James Bond focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections.
Let’s find out some facts about the movie series!
1. Ian Fleming created the fictional character of James Bond as the central figure for his works.
2. Bond is an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6.
3. Bond is known by his code number, 007 , and was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander.
4. Fleming based his fictional creation on a number of individuals he came across during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, admitting that Bond “was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war”.
5. Among those types were his brother, Peter, who had been involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war.
6. Aside from Fleming’s brother, a number of others also provided some aspects of Bond’s make up, including Conrad O’Brien-ffrench, Patrick Dalzel-Job and Bill “Biffy” Dunderdale.
7. The name James Bond came from that of the American ornithologist James Bond, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies.
8. Fleming, a keen birdwatcher himself, had a copy of Bond’s guide and he later explained to the ornithologist’s wife that “It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born”.
9. On another occasion, Fleming said: “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, ‘James Bond’ was much better than something more interesting, like ‘Peregrine Carruthers’. Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure—an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.”
10. Fleming decided that Bond should resemble both American singer Hoagy Carmichael and himself and in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd remarks, “Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless.” Likewise, in Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is “certainly good-looking … Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.”
11. Fleming endowed Bond with many of his own traits, including sharing the same golf handicap, the taste for scrambled eggs and using the same brand of toiletries.
12. Bond’s tastes are also often taken from Fleming’s own as was his behaviour, with Bond’s love of golf and gambling mirroring Fleming’s own. Fleming used his experiences of his espionage career and all other aspects of his life as inspiration when writing, including using names of school friends, acquaintances, relatives and lovers throughout his books.
13. It was not until the penultimate novel, You Only Live Twice, that Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background.
14. The book was the first to be written after the release of Dr. No in cinemas and Sean Connery’s depiction of Bond affected Fleming’s interpretation of the character, to give Bond both a sense of humour and Scottish antecedents that were not present in the previous stories.
15. In a fictional obituary, purportedly published in The Times, Bond’s parents were given as Andrew Bond, from the village of Glencoe, Scotland, and Monique Delacroix, from the canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
16. Fleming did not provide Bond’s date of birth, but John Pearson’s fictional biography of Bond, James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, gives Bond a birth date on 11 November 1920, while a study by John Griswold puts the date at 11 November 1921.
17. The chain “Jaws” bit through in The Spy Who Loved Me was made of licorice.
18. All the actors who played James Bond in the past have been 6’1” to 6’2”, except Daniel Craig who is 5’10”.
19. Roger Moore had a “running body double” for all of his films as he was self-conscious about his awkward run.
20. Goldfinger was the first Bond film to feature Bond driving an Aston Martin.
21. Sean Connery wore a toupee in each of his Bond films.
22. Cary Grant was offered the role of James Bond—he declined saying he was too old for the role.
23. George Lazenby is generally regarded as the “least liked” 007.
24. Smirnoff paid to have their vodka (not gin) promoted in Dr. No.
25. Bond has bedded over four dozen women on screen; two-thirds of which have tried to kill him.
26. Roger Moore suffers from hoplophobia, or a fear of firearms (perhaps he should have considered a different day job).
27. One of the Bond girls was transsexual. Caroline Cossey was actually born as Barry Kenneth Cossey.
28. James Bond’s drink of choice—martini shaken not stirred—has approximately 130 calories, which on average is what men burn during one romp in the hay.
29. 007 has been shot at approximately 5,000 times during his career as an agent.
30. James Bond’s card game of choice is actually baccarat (not poker as many assume).
31. You Only Live Twice is the only James Bond movie where he does not drive a car.
32. Actors once up for the role of Bond: David Niven, Cary Grant, Patrick McGoohan, Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler, Sean Bean, and Will Smith.
33. Over 15 BMWs were destroyed in the making of Tomorrow Never Dies.
34. The cast of Skyfall went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition during weapons training.
35. The existence of MI6, the agency with which James Bond works for in the movies, wasn’t officially acknowledged by the British government until 1994.
36. Stuntman Bob Simmons is the figure who appears in the opening gun barrel sequence for the first three James Bond movies.
37. Bond was 38 years old when he became a 00 agent.
38. James Bond is a heavy smoker, once smoking 70 cigarettes a day. That equals 3.5 packs per day. The last time Bond smoked in a film was Die Another Day, in which he lit up a cigar. Daniel Craig has yet to smoke in a Bond film.
39. Bond was born in Germany to a Scottish father and Swiss mother (both killed in a mountain climbing accident that orphaned him at age 11).
40. Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, could only keep his metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time, and the chain that he bit through at the Pyramids in The Spy Who Loved Me was made of licorice.
41. Daniel Craig became the first actor to portray the role of Bond who is younger than the whole series.
42. Ursula Andress’s voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl due to her heavy accent. Van der Zyl dubbed many women’s voices from Dr. No in 1962 to Moonraker in 1979.
43. Daniel Craig was given 85 copies of Bond’s Tom Ford suit for the opening sequence of Skyfall. Skyfall’s cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition while undergoing weapons training.