GoldenEye - About the Cast

Last Update: 30 October 2000
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PIERCE BROSNAN stars as the legendary Commander James Bond, Agent 007 of the British Secret Service.

An internationally popular actor, Brosnan received his training on the London stage. He first soared to prominence on television and went on to earn widespread praise for his feature film work. Recently, he proved a perfect foil for Robin Williams in the hit comedy Mrs. Doubtfire and then co-starred with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening in Love Affair. He previously won critical acclaim for his performance in Bruce Beresford's compelling drama Mr. Johnson, and kept audiences on the edge of their seats in the international hit sci-fi thriller The Lawnmower Man. Among his additional film credits are The Fourth Protocol, Nomads, The Deceivers and The Long Good Friday.

Brosnan was catapulted to stardom in the mid-1980s in the title role of the hit NBC series Remington Steele. The series gained a loyal following for its perfect blend of crime-solving adventures with light romantic comedy, and Brosnan delighted viewers with his consummate portrayal of the pseudo-detective. He has also starred on television in such top-rated mini-series as Around the World in Eighty Days, Noble House and The Manions of America. In addition, he earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the 13-part BBC series Nancy Astor.

Born in County Meath, Ireland, Brosnan moved to London at the age of 11. He studied at the Drama Centre and, upon graduating from school, became an assistant stage manager at the York Theatre Royal. Six months later, the legendary playwright Tennessee Williams selected him to create the role of McCabe in the British premiere of Red Devil Battery Sign. The young actor went on to star in such prestigious London stage productions as Zeffirelli's Filumena, and Wait Until Dark at the York.

In 1980, he won the lead role of Irish rebel Rory O'Manion in the American mini-series The Manions of America. His strong performance won the attention of critics and audiences, which ultimately led to his casting in the long-running series Remington Steele.

While starring on that show, Brosnan showcased a perfectly-timed wit and rakish sophistication that made him the overwhelming favorite to take over the role of James Bond. Though contractual obligations prevented him from taking the part at the time, a decade later there was nothing to stand between him and GoldenEye.

In recent years, Brosnan has become an effective and articulate advocate for the health concerns of women. He serves as the Ambassador for Women's Health Issues for the Permanent Charities Committee of the Entertainment Industries, and, in that capacity, addressed key members of the U.S. Congress about the plague of ovarian cancer, which claimed his wife Cassandra.

 

SEAN BEAN is Alec Trevelyan, Bond's former compatriot Agent 006, who presents his old friend with a stunning revelation.

Bean was previously best known to American audiences for his starring role as an Irish terrorist obsessed with revenge against Harrison Ford in Patriot Games. He also starred with Richard Harris in the critically acclaimed drama The Field, and as Farmer Grey in the latest film adaptation of Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty.

Most recently, he starred in When Saturday Comes, for which he revelled in the chance to play soccer alongside his idols of his hometown team, Sheffield United. His other film credits include Caravaggio, Lorna Doone, Stormy Monday and Windprints.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, Bean was accepted to the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he won the silver medal for his graduation performance in Waiting For Godot. He made his professional debut as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and then starred as Romeo in the Royal Shakespeare Company's presentation of the same. His stage repertoire also includes productions of Fair Maid of the West, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Deathwatch, and Last Days of Mankind for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Glasgow Citizens Theatre.

On television, Bean garnered enormous attention for his performance as gamekeeper Mellors in Ken Russell's controversial four-part adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover, and as Lovelace in the BBC's Clarissa. Presently, he is earning praise for his portrayal of Lieutenant Sharpe in Sharpe, a series of two hour films for television. He has also been seen in such projects as A Woman's Guide to Adultery, Fool's Gold, Inspector Morse, Prince, Tell Me That You Love Me, Troubles, My Kingdom For a Horse and War Requiem.

 

IZABELLA SCORUPCO stars as Natalya Simonova, the beautiful systems programmer who survives the first explosive demonstration of GoldenEye's power and becomes Bond's courageous ally.

Though a new face to American film audiences, Scorupco has enjoyed success overseas as an actress, singer and model. Born in the northern Polish village of Bialystok, she moved to Sweden with her mother as a young child. She studied drama and music and, at 17, was discovered by a Swedish film director who cast her in the movie No One Can Love Like Us, which made her a local teenage idol.

She then became a successful model in Sweden and throughout Europe, where she made good use of her fluency in four languages. In 1989, Scorupco displayed another facet of her talents, launching her career as a pop singer with her first single, Substitute. The single and subsequent album, IZA, both went gold, and she followed with another hit single, Shame, Shame, which she recorded in 1991.

Returning to acting in 1994, she immediately won the lead role in the Swedish film Petri Tears. Scorupco stars as a woman who lives her life as a man in the medieval drama, which was released in August 1995.

 

FAMKE JANSSEN stars as the lasciviously lethal assassin Xenia Onatopp, whose idea of safe sex is crushing and deadly, and who proves to be a formidable--albeit alluring--adversary for James Bond.

Janssen recently starred opposite Scott Bakula in Clive Barker's supernatural thriller Lord Of Illusions, which marked her first starring role in a major motion picture.

Born in Holland, Janssen moved to the United States where she has made her home for the last eleven years. Initially settling in New York, she majored in writing and literature at Columbia University and studied stagecraft with Harold Guskin. She then went to Los Angeles, where she continued her acting training under the tutelage of Roy London.

Janssen soon landed guest roles on such successful television series as The Untouchables, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which she had a memorable turn as Captain Picard's love interest. She made her feature film debut in Fathers and Sons, starring Jeff Goldblum.

 

JOE DON BAKER plays Bond's cynical CIA contact Jack Wade, whose unprepossessing appearance and obsession with gardening belies a seasoned professionalism.

Baker first gained international fame as the quintessential tough guy in the action blockbuster Walking Tall. However, in the over two decades since, he has showcased his versatility in a wide range of film and television projects.

This past summer, he starred in the hit action-adventure Congo, and he includes among his other recent film credits the offbeat comedy Reality Bites, the urban drama Panther, Martin Scorsese's thriller Cape Fear and the Eddie Murphy comedy The Distinguished Gentleman. He will next be seen in The Grass Harp, in which he stars with Walter Matthau.

Baker played an international arms dealer in The Living Daylights, giving him the distinction of playing two decidedly different roles in two separate Bond movies. His other notable film credits include Fletch, The Natural, The Killing Time and Criminal Law, which was helmed by GoldenEye director Martin Campbell. He made his feature film debut in the classic drama Cool Hand Luke.

On the small screen, he received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a CIA agent in the award-winning BBC series Edge of Darkness, also directed by Martin Campbell. He has also been seen in such longform projects as HBO's Citizen Cohn, Complex of Fear, Traps and The Kari Swenson Story, as well as the series Eischeid.

 

JUDI DENCH becomes the first woman to star as Bond's boss, the head of British Intelligence, known only as M.

One of Britain's most esteemed actresses, she received the Order of the British Empire in 1970 for services to the theatre, and subsequently became a Dame of the British Empire in 1988. She has also been honored with numerous other awards in a distinguished career spanning four decades and encompassing stage, screen and television.

She won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in A Room With a View and another in the same category for A Handful of Dust. Her other recent feature film credits include Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, Jack and Sarah, 84 Charing Cross Road and Wetherby.

Dame Judi has been a favorite of British theatre audiences since her first appearances at the Old Vic nearly forty years ago in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet, First Fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Maria in Twelfth Night. Over the last 10 years alone, she has starred in such plays as the National Theatre productions of A Little Night Music, Absolute Hell, The Seagull, The Sea, Hamlet, Entertaining Strangers and Anthony and Cleopatra, for which she won the Olivier, Drama Magazine and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress; Mother Courage, Waste and The Gifts of the Gorgon with the Royal Shakespeare Company; and The Plough and the Stars at the Young Vic; as well as presentations of The Cherry Orchard and Coriolanus. In addition, she directed productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Look Back in Anger, Macbeth and Boys From Syracuse.

She has also worked extensively on British television, including a starring role in the series A Fine Romance, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Dench earned an ACE Award for Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill, and includes among her other credits The Browning Version, Ghosts, Make and Break, Behaving Badly, Can You Hear Me Thinking?, The Torch, Absolute Hell and As Time Goes By.

 

ROBBIE COLTRANE portrays the erstwhile KGB controller Valentin Zukovsky, who has found his way in the post-Soviet world as a ruthless Russian arms dealer.

Though he first came to fame as one of Britain's most noted comic actors, Coltrane has also proven his range in more dramatic roles. His films credits include: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Oh What a Night; The Pope Must Die; Perfectly Normal; Nuns on the Run; Henry V; Bert Rigby, You're a Fool; Mona Lisa; Caravaggio; Absolute Beginners; Krull; Defence of the Realm and Britannia Hospital.

Currently, Coltrane is starring as a criminal psychologist named Fitz in the hugely successful Granada Television series Cracker. His portrayal has brought him numerous Best Actor honors, including two consecutive BAFTA Awards, a Cable ACE Award, a Royal TV Society Award, and a Broadcasting Press Guild Award.

Earlier in his career, he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his work in John Byrne's drama Tutti Frutti, for BBC Scotland. In addition, he appeared in several successful Comic Strip television films, one of which he also directed, and was seen in the 1984 Comic Strip feature film The Supergrass.

Coltrane was born in Glasgow, Scotland and trained at the Glasgow School of Art, earning a diploma in painting and film. At the start of his career, he produced and directed a 50-minute documentary entitled Young Mental Health, which won the 1973 Scottish Education Council Film of the Year Award.

During the mid-1970s, he worked with the San Quentin Theatre Group, the Bush Theatre and the Traverse Theatre Company, appearing at the last in the original production of John Byrne's The Slab Boys. His more recent theatre credits include the one-man shows: Your Obedient Servant, at the Lyric Hammersmith; and Mistero Buffo, in which he toured Scotland.

 

GOTTFRIED JOHN plays the ruthless Russian General Ourumov, whose response to the new world order is to become a founding member of the mysterious Janus Syndicate.

One of Germany's most respected actors, John has worked with some of his country's most noted filmmakers, including the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder who directed him in such films as The Marriage of Maria Braun, Despair, In a Year of 13 Months and Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven. His English-speaking film credits include Billy Wilder's Fedora, Chris Petit's Chinese Boxes and Joseph Sargent's Of Pure Blood. He will next be seen in The Ogre, a new film by Volker Schlondorff who won an Oscar for The Tin Drum.

He has also had leading roles in numerous German television productions, including Fassbinder's Acht Stunden Sind Kein Tag. In addition, he has been seen in several British television dramas, including The Night of the Fox, Death Has a Bad Reputation, Wings of Fame, Game, Set and Match and Blue Blood.

Classically trained at Berlin's Dramatic Art School, John went on to become one of Germany's most celebrated stage performers. He has earned acclaim for his work in such plays as Macbeth, Richard III, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tschechow's Wanja, Peter Weiss' Marat and Terson's Zicke Zacke.

 

ALAN CUMMING plays computer wizard Boris Grishenko, Natalya's co-worker and friend, who is the only other survivor when their work installation is obliterated by GoldenEye.

Cumming has had a multi-faceted career, encompassing stage work, feature film roles, stand-up comedy, and writing for television and movies. He most recently wrote and directed the award-winning short film Butter.

On the screen, he played the smarmy Sean Walsh in Pat O'Connor's Circle of Friends, and was heard as the voice of the horse in Black Beauty. He was also named Best Actor at the Atlantic Film Festival for his work in Prague, and was seen in Second Best, with William Hurt. He just completed work on a starring role in the upcoming film Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Born in Perthshire, Scotland, Cumming studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, but took time off to make his feature film debut in Gillies McKinnon's first movie, Passing Glory. He later made his London stage debut in the West End production of The Conquest of the South Pole, which brought him an Olivier Award nomination for Most Promising Newcomer.

Cumming went on to win an Olivier Award for his work in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and was nominated again for his performance in La Bete at the Lyric Hammersmith. More recently, he received strong critical acclaim for his performance as Hamlet, which brought him the TMA Best Actor Award and a Shakespeare Globe nomination.

He then made his West End musical debut, playing the role of the Emcee in Sam Mendes' smash hit revival of Cabaret, which earned him another Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

His acting credits also include the television movies Bernard and Genie, for which he won the British Comedy Award for Top Television Newcomer, The Last Romantics and Mickey Love.

 

DESMOND LLEWELYN once again reprises his inimitable portrayal of the long-suffering Q, the man responsible for Bond's ultra-state-of-the-art gadgetry.

Llewelyn, a staple of the Bond films, was first introduced as Q, then known as Boothroyd, in From Russia With Love in 1963. He is the only actor to have been in all but two of the action blockbusters (Dr. No and Live and Let Die). Over the years, his scenes with Agent 007 have lent the series some of its favorite comic moments, while his character's ingenious creations have become the stuff of movie legend.

The Welsh-born actor made his movie debut back in 1939, playing a ghost in the Will Hay comedy Ask a Policeman. Though he has made numerous stage, screen and television appearances since then, he is, of course, most recognized for his work in the Bond films.

Unlike his screen persona, however, Llewelyn admits to being somewhat helpless with gadgets himself, which has come as a surprise to fans who have caught him struggling with the devices of modern technology.

 

SAMANTHA BOND is the aptly-named actress who takes over the role of M's able assistant Miss Moneypenny.

A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Bond recently appeared in their presentations of A Winter's Tale and As You Like It. She was also seen in the National Theatre production of The Cid, Kenneth Branagh's Romeo and Juliet, and the West End productions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Much Ado About Nothing (directed by Judi Dench) and Man of the Moment. Her earlier theatre work includes repertory seasons at Coventry, Edinburgh, Derby and Bristol, and a role in Never In My Life at the Soho Poly. She is currently starring with Maggie Smith in Three Tall Women in the West End.

On television, she has appeared in Blood and Fire, In Suspicious Circumstances, Return to Blood River, Inspector Morse, Thacker, Black Candle, Madly in Love, Rumpole of the Bailey and Tears Before Bedtime. She has also performed in radio dramas, including Romeo and Juliet, with Kenneth Branagh, Against the Wind, As You Like It and two Barbara Pym serials.

GoldenEye marks her second feature film after Eric the Viking, directed by Terry Jones. 

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