While the James Bond franchise has given the world one of its most iconic characters, it’s also delivered a slew of beautiful femme fatales and sexy super spies that add up to a pop culture institution we call the Bond Girl.But after 23 films filled with lovely ladies, what makes the ideal Bond Girl?
Zimbio ran the numbers, sampling more than 40 Bond Girls (at least one from every film), and this is what they found.
Blonde, brown, red, black -- James Bond may not discriminate when it comes to the hair colour of the women in his life, but he certainly has a type. Nearly half of all Bond Girls are brunette. Daniel Craig must be especially fond of the brown-haired bombshells -- four of the five major Bond Girls during Craig's stint as 007 are brunettes -- and since he's attached to the next two Bond films, expect the trend to continue.
Candidates Who Fit the Bill: Natalie Portman, Kate Beckinsale, Olivia Wilde, Marion Cotillard, Rachel Weisz
In the history of the Bond franchise, no Bond Girl has ever been taller than her 007 counterpart. Even Daniel Craig, the shortest Bond of the bunch at 5'10'', is taller than all of his female co-stars (although, it was close with Olga Kurylenko who is only an inch shorter than Craig). If we call the average Bond Girl height the ideal, it's 5-feet, 7-inches. Skyfall's ladies juuuust missed it.
Candidates Who Fit the Bill: Keira Knightley, Katie Cassidy, Zoe Saldana, Victoria Justice, Troian Bellisario
As an international man of mystery, James Bond meets ladies from all over the world, and the history of Bond Girls reflects that. Poland, China, Russia, Jamaica, Sweden, Italy, the Philippines, and, of course, 007's homeland, England, are all represented. But by a narrow margin, the most common country of origin for the Bond Girls is the USA. The next most common countries of origin are France and England, which means as a region, Western Europe is more popular than the States.
Candidates Who Fit the Bill: Any hot American actress
Beyond beauty, mystery, sex appeal, and toughness, Bond Girls are known for their names. The early Bond films were famous for giving their characters overtly sexual (sometimes mildly racist) names, like Plenty O'Toole (Diamonds are Forever), Holly Goodhead (Moonraker), Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice), and Pussy Galore of Goldfinger.
In the later years, the Bond franchise shied away from such obvious puns and sexual innuendo, but kept with silly names like Christmas Jones (The World Is Not Enough), Strawberry Fields (Quantum of Solace), May Day (View to a Kill), and the absurdly long Peaceful Fountains of Desire (Die Another Day). In all, nearly a third of the Bond Girls had what you'd consider a silly name. While 32 per cent isn't a majority, it does mean one in every three Bond Girls gets tagged with something tongue-in-cheek. Since neither of Skyfall's leading ladies has a ridiculous moniker, that means we can expect one in the next Bond film.
Given the exploitative nature of the early Bond films and the inherent sexism of referring to grown women as 'girls,' the common assumption might be that Bond Girls are all in their early twenties. Actually, the average age of a Bond Girl is 29. The last Bond Girl hit that average on the nose was Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko.
Bond Girls by age:
Oldest: 39 honour Blackman Goldfinger
Average: 29 -- Olga Kurylenko Quantum of Solace
Youngest: 21 -- Daniela Bianchi From Russia with Love
Candidates Who Fit the Bill: Mila Kunis, Emily Blunt, Kate Bosworth, Melanie Laurent
When Berenice Marhloe and Naomi Harris were announced as the new Bond Girls for Skyfall, the average response was, 'Who?' Marhloe and Harris aren't household names by any stretch of the imagination, especially in the States, but that's the trend for the Bond franchise. From models to bit players from foreign films, the Bond franchise has a reputation for plucking its actresses from relative obscurity. Only 30 per cent of Bond Girls were famous before appearing in a 007 film. Based on history, the Bond franchise is more interested in breaking news actresses more than it is in resting on big names.
Candidates Who Fit the Bill: Felicity Jones, Yuliya Snigir, Viva Bianca, Miranda Kerr
Narrowing down the data from 50 years worth of Bond Girls, the ideal actress is:
- 29 years old
- Not a household name
- Not averse to playing a character with a silly name
So given the criteria and all the names we've mentioned as potential candidates for the next Bond Girl, who's the best pick? We're going with Olivia Wilde. Admittedly, at this point in her career, she's pretty famous (not like Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie famous, but definitely more famous than Berenice Marhloe). But she's 5'7'', turns 29 in March, is a brunette, and was born in the States. Plus, as a special bonus, her real name is Olivia Cockburn, so clearly she's prepared for the funny, pun-y name. She's our pick, but who's yours?
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.