What Would Bond Do?
Wednesday May 24th 2017

Eva Green “Is” Vesper in Casino Royale

Vesper Lynd: [introducing herself to Bond] I’m the money.
James Bond: Every penny of it

In the novel, the character explains that she was born on a “dark and stormy” night, and her parents named her “Vesper” after the Latin word meaning evening to commemorate the night. Fleming created a cocktail recipe in the novel that Bond names after her. The “Vesper martini” became very popular after the novel’s publication, and gave rise to the famous “shaken, not stirred” catchphrase immortalised in the Bond films. The actual name for the drink (as well as its complete recipe) is uttered on screen for the first time in the 2006 adaptation of Casino Royale.

Eva Green was cast at the last minute in the role of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). Green was approached in mid-2005 but turned it down. Principal photography was already underway, and director Martin Campbell noted casting the role was difficult because “we didn’t have the final script and a Bond girl always had the connotation of tits ‘n’ ass.” Campbell saw Green’s performance in the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and Green was approached again. She read the script, and found the character of Vesper far deeper than most Bond girls. Green’s performance was well received: Entertainment Weekly called her the fourth best Bond girl of all time; IGN named her the best femme fatale, stating “This is the girl that broke — and therefore made — James Bond”; and she won a BAFTA and an Empire award for her performance. Both were voted for by the British public.

Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: No, don’t worry, you’re not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.

In the 2006 film version of Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd is a foreign liaison agent from the HM Treasury’s Financial Action Task Force assigned to make sure that Bond adequately manages the funds provided by MI6. However, she is secretly a double agent working for the terrorist organization Quantum. She is coerced into this role by a threat to her boyfriend Yusef’s life. The necklace she wears depicts an “Algerian love knot.”

Green was raised in France, to a French Algerian mother and Scandinavian father where she attended and graduated from the American School of Paris, an English-speaking institution. Green stated that in drama school, “I always picked the really evil roles. It’s a great way to deal with your everyday emotions.”

Side note…Vesper Lynd, in the 1966 version of Casino Royale, was portrayed by Ursula Andress, who portrayed another Bond girl, Honey Ryder, in the 1962 film version of Dr. No.

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