“Skyfall,” the newest James Bond adventure, likely struck a chord with its massive weekend audiences for all of the ways it was a traditional 007 movie, but also because it broke the mold. The film delved into Bond’s childhood like never before, showed him at his physical weakest, and didn’t necessarily end with a victory for the secret agent.
But one major difference between “Skyfall” and the rest of the series may seem simple but it tops all others. There were actual surprises in the film. While this isn’t to say the 22 other Bond film lacked any twists, the ones in “Skyfall” brought lasting series changes with them.
We’re talking, of course, about the death of Dame Judi Dench’s M and the reveal of Eve’s last name to be “Moneypenny.” Both twists come toward the end of “Skyfall” and, in theory, set up the landscape of MI6 and the eventual “Bond 24.” MTV News spoke with both Dench and Naomie Harris about the twists and their initial reactions to finding out what lay ahead for their characters.
Harris initially auditioned for Eve without knowing her last name or the implications it would have, but she found out when she got the part.
“I knew as soon as they offered me the role. That was one of my ’Oh my gosh’ moments, when I was like, ’It gets even better,’ because in the beginning, it was sold to me as just a Bond woman role,” Harris said. “I didn’t realize that the role could potentially go onto other movies, and then I discovered that. I was like, ’Wow, that’s amazing.’ ”
In post-“Avengers” Hollywood, a question for any major character in a tentpole franchise is “How many movies did you sign up for?” While Harris was willing to dish on her character’s true identity, she wasn’t quite ready to discuss the future. “I don’t think we can talk about contracts,” she said.
The news of M’s death came with a bit of good news for Dench. Producer Barbara Broccoli and director Sam Mendes informed her of M’s fate, but had a positive caveat. “We met, and they said that’s what’s going to happen. They said there’s a cracking bit beforehand, so perhaps you won’t mind so much,” Dench said. “I had a good go.”
“Skyfall” marked Dench’s seventh appearance in the series, on par with the longest-running Bond, Roger Moore. After playing the first female M for nearly two decades, leaving the character behind was bitter-sweet. “It was sad. It was very sad, but quite right in the end, right that that should have happened really. I think she got her comeuppance. You knew why,” Dench said. “I hope it’s clear about the reason for it all. Exciting to do. ”
As such a long-lasting fixture of the series, Dench said she will look back on her time serving Her Majesty’s secret service fondly. “With enormous affection. I loved doing it, and I’ve loved playing it,” Dench said. “I loved people’s surprise that I was playing it. I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. It was very nice to have an eight to 15 [year-old] fanbase of young men, my grandson amongst them.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Skyfall.”