We’re just a handful of weeks away from the release of No Time to Die, the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, and the hype train is in full effect. And thanks to a recent Vanity Fair profile on actress Ana de Armas, we have one more reason to be excited for the 25th Bond film. The director, Cary Fukunaga, brought de Armas onto the film as soon as he was hired to helm the project, and created a role specifically for her.
If you’ve seen Knives Out (for which de Armas received a Golden Globe nomination), you totally understand why a director would go out of their way to make sure she was in their project. But women in Bond films have historically not been particularly well-treated, generally required to sleep with the womanizing spy, try to kill him, or both. So de Armas was initially hesitant to accept the role. “Obviously I was jumping all over the place and very excited,” she said. “But I needed to be sure it wouldn’t jeopardize all the work I’d been putting in, that it wouldn’t ruin everything. And the Bond women have always been, for me at least, unrelatable.”
Like any big franchise film, details about the plot are being kept under wraps, so we don’t know too much about de Armas’ character Paloma. According to producer Barbara Broccoli, Paloma is a fairly green CIA agent who “really packs a punch.” So it’s possible she’s working with Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), Bond’s longtime CIA friend.
Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought on to do a pass on the script, and de Armas credits her with making sure her character actually had some depth. “You could also tell that Phoebe was in there. There was that humor and spikiness so specific to her. My character feels like a real woman. But you know, we can evolve and grow and incorporate reality, but Bond is a fantasy. In the end, you can’t take things out of where they live.”
No Time to Die is shaping up to be an impressive entry in the series, which is fitting considering it will likely be Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond. The film hits theaters April 10th. In the meantime, listen to the film’s theme song, written and performed by Grammy-winner Billie Eilish.