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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Maud Adams- Twice a Bond Girl, Octopussy and Man with the Golden Gun

Maud Adams, Two-Time Classy James Bond Girl

Maud Adams jamesbondreview.blogspot.com
Maud Adams - a poster girl of the '60s.

Maud Adams was born Maud Solveig Christina Wikström in Luleå, Sweden. She participated in the Miss Sweden competition around the time of "Goldfinger," then modelled in Paris and New York City. Because of her great success as a model, Maud got a few bit parts as an actress in motion pictures, then guest appearances on American TV shows.

Maud Adams in print ad jamesbondreview.blogspot.com
Maud Adams was in some very enticing print ads in her day.

It must have been a great time to be a top fashion model. Jetting between Paris and New York, working with celebrity photographers like Ron Galesko in these ads, taking time out in swinging London in between gigs - but the best was yet to come for Maud Adams.

Maud Adams in a Ron Galesko ad jamebondreview.blogspot.com
These are Ron Galesko ads.

Maud was chosen to play Andrea in "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974). She was the girlfriend of Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee.

Maud Adams The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
"Oh! Am I going to be ... safe with you?"

Those were the days when they were trying to make Bond into the "original" Bond, the "tough" Bond. It is an idea that crops up every decade or so, and each time, the public buys it. Most recently, we have seen that with Daniel Craig, but it was done with Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby as well.

Maud Adams Octopussy 1983
You can spot identical poses in "Skyfall," "Casino Royale" and other recent Bond films.

Since the idea keeps working, the producers at Eon Productions keep peddling it. They know what the audience says it wants - the "real Ian Fleming" Bond - but they also know what the audience actually wants - a softer Bond who is a true ladykiller.

"Come here, big boy."
Sometimes, when the people behind James Bond are really clever, they manage to combine both the tough-guy Bond with the seducer Bond. People now forget that shortly after Roger Moore took over the role, they tried to make him a man of action. He inflicted his share of karate chops. It was not something Moore did well, but he did it and satisfied the public concern that he wasn't "tough enough." Maud Adams in "The Man with the Golden Gun" helped Moore with this image building - he slaps her, the last time James Bond did that to a woman (George Lazenby did it with Diana Rigg in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" as well) and it wasn't always Bond who did the tough stuff. Somebody had to make the point that this was rough stuff, and it didn't really matter who did it.

Maud Adams The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
"Oh, that loaded gun feels so good...."

Maud Adams as Andrea certainly was a good sport. Believe me, there were actresses waiting in line and out the door for the chance to gain a role like this, but Maud Adams was a successful model and didn't have to do this unless she wanted to - and she wanted to.


Maud Adams The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
"Hey, can we make this a little more explicit? Oh, wait, that's not possible."

Her neck is caressed with a gun - but what is that - it goes in her mouth! There were a lot of ways to get the point across - this is about as blatant as any.

Maud Adams The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
That's the way to enjoy a little sun!

Maud's character is doomed in "The Man with the Golden Gun," but she has plenty of time before then to enjoy the finer things in life. A nice little rest on the beach with all the comforts of home, a dangerous assassin boyfriend - and Bond on the side.

Maud Adams Octopussy 1983
Meaningful looks across the dinner table is a James Bond staple.

After 'The Man with the Golden Gun," Maud Adams' career took off.  She starred in films with James Caan and Bruce Dern. including the classic "Rollerball."

Maud Adams autographed picture
Maud Adams signs lots of autographs on Bond girl pictures.

Years later, the Bond people came calling again. Former Bond actors had a habit of frequenting the mosre recent productions of the film - it must have been one big party! Maud stayed in the mix, and Cubby Broccoli noticed. He asked her to play the title character in "Octopussy" (1983), once again opposite Roger Moore. She was an "exotic" smuggler. Is there any other kind in a James Bond film?

Maud Adams Octopussy 1983
A girl removing her earrings is always a good sign for James Bond.

Both she and Roger Moore had put some hard years on themselves, but they could still pull off the romantic scenes like the old days. Maud looks more sophisticated in "Octopussy," someone like Honor Blackman in "Goldfinger" who had a mature sexiness rather than just youthful curves.

Maud Adams Octopussy 1983
"Oh, James"

There are those who think Maud Adams was better in "The Man with the Golden Gun," and those who prefer "Octopussy." Though her role in the former was smaller, it also was fresher and sexier. We'll go with "The Man with the Golden Gun." However, they are both top-notch Bond Girl performances.

Christopher Lee Maud Adams The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
Christopher Lee holding a gun on Maud Adams

After her starring roles, Maud, like the others, still hung out with the Bond production people - it is sort of like a rolling party - even in films in which she did not have a part. While Maud didn't have a part, she can also be seen fleetingly in Roger Moore's  next and last Bond film, "A View to a Kill."

Maud Adams A View to a Kill 1985
That's Maud Adams on the right, in the white glasses.

Maud went on to have a fine career, appearing in many films and on many television series. There is all sorts of nonsense about actresses not wanting to play Bond girls. You are never going to see someone like Nicole Kidman in a Bond film, women who already get leading roles don't need the exposure. Actresses with a lower profile, though, would kill to be a Bond girl, then or today. Here's what someone who actually did it has to say about that:
"Looking back on it, how can you not really enjoy the fact that you were a Bond Girl? It’s pop culture and to be part of that is very nice."

Maud Adams from behind The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
Roger Moore and Maud Adams in "The Man with the Golden Gun."

You don't have to hold a gun on a beautiful girl to get her to be a Bond girl. They aren't trawling the streets for the next Bond girl. All you have to do is ask.

Below are trailers for "Octopussy."




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