Ana de Armas is making waves on-screen and her most recent wave is her role as Paloma, the newest addition to the Bond girl roster in No Time to Die — the last installment of the Daniel Craig-era James Bond films. Starring alongside Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Lashana Lynch as Nomi (aka the new 007), and Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, de Armas’ Paloma is almost nothing like the 007 movies’ previous Bond girls, playfully reinventing the iconic character with a refreshingly non-misogynistic tone.
In the film, Paloma teams up with Bond on a mission in Havana, where the two banter with one another all while fighting the bad guys. Paloma brings a levity to her scenes with the former 007 — with her character claiming to have only three weeks of training prior to her mission, despite her expert combat skills. While the term “Bond girl” isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, her character sees a lot of fighting action wearing an outrageously low-cut gown.
The 33-year-old actress has made it clear her character is a modern update on the franchise’s retro trope. “I think this movie is ‘Bond women,’ not so much ‘Bond girls.’ They’re highly skilled, they’re powerful [and] they all show it in their own way. They’re equals to Bond,” de Armas told CNN.
If this character had been in another James Bond era, Paloma wouldn’t have been written to be competent, witty, or useful in any capacity — much less being the one to save 007 in the thick of a fight. No, Paloma would’ve been cast as someone Bond has to protect rather than someone who would be seen more as an equal.
Additionally, she would have either died in aid of James’ story or she would have ended up in bed with 007 — furthering the sexual allure agenda of the famous secret agent. Rather than fall into the obvious fate, Paloma handles herself independently and earns Bond’s respect. Paloma’s fleeting and light attitude is also serving as a shroud over (what many women would see as obvious) intelligence and the calculating mind of a spy who knows how to use the way men see her to her advantage.
Here’s to hoping to see more of Paloma in future 007 films. Even if we don’t see Ana de Armas reprise her role in the new era of Bond films, it’s nice to know that we’re seeing formidable change in this franchise.
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Photos via Universal/Nicola Dove