Actresses (better) suited to the role of Christmas Jones?
Posted 08 August 2002 - 04:48 PM
Posted 08 August 2002 - 07:02 PM
The fault was down to Feirstein in my opinion. We all know how he came in and messed up a good script, hence the reason we arent seeing him back for Die Another Day. Its a real shame, because i would have loved to see Denise go down as one of the best Bond girls.
I think because of her "Golden Rasberry" winning performace (the awards given to all bad things in Holywood, previous winners include the Spice Girls), that is the reason they took on Halle Berry for the role of Jinx. That way, there is no chance of people critisising and comparing Die Another Day to The World is not Enough.
Posted 08 August 2002 - 08:40 PM
I imagine having your character changed into a nuclear physicist overnight could screw up any actresses preparation.
Apparently she was really professional, especially during the difficult water tank scenes at the end and did a lot of research with real atomic scientists (none of it being reflected in the script).
In short, I think I'm seconding Shocktroops motion that Richards got something of a raw deal.
Posted 08 August 2002 - 11:04 PM
Posted 09 August 2002 - 12:00 AM
Posted 09 August 2002 - 12:04 AM
Posted 09 August 2002 - 02:43 AM
I agree that Catherine Bell would have been a great choice. The actress from the TV series "La Femme Nikita" was another great choice, as would have been the actress who played SevenofNine on Star Trek Voyager.
Those are the ones that immediately spring to my mind.
Posted 09 August 2002 - 05:42 AM
Posted 09 August 2002 - 06:22 AM
Posted 19 August 2002 - 11:17 PM
Second, why was she even in the pipe line sequence anyway? Again, to give the character time to develop. But hasn't Bond defused bombs many times himself in other adventures? Plus why wouldn't MI6 have someone on staff (there seemed to be a lot at Elektra's HQ) who they would trust over Christmas (not that her skills were suspect)
Third, why was she involved in the caviar factory and Russian safehouse sequences? Wouldn't Bond do better in these situations without a civilian? Mainly, Christmas relates technical dialogue which is not only difficult for the actress to handle, but stupid sounding to the audience as well. It's not like Kara, who was essential to the story to track Koskov, or even Stacey Sutton, who's oil wells and experience as a geologist could help Bond interpret the facts. Poor Christmas is stuck in the rest of the film because of a contract.
Finally, she is given little to work with in the scenes themselves. The three things she expresses are: indecipherable techno babble, Gen X sass ("For those of us who don't speak spy"), and a few moments of tentative interest in Bond ("So what's the story with you and Elektra King?") The last romantic part seems the strongest to me because she's actually playing a character. The second generic Gen X angle seems out of place for an idealistic, supersmart, adventerous scientist that her character background would suggest.
Fortunately, Denise Richards is lovely, but I feel sorry for her that she got stuck with such a poorly written character. You never now, she may have turned in a great performance and then they chose all her bad takes. Let's hope they've learned from their mistakes.
Posted 20 August 2002 - 12:17 AM
DR was badly miscast. She was certainly old enough to play the role but she comes off years younger in both looks and manner. Compare and contrast her to the younger Rosamund Pike who projects a maturity and intelligence. Just as there was a yawning chasm beyween Carole Bouquet and Lynn Johnson in FYEO even though they were only separated by one year.
I sincerely doubt that Michael Apted, a renowned actress's director left all of DR's best tales on the cutting room floor. The sad thing is that performance on the screen was the best he could get from her. Yes the character was underwritten but other actresses have done much more with much less. The Danish Professor, The Cigar Girl, Dr Warmflash... all much more appealing and lively characters and most of that came from the actresses not the script. DR had no excuse to give less except a lack of talent. Her line readings were particulalry flat, her voice monotone and her expression vacant. It was her job to give more even if the script didn't give it.
I do give her kudos for being so game in the physical scenes, especially the submarine one. She also gets points for not screeching or whining her lines though the film like Gloria Hendry, Tanya Roberts or others. And her character unlike others as pointed out is not helpless and useless at the end. So I don't rank her as the worst of the Bond Girls, but then again she's not even in the middle. I do think she gets unfairly singled out more than other offenders in the lame actress sweepstakes though b/c the other acting around her is pretty top notch and she suffers in contrast.
Posted 20 August 2002 - 01:47 AM
Posted 20 August 2002 - 02:12 AM
Originally posted by Max Zorin007
denise looked the part but she couldnt act the part. I wouldnt have liked a bony little thing to play her and yes they needed her to be older........im thinking jenniffer aniston or angeina jolie.
Jolie would have been excellent, but Aniston? I don't see how that would work.
And I know what you mean about having a "bony little thing" play her. I'd much prefer a nice curvy Bond girl to a sickly thin Calista Flockhart Bond girl.
Posted 20 August 2002 - 03:01 AM
As for Calista Flockhart... does anyone but Harrison Ford actually find her appealing?
Posted 20 August 2002 - 03:51 AM
Posted 20 August 2002 - 04:29 AM
Posted 20 August 2002 - 03:34 PM
Posted 20 August 2002 - 05:10 PM
Posted 20 August 2002 - 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Roebuck
Story that I read was that Christmas was originally an insurance investigator for Lloyds but MGM wanted the part changed because it was too much like Thomas Crown Affair (in their opinion anyhow. Go figure).
Don't hold me to this, but I believe you're thinking of the original girl for Tomorrow Never Dies, who was Sidney Winch (the other girl being Paris Harmsway). Actually she was a salvager, and Bond was disguised as an agent from Lloyds of London.
But I'm probably getting mixed up.
Posted 20 August 2002 - 06:32 PM
Posted 22 August 2002 - 11:31 PM
Good comments. I do disagree with you though on some points. Admittedly, DR is not the best actress. But I still feel that anyone playing the role would suffer because of the poor motivation and dialogue of the character as written.
Although Apted is supposed to be a "renowned actress's director", I did not feel any of the women in TWINE were superior (again primarily because of the script), though I know lots of people liked Elektra. But I will concede that Elektra is not bad, and Warmflash is good in her scenes. But like all Bond films, it's the producers who call the final shots here, not the director, and I think they would definately sacrifice a good take by DR for a better one of Brosnan.
Also, you bring up an interesting point regarding the seeming age of these characters. DR's Christmas comes off as young, brash, and a little stupid. Elektra, in contrast, seems very much a woman in charge of her destiny. The only hint we have of Christmas' inner strength is the fact that she pursued a doctorate in Nuclear Physics and that she's "hiding" in South Central Asia disarming nuclear bombs. I don't know how old Sophie Marceau is, but DR is technically old enough to do what her character does (28 at the time). But as you point out, in FYEO, Carole Bouquet and Lynn-Holly Johnson were only one year apart but also seem years apart in character age. In both films the director seems to be contrasting the characters.
Unfortunately, perhaps Apted directed DR too far to contrast with Elektra: we all agree she does not come off well. After all, the actress brings herself and her talent to the table, but the director (or on Bond movies, the producers, also) have to mold her and guide her. Not having seen any other of DR's movies, but having seen the other performances in TWINE, I have to give DR the benefit of the doubt.
(Incidentally, have you ever heard the story of Jane Seymour's experience on LALD? Supposedly, she was delivering a highly intelligent portrayal of Solitaire, and the producers almost fired her until she sexed it up. She later joked "their idea of character was breathiness, a heaving chest, and eyeshadow")
Returning to the quality of the writing , the reason the cigar girl, Danish Professor, Warmflash, etc all work is that they are limited characters. They don't have to sustain a beleivable character over the 2 hours the way the main girls have to. So they may be no more or less talented than DR, but had a lot less to show their shortcomings.
I also still hold that Christmas was non-essential in most of the movie. But I also admired her spirit (helping Bond back with the missle tubes was her other best scene) as well as the actress's pluck. Believe me, I want all people associated with Bond to be great in the film and later in their careers. I just feel she had too much to overcome in terms of an ungrounded, misplaced, and underwritten character.
Posted 22 August 2002 - 11:47 PM
Originally posted by General Koskov
Don't hold me to this, but I believe you're thinking of the original girl for Tomorrow Never Dies,who was Sidney Winch .
If memory serves me General (which it rarely does these days) the info I posted was in Iain Johnstone's TWINE companion book.
Be interested in anything else you can tell me about Sidney Winch and her role in TND. I hadn't heard of her character before.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 12:15 AM
And unlike you, I think Marceau excelled as Elektra. I found her seductive, intelligent and riveting, everything DR as X-Mas Jones was not. Yes she had by far the better role but she's also by far the better actress even when performing outside her mother tongue.
As for DR sustaining an underwritten character for 2 hours (unlike Warmflash or Cigar Girl), well she was only in the second half of the film and had very few scenes with actual dialogue. Most of her scenes were action scenes and I don't think that was a coincidence. As you so correctly point out she shows a lot of pluck in the physical scenes and her character is not a hinderance or a whiner. But her dialogue though not sparkling isn't dreadful and it's not as if she was written to be a pathetic mess like Mary Goodnight or a Rosie Carver. I really think any half way competent actress could have done so much more with the role, and wouldn't have had 1/2 the audience laughing in derision everytime she opened her mouth. And it wasn't b/c she was camping it up as a sexpot, to her credit she tried to play the role straight, but because her line readings were beyond vapid.
I'd never read that story about Jane but it explains alot about her performance. Even so she manages to give a credible performance unlike DR, who is a lovely looking woman, by most accounts a nice person and a game gal, just not a good actress.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 12:27 AM
Sydney Winch is the first draft of TND, which is basically an entirely different film. As said she's in "salvage" and Bond is undercover as an Insurance Agent.
You can read the changes in the Bond scripts at www.007forever.com
Posted 23 August 2002 - 12:56 AM
So much for Iain Johnstone. :mad:
Glad I only picked his bloody book up on remainder.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 10:50 AM
Specifically a Robert Wade quote on page 32 of the TWINE companion.
You would hope for a little more accuracy from an official tie-in.
Thanks once again to General Koskov and MBE for putting me right on this.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 12:58 PM
Posted 25 August 2002 - 02:06 AM
As for my answer, Any actor would have been better.
Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:51 AM
Also, EON first met with Natasha Henstridge for this role. She would have been perfect but had just given birth to her son and couldn't take the role. Failing to land Henstridge, they then considered Richards, Geri Halliwell from the SPICE GIRLS, and Tiffani Amber Thiessen from 90210. So clearly EON was after a hot twenty something and popular celebrity for Dr. Jones. Frankly, if Henstridge couldn't do the role, then Richards was probably the best of the rest . I mean Dear Lord.... Can you imagine a Spice Girl or Kelly Kapowski alongside Bond ? They would've been even less credible.... So Denise is actually better suited for the role than you think, given who else EON was considering for it at the time. If Henstridge hadn't just become a mom, though, the role would've been hers... Still, Richards is okay if you view Christmas Jones as the smart aleck Gen X unlikely scientist hottie she really is...
Edited by LKane, 03 July 2014 - 10:53 AM.