celebration marking six decades of Bond films.
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Wilson was joined on stage by screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, casting director Debbie McWilliams, actor Rory Kinnear, production designer Mark Tildesley, and associate producer Gregg Wilson for an interview by BBC host Samira Ahmed.
The panel discussion was followed by a screening of the 1962 James Bond thriller “Dr. No,” starring Connery and Ursula Address.
Wilson and Barbara Broccoli run Eon Productions, the company that produces the franchise films about Ian’s Fleming’s fictional British secret agent.
Following the event, Wilson spoke to Deadline and dispelled rumors that casting for the next Bond was already underway. “No matter what others tell you,” he said.
However, he did confirm that the next 007 will not be a younger actor.
“We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualize it doesn’t work,” he told the outlet.
Wilson continued, “Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak.”
“He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”
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On Oct. 4, Wilson and Broccoli will celebrate World Bond Day by hosting “The Sound of 007 in Concert” at Royal Albert Hall in London.