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SPOILER ALERT: If you go beyond this point, you'll be reading about a major reveal in "Skyfall." Proceed with caution.
The last time we saw Miss Moneypenny in a James Bond film was 2002's "Die Another Day," during Pierce Brosnan's reign as 007. As one of the most legendary secretaries in movie history, she seemed to be the only female on the planet who could withstand Mr. Bond's advances. But what if we told you that, before the interoffice sexual tension, Moneypenny shot James Bond?
That's how we are introduced to the latest incarnation of Miss Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris ("28 Days Later"), at the action-packed opening of "Skyfall." Well, as we're sure you could tell from the movie's trailers, she missed. Thankfully, Bond doesn't hold a grudge. In fact, she makes it up to him by giving him a very seductive shave at their next assignment. And, with that, we witness the rebirth of an iconic character in the franchise (and, from the looks of it, this Moneypenny doesn't seem like the pencil pushing type).
The Moneypenny character in the Bond lineage goes as far back as the first draft of 007 creator Ian Fleming's book "Casino Royale." Inspired by the personal assistant of the real MI6 director in the 1940s and a woman Fleming dated during World War II, she is the private secretary of M, the head of MI6 in the Bond series.
Actress Lois Maxwell was the original Moneypenny, playing her from the first film, "Dr. No" (1962), to "A View To A Kill" (1985). That's 14 films! And, for all of them, there was certain to be a scene of Bond strolling into M's office and sharing a few double entendres with Miss Moneypenny. There have been four other Moneypennys between Maxwell and Harris, but none of them had the memorable sexually-charged one-liners that Maxwell delivered to then Bonds Sean Connery and later Roger Moore (oh yes, and forgotten Bond George Lazenby, too).
In "Skyfall" the character goes by her first name, Eve, until the big reveal of her surname at the end. Harris plays the character with feisty intensity (who knew Moneypenny could handle a gun?) and a strong sex appeal. In other words, we can't wait to see more of her in the 24th Bond film.
Harris is no stranger to a blockbuster franchise. After gaining attention in "28 Days Later," the Brit was unrecognizable as the black magic witch in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels. Now, as Miss Moneypenny, her stock is certain to skyrocket.
Though Harris has had to be mum about playing the iconic character in her interviews for the movie, we're hoping she'll be a bit more chatty about it after Friday.