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I have watched, with growing alarm, the Taylor Swift/Tom Hiddleston showmance. My concern is not for our American, PR savvy, southern songstress. The global attention is only pop gravy for her. My concern is for the man who would be Bond.
Mr. Hiddleston’s turn as “The Night Manager” was charming, sexy, compelling. But to these jaded eyes, unconvincing as a future Bond. Was he too lanky? Too needy? Did he pull one camera mug too many?
Loved him as Loki. His broad, Shakespearean theatrics. Mr. Hiddleston can’t help but run warm.
But James? He runs cold. Scottish cold.
I don’t remember the first Bond movie I ever saw. I do have a vivid memory of watching a panther-like Sean Connery sneaking down the hall of Dr. No’s submerged lair (or was it Thunderball?), creeping, step by step, in his tight cigarette pants and polo shirt. Slim, barefoot, tailored within an inch of his single flap pants.
And Bond girls? They had no chance. No choice.
Beauties all. Domino. Ursula. Pussy Galore. Fatima Blush.
Effortlessly manicured. Pedicured. Bikini waxed. Glossed and highlighted — all for James. Even Kim Basinger, with her California curls. Never Say Never. That an American could be a Bond Girl.
And I wanted to be all of them: The seductress, muse, foil. The temptress. I still do…
But more, I want Bond to be Bond. James Bond.
Modern Bond has taken a very modern turn: One Bond Girl for every 007. As if he has feelings. Or a conscience!
My Bond has neither. He has a mission. Which he sees to the end.
To give James feelings would be as silly as giving henchmen a backstory. Or villains a true love. Blofeld only got a cat.
James is our ego and our id.
He makes the choices we would if we had no controlling authority.
We cheer when he unilaterally assassinates the enemy.
And we secretly hope, as we watch this charming, handsome, authorized psychopath cut through every obstacle — that men, like him, are secretly working for us.
And that the enemy will die, yes, this day…