We don't need a female James Bond – Women's stories are just as valid in floaty florals as masculine tuxedos
Hollywood actress Rachel Weisz has spoken out this week saying she does not believe James Bond need ever be played by a woman. I didn't realise it before – but I agree.
There is always heightened speculation around who will play the next James Bond. By design it is ever changeable and the choice, arguably, reflects what is a la mode at the time. Therefore at this cultural crossroads in our history - which appears to have come about through a mixture of ultra political correctness combined with naturally freer attitudes to stereotypes - the next actor, or actress, to play Bond could be especially interesting. There has been speculation over whether the role will be given to a white man as appears to be tradition or whether a black actor or even a woman could fill Bond's shoes.
One actress who won't be putting herself forward for Bond casting is Rachel Weisz, who happens to be married to current James Bond actor Daniel Craig. Speaking to The Telegraph, she said she believes Bond should never be played by a woman. She elaborated that author Ian Fleming had created a character who was particularly male and related to women in a particular way.
She continued that she thinks women should get their own legacy characters. “Why not create your own story rather than jumping onto the shoulders, and being compared to, all those other male predecessors. Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories.”
A woman playing the next James Bond feels like a hard fought victory doesn't it. For decades we have seen this role played by a man with a subordinate female relegated to Bond girl. The dynamic between the male and female roles has changed marginally in recent films with women sharing far more of the cut and thrust of the action and yet they are always ultimately the damsel in distress.
To see these tables turned would appear to go some way to amending this imbalance – but I find I agree with Rachel Weisz. Fleming created James Bond at a particular time in our history and as she points out, the type of man he is and the way he interacts with women is absolutely crucial to that part. The role would have to be so heavily amended to enable a woman to play it, far better surely that a new tough, independent, capable female character was given a brand new franchise all of her own.
Equally, if we are talking about creating 'legacy characters' for women, there is no reason these roles can't celebrate the softer, more feminine complexity of what it means to be female. Women shouldn't feel the need to have to take on men's roles to somehow justify their place in the world - they have so much to offer in their own right.
True gender equality will come about when actresses don't have to don a tuxedo and emasculate themselves in order to grab the top billing. Instead they will be wearing the most ultra feminine of dresses like this shoulder frill number from & Other Stories.