Will he or won’t he, and does Miss Moneypenny know? This question has inevitably faced members of the 007 support team, as intense speculation has regularly occurred in the British and global media over whether Daniel Craig will be Bond in movie no. 25.
Naomie Harris, who played Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall and reprised the role in Spectre, was quizzed about this again while giving a tie-in interview for her ground-breaking new film Moonlight, a powerful movie in which she plays a drug-addicted mother. The new interview appears in the new issue of the UK’s popular movie magazine Total Film (March, 2017), which has just hit retail outlets in Britain.
The detailed interview, which is entitled ‘Crack Shot’, was conducted in the UK’s capital city at the time of the recent London Film Festival in October, where Moonlight was one of the big highlights of the Festival. It concentrated mainly on her highly-praised role as Paula, her Moonlight character, a part which presents a radically different side to Harris when compared to her role as M’s loyal secretary Miss Moneypenny. In fact, Naomie is barely recognisable in Moonlight, and she more than demonstrates her excellent talents and very wide range as an actress, and her preparedness to take on highly challenging roles. The magazine regards Naomie’s performance as ‘the most celebrated in her career to date’, and the role has already seen her nominated for various top awards.
Inevitably, however, she was also asked about Moneypenny and the status of Daniel Craig as 007 (but note that Craig has made it clear in recent weeks that he still loves the role). The Total Film interviewer asked Naomie whether she thought Craig would indeed be back in action? ‘I don’t know. Everyone keeps asking and I’m like, “Guys, I don’t know”. No one believes me, but genuinely I really don’t know. I really hope he comes back. I really hope he does. But who knows at this point? I think the only person who knows, to be honest, is Daniel’.
When the magazine tried another angle, wondering whether she would be prepared to perform her administrative duties as Eve for another actor as 007, the current Miss Moneypenny added: ‘I genuinely, genuinely do not know. I love Barbara [Broccoli] and Stephanie [Wenborn] and the [EON] team and obviously Michael Wilson. I met them recently and I said, “What’s going on guys? Because everybody keeps asking me”. I was believing the hype. I was like, “Is it Tom Hiddleston? What’s going on?” They were like, “Naomie, nothing is happening”. Because they’re doing another film at the moment. They were like, “We are focusing on this film. We have nothing to do with that”. So everything that’s being said, it’s all just the media running with it. There’s no truth in it’.
Since Naomie’s interview was given, of course, Daniel in the meantime has sought to dampen down all the speculation about his status as James Bond, most notably in an interview he gave live on stage for the New Yorker magazine last October, where he emphasised that he still loved the role.
The Naomie Harris Moonlight interview, in which she also talks more generally about her acting career, can be read in the new issue of Total Film no. 255 (March, 2017), which is currently on sale in the UK for GBP £4.50.
Did you know?
In the Ian Fleming Bond books, M’s love-struck secretary Miss Moneypenny ‘often dreamed hopelessly about Bond’ (see Thunderball), and the character became a regular and much-loved feature of the on-screen EON Bond franchise. In Fleming’s novels 007 has, of course, his own secretary in the Double-0 Section, Loelia Ponsonby, who also provides administrative support for two of Bond’s fellow agents, 008 and 0011. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, however, Ponsonby retires after marrying a member of the Baltic Exchange ship-broking company. Her successor as Bond’s secretary is Mary Goodnight. Miss Goodnight has only been played once on the big screen (in The Man With The Golden Gun by Swedish actress Britt Ekland).
Naomie Harris during filming for Spectre in London