Men want to be him (or kill him), women want to sleep with him (or kill him) – it's none other than the international secret agent himself, James Bond.
If somehow you've missed the news, there's a brand-spanking new James Bond film out today, Spectre, and we think it's rather good. So with that in mind, you can proceed to impress fellow cinema-goers with theses little-known facts about 007.
1. Bond has killed 352 people and slept with over 52 women
Someone (with far more time on their hands than us) has calculated that 007 killed 352 people, and bedded 52 women in 22 films (from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace). Obviously, the number has now risen thanks to Skyfall and Spectre. [Image Credit: Movie Hodge Podge]
2. James Bond’s name is taken from an ornithologist
Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator, chose the name “James Bond” because he wanted it to be “as mundane as possible”. He had an ornithology (bird) book in his house written by Dr. James Bond, and that’s where he stole the name from. [Image Credit: Virgin Media]
3. Liam Neeson turned down the role of Bond
Neeson was reportedly offered the role of James Bond in the 1995 film GoldenEye. He apparently turned the role down because he wasn’t interested in action films. Of course, 2008 saw him show Bond-esque skills in Taken, and more so in Taken's subsequent sequels and clones.
Other actors once up for the role of Bond: David Niven, Cary Grant, Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler, Sean Bean, and Will Smith. [Image Credit: TeacherLuke]
4. Roger Moore is scared of guns and never ran in his films
Roger Moore suffered from hoplophobia, the fear of guns. His brother shot him in the leg with an air rifle when he was young, causing the apparent fear.
He also felt that he looked awkward while running in scenes as the suave spy, so a stunt double was used for those sections. [Image Credit: Daily Mail]
5. The most famous Bond Girl, Ursula Andress, never spoke a word on film
Ursula Andress’s voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl due to Andress’s heavy Swiss accent.
That’s not an unusual thing to happen in Hollywood, with a similar setup for German actor Gert Frobe who played Goldfinger. Frobe’s CV claimed he could speak good English, but it was limited to two phrases. Well, we’ve all lied on our CV, haven’t we? [Image Credit: HighDefDigest]
6. From Russia With Love was the last film JFK ever saw
US President John F. Kennedy listed From Russia, With Love as one of his favourite novels of all time. Sales boomed in the US, while it is said that the film was made due to the President’s influence. He watched the film just one day before his fatal trip to Texas in 1963. [Image Credit: Wikimedia]
7. Goldfinger was the first ever film to feature a laser beam
The table was being cut by a bloke with a blowtorch underneath the table, who didn’t really know where Sean Connery… began. The beads of sweat were real in that scene. [Image Credit: Film Buff Online]
8. A stuntman was paid a $450 bonus to jump into Largo’s shark infested pool in Thunderball
I’d have done it for half that.
[Image Credit: Film Chronicles]
9. Ian Fleming wrote the Bond novels on a gold-plated Royal typewriter
[Image Credit: Literary007]
10. Ian Fleming was a spy... who drank martinis shaken not stirred, and enjoyed the company of women
There certainly are more than a few things in common between the writer and the character. Fleming was recruited for naval intelligence, becoming a personal assistant to Admiral John Godfrey, who is thought to have been the inspiration behind M.
Fleming was part of a group called the ‘Baker Street Irregulars’, which consisted of famous names such as Roald Dahl, Noel Coward, and Leslie Howard. They were picked for their ability to seduce and charm, apparently. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]
11. Only three Bond films have won Oscars
These include Skyfall (for sound editing and original song), Goldfinger (for sound effects) and Thunderball (for visual effects).
Sam Smith’s Writing on the Wall is the only Bond Song to ever reach number one in the charts. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]
12. Barry Nelson was the first actor to play Bond
Although not considered ‘canon’, Barry Nelson starred as Bond in the television-adventure Casino Royale, from 1954. [Image Credit: The Suits of James Bond]
13. The For Your Eyes Only poster features two women and backwards pants
Three models claimed the thighs in the famous For Your Eyes Only poster. It would appear that the legs belong to Joyce Bartle, and the arm is that of Jane Sumner.
The pants were made extra skimpy by getting the model to wear her bikini the wrong way around. [Image Credit: Flickering Myth]
14. Bob Marley bought Ian Fleming's Jamaican home
Ian Fleming fell in love with Jamaica. So much so that he bought a house, and called it GoldenEye.
The property was then sold to a certain Robert Nesta Marley after Fleming's death. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]
15. The James Bond theme almost ended up in a musical called A House for Mr. Biswas
Composer Monty Norman originally wrote the famous Bond theme for a musical named A House for Mr. Biswas. It didn’t make the play, so Norman used it for Dr. No instead, adding electric guitar to make it sound more modern. The final, orchestral arrangement was done by John Barry, who was paid £200. [Image Credit: YouTube]
16. You can’t actually die from being painted gold
Tilly Masterson dying of suffocation after being painted gold is an infamous scene in Goldfinger. But is could never happen, according to the Mythbusters.
Still, the film-makers didn’t take any risks, so Shirley Eaton’s stomach was left bare during filming. [Image Credit: Messyness Chic]
17. More actors have played Blofeld than Bond
Seven actors have played Bond, but ten have played Ernst Stavro Blofeld (including voice actors). [Image Credit: Succeed in Evil]
18. Moonraker happened because of Star Wars
Originally, For Your Eyes Only was going to follow The Spy Who Loved Me, but then Star Wars happened, and all of a sudden everyone was interested in space.
Film-makers quickly changed plans and made Moonraker, consulting with NASA to create a believable adventure. [Image Credit: Blastr]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.