Friday, December 7, 2012

Everyone's in GoldenEye

A lot of people were in GoldenEye before they were famous, or before they were super-famous anyway. I would be remiss if I did not highlight the later-to-be all-star cast, but doing so in my regular write-up of the film would have made it overly long. So here's a breakdown that leaves one wondering, couldn't they have found a bigger name to play Natalya?

Pierce Brosnan was already famous for Remington Steele and... um... Mrs. Doubtfire. Playing Bond, of course, would amp up his A-List credentials.
Remington Steele - 1982
James Bond - 2002

Judi Dench was well known to British theater goers and TV audiences, but few people in America knew who she was unless you were a big fan of the Eighties British sit-com A Fine Romance.Since she started playing M, she's won an Oscar and been knighted.
M - 2012
Laura Dalton (A Fine Romance) circa 1981

Again, Sean Bean, was reasonably well-known to British audiences, but he certainly hadn't been a meme yet or become famous for dying in all of his roles. Of course GoldenEye came out in 1995 during the early days of the internet, so few people had been a meme yet.
Boromir - 2001

Janus (GoldenEye) - 1995
Robbie Coltrane was probably the most famous of the GoldenEye character actors before he played Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky. Cracker had quite the cult following. He'd played Falstaf in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, and who hadn't stared at a copy of The Pope Must Diet at their local video store and wondered WTF? Still, he hadn't played Hagrid yet. There's not much topping playing Hagrid.
Hagrid - 2011

Zukovsky (GoldenEye) - 1995

It's hard to imagine time when Alan Cumming wasn't famous, but in 1995 he had a lot of minor TV credits on his resume and a turn as the Emcee in Sam Mendes's Cabaret revival. He still had Spy Kids, Nightcrawler, The Smurfs, and hosting Masterpiece Mystery on his horizon, as well as a highly respected stage career.

Boris (GoldenEye) - 1995
Eli Gold (The Good Wife) - 2010

Who would have guessed watching GoldenEye in 1995 that two of the films actors would go on to be mutants in the X-Men movies? Famke Janssen hasn't done much other than play Jean Grey, but she hasn't really had to either.

Onatopp (GoldenEye) - 1995
Jean Grey (X-Men: The Last Stand) - 2006

In the "If you blink, you'll miss her" category, Minnie Driver has a non-speaking but singing role in GoldenEye as Zukovsky's mistress. Circle of Friends came out earlier that year and made her famous.

Irina (GoldenEye) - 1995
From The Riches - 2008

Finally we have Joe Don Baker, who isn't really famous at all, unless you're a fan of MST3K. Still, I mention him because he has the rare honor of being the only actor to play a Bond villain in one movie (Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights) only to return as a Bond side-kick in future films (Jack Wade in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies).

Whitaker (The Living Daylights) - 1987
Jack Wade (GoldenEye) - 1995


  1. Whilst you're correct about Joe Don Baker being the only actor to appear as a Bond villain in one movie and then return as a good guy in later Bond movies, it's not the first time they've done something like that....don't forget that Charles Grey was first one of Bond's sidekicks in You Only Live Twice and then returned to play Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever.

  2. Yes! Good catch. I mention him in my post about Diamonds Are Forever:

    There's also Walter Gotell, who played a henchman in From Russia with Love and then the recurring character Gogol in the 70s and 80s.


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