Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most successful franchises in history. There are a wide array of novels based on 007 with various authors taking over the task after Fleming’s death. On the silver screen, 24 official films have been made since 1962 and the character has been portrayed by seven different actors.
The British MI6 agent has become a worldwide phenomenon with dedicated fans filling up theaters no matter how bad the reviews get. In that long history, there have been countless memorable moments, but we will cover 12 of the little-known facts about James Bond.
12. Cat Fight
The villain in You Only Live Twice had a really close relationship with his feline companion as he strokes his fur countless times throughout the film. The Persian cat didn’t seem to appreciate it. In one scene, Donald Pleasence can be seen gripping it firmly to get through the take and at another point, the actor got peed on.
11. Shaken And Not Stirred
The Vesper Martini, James Bond’s signature drink, was featured in Ian Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale. The phrase “shaken and not stirred” first appeared in the novel Diamonds Are Forever in 1956. It can be argued that Bond is somewhat of an alcoholic because he can be seen with a drink once every 11 minutes.
10. Femmes Fatales
James Bond has always been known as a habitual flirt and womanizer. It’s part of his bag, baby. Over the years, 007 has slept with nearly 52 women, including villains and damsels in distress alike. Of those women, 32 have tried to take his life. Talk about the odds not being in his favor.
9. Reaching The Heights
In the novels, James Bond is described as being 183 centimeters (exactly 6 ft.) tall. Roger Moore was 6’1″ while Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, and George Lazenby reached 6’2″. David Niven had the most accurate height while Daniel Craig comes in as the shortest Bond at 5’10”.
8. A Thing For Cars
James Bond drives a car in nearly every film, except You Only Live Twice, and practically every movie features a different vehicle to cruise around and wreck. For example, Tomorrow Never Dies had enough in the budget to destroy 15 BMWs. His favorite make is the Aston Martin which we will cover more in slide #4.
7. Quitting Cold Turkey
James Bond was known to smoke up to sixty cigarettes of a Balkan and Turkish mixture, similar to what author Ian Fleming enjoyed. In the novelization of Live And Let Die, Bond cuts down to 10 cigarettes per day. The last time he was seen smoking in the films was in Pierce Brosnan’s Die Another Day.
6. Covered In Gold
In Goldfinger, the character Tilly Masterson is completely covered in gold and dies of skin suffocation culminating in one of the most recognizable scenes from the film. It is inspired by the real death of a Swiss model during a photo shoot. A doctor was kept on call to watch over actress Shirley Eaton.
5. Goldfinger’s Voice Dubbing
Ursula Andress’ accent was so unintelligible her voice was replaced by Nikki van der Zyl’s. When Gert Fröbe was offered a role in Goldfinger, he told producers he was fluent in English. They found out he was limited to, “How do you do? I am very pleased to be here,” so his voice was dubbed over by Michael Collins.
4. The Aston Martin
James Bond’s favorite vehicle is an Aston Martin DB5 that appeared in seven films including Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, and Spectre. At one point, Bond purchased it as his personal vehicle and it was equipped with various defensive gadgets. Except in the franchise reboot Casino Royale when the car was won in a poker game.
3. Shark Attack
The shark scene in Thunderball is quite odd when compared to today’s cinema standards using puppets and CGI. Two of the sharks used in the scene were heavily sedated. The one that looks like he is about to attack Connery definitely wasn’t harmed while filming this scene – he was actually dead.
2. Breaking Through Chains
Actor Richard Kiel played the iconic role of Jaws in the film The Spy Who Loved Me. Everyone remembers when he bites through the chain to escape from captivity, but the chain was actually made of licorice. Kiel didn’t mind doing a couple of takes just to make sure it was right.
1. (Lack Of) Self-Confidence
James Bond is known for his confident and suave demeanor because all secret agents need to have some form of increased gravitas. Roger Moore is arguably one of the coolest Bonds, but he was so self-confident that he requested a body double whenever there was a running scene because he thought he looked awkward.
Many people don’t realize the video game world was turned upside down as well. Particularly from the 1997 release of the groundbreaking first-person shooter Goldeneye on Nintendo 64.
007 is a cultural icon and as more films are released, different actors will be given a chance to make history in the exclusive James Bond club. As long as fans keep flooding the theaters, the British spy will continue to swoon ladies and be the point of envy for gentlemen.
If you decide to try and look cool in front of your friends or a hot date by ordering one of Bond’s famous martinis, it is recommended you stick to just one.