1

Topic: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I just saw the second part of JBR's review of TWINE. It's very nice to see Chris back on JBR. Like many others they felt Denise Richards was miscast as Dr Christmas Jones. I certainly agree. Like they said, Richards would be better cast in Baywatch.
So who should have been cast in the role? Jennifer Connelly has been mentioned in the past. She's stunningly beautiful, an award, winning actress and obviously very intelligent. The last part is important because Jones is a nuclear physicist. But Connelly was moving away from parts that mainly traded on her looks at that time, so I doubt she would have accepted.

Jennifer Connelly in 1997
https://thundermountainbrides.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/liza-wilkes-fenton-jennifer-connelly.jpg



I think the Indian actress Aishwarya Rai would have been a better choice. She's a former Miss World and I've never seen a photo of her where she doesn't look stunning. Aishwarya considered becoming a doctor of medicine before she hit it big as a model and actress, so she is smart. he was a superstar in the Bollywood market, but for the rest of the world she would have been a excotic and fresh face. It even makes sense politically. Even in the 1990's I doubt the Russians would have let and American into their nuclear facilities, but India had ties with the USSR.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-frHItWrbeYE/TibBfcr1CKI/AAAAAAAAAQc/2bvK9LjG_Wo/s1600/aishwarya-rai-hot-pics..jpg



Do you have opinions on the matter? Posts with illustrations are the most informative.  ajb007/biggrin

Last edited by Number24 (24th Jan 2020 21:09)

2

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Denise Richards

My current 10 favorite:

1. GE 2. MR 3. OP 4. TMWTGG 5. TSWLM 6. TND 7. TWINE 8.DN 9. GF 10. AVTAK

3

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Well, that's a thought …..
Do you think Richards was convincing as a doctor of nuclear physics?

4

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I thought Denise Richards was fine in TWINE, just maybe mismatched with Pierce Brosnan. Aishwarya Rai was mooted as a Bond girl at some point, and the fact that she was never cast was maybe a missed opportunity. As much a model as an actress, she might have been good as a Bond film's second female lead, as was Denise Richards.

Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 49 years.

5

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I despise these talks about „Denise Richards was so unconvincing as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones“...like what, you find a guy with metal teeth or a scissors-arm straight out of reality?  ajb007/biggrin 

Of course the went for looks rather than believability...

The name is Walker by the way.

IG: @thebondarchives
Check it out, you won’t be disappointed ajb007/smile

6

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

No, Jaws was a cartoon-style character. But he was in two cartoonish movies, so I don't think it was a problem. In fact TSWLM is my favourite Roger Moore Bond film. While TWINE hardly was a kitchen sink drama, but it did have a more down to earth tone than TSWLM and MR.  I don't think Richards fit Bond, especially as a scientist. This is of cource very much a matter of taste, not a topic where one can really claim someone's opinion is right or wrong.

7

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Denise was sexy and beautiful but anyone who was around when TWINE came out in theaters remembers how the critics trashed her in the movie. The film’s reputation suffered and it’s the reason there’s a thread here on why TWINE is so underrated (and I agree that it is). No one seems to have a big problem with Sophie, on the other hand. I guess you can argue that Denise was perfectly cast, that there was no other actress who would have improved the movie. YMMV.

8

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

JBR speculated if Denise Richards was wrong for Bond in general, but I'm not sure she would have been. In a Plenty o'Toole type role she could have been great.

9

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

In a defunct podcast the hosts asked the listeners to submit one change they would like to improve a Bond film.

My change was to replace Denise Richards with Catherine Zeta Jones.

In 1998 she had made a vivid impression in the Mask of Zorro, and in late 1999 she was in Entrapment opposite Sean Connory.

10

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Denise Richards was by far the sexiest Bond girl cast in decades and decades.
Trouble is she was scripted as a nuclear physicist, and while I'm sure there's many sexy nuclear physicists in the real world this actress did not convince me at all of the nuclear physicist part.

Going back to the end of the Moore era, Tanya Roberts played a sexy geologist, but I did indeed believe she was a geologist.
I think Richards lacked the acting chops to sell her character.

11

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Perhaps marrying Charlie Sheen isn't seen as a sign of high IQ?  ajb007/lol

12

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I think Denise Richards and Teri Hatcher should have swapped their Bond roles.

13

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

lueth2048 wrote:

I think Denise Richards and Teri Hatcher should have swapped their Bond roles.

I believe Teri Hatcher was pregnant during filming.

Some people would complain even if you hang them with a new rope

14

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

caractacus potts wrote:

Denise Richards was by far the sexiest Bond girl cast in decades and decades.

This is why I have zero problem with Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. I do think Jennifer Connelly would have been an amazing Bond girl though.

@deanwdunlevy

15

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

A funny comment I remember someone saying on the board from the time is that she sounded like she kept saying “nucular.”  Along with geologist, Stacey Sutton, the world is in good hands, lol!

Well...on the critical casting decision of Christmas Jones, it’s not as if TWINE was a cornerstone entry in the series.  There was also something off with the casting of Robert Carlyle, as the 2nd Brit in the movie hamming a foreign accent; the presence of John Cleese inadvertently clinched giving it all a vibe of Monty Python, lol.  Come to think of it, reducing the film’s main characters down to just Bond and Elektra would have worked IMO, since she was the villain and romantic interest rolled up into one; in fact, Bond had a stronger emotional and sexual connection with her than Christmas Jones, an indicator that the it was the script that had serious problems.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

16

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

superado wrote:

A funny comment I remember someone saying on the board from the time is that she sounded like she kept saying “nucular.”  Along with geologist, Stacey Sutton, the world is in good hands, lol!

Well...on the critical casting decision of Christmas Jones, it’s not as if TWINE was a cornerstone entry in the series.  There was also something off with the casting of Robert Carlyle, as the 2nd Brit in the movie hamming a foreign accent; the presence of John Cleese inadvertently clinched giving it all a vibe of Monty Python, lol.  Come to think of it, reducing the film’s main characters down to just Bond and Elektra would have worked IMO, since she was the villain and romantic interest rolled up into one; in fact, Bond had a stronger emotional and sexual connection with her than Christmas Jones, an indicator that the it was the script that had serious problems.

I agree with so much of this. I do think Carlyle gave a decent performance aside from the accent, however. He wasn't one note like the majority of Bond villains seem to be. He comes across as a man who very much doesn't want to die but has resigned himself to the reality of it.

17

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Carlyle did a good job, but I think the impervious to pain thing could have been developed more. JBR suggested Renard could have deliberately pulled Bond and himpself towards and even  into a flame during a fight while Bond was desperately punching him.

18

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

superado wrote:

...reducing the film’s main characters down to just Bond and Elektra would have worked IMO, since she was the villain and romantic interest rolled up into one; in fact, Bond had a stronger emotional and sexual connection with her than Christmas Jones, an indicator that the it was the script that had serious problems.

exactly, if this film was done in the Craig era, Christmas Jones' character would not have been required. She's only in the script to be present for the final clinch (a formulaic structural requirement), and to deliver a few lines of exposition about depleted uranium any one of M's retinue could have managed just as well.
The Elektra tragedy would have been that much more impressive without the superfluous good girl character showing up for the final scenes.

19

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I feel bad about making fun of miss Richards though...
(Charlie Sheen, no way!! hawhawhaw, poor Denise),
...and would like to seriously think of other actresses from the era that would have played the part more persuasively.

Trying to remember some of my favourite actresses circa 1999:
Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham, or Gwyneth Paltrow all would have made a better Bond girl, but are all a bit silly. In the same film as John Cleese, all sense of tragedy woulda been lost.

Julianne Moore was doing lots of great work in those days, and could easily persuade me she's a nuclear physicist. But she's only 5'3". So what do we want in a Bondgirl, tall or smart?

Cate Blanchett I think I had only seen so far in Elizabeth, where she was plenty crafty, and had yet to play Galadriel, so was not so wellknown, and she's 5'9"! in fact, maybe she'd be too good, we'd care even less about Elektra if Cate Blanchett was lead Bond girl.

20

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

caractacus potts wrote:
superado wrote:

...reducing the film’s main characters down to just Bond and Elektra would have worked IMO, since she was the villain and romantic interest rolled up into one; in fact, Bond had a stronger emotional and sexual connection with her than Christmas Jones, an indicator that the it was the script that had serious problems.

exactly, if this film was done in the Craig era, Christmas Jones' character would not have been required. She's only in the script to be present for the final clinch (a formulaic structural requirement), and to deliver a few lines of exposition about depleted uranium any one of M's retinue could have managed just as well.
The Elektra tragedy would have been that much more impressive without the superfluous good girl character showing up for the final scenes.

A good point I didn't think of myself. The script could have worked fine without Christmas Jones.

I think the best Bond girls are often actesseswho are stunning and have very good career in their native market, but are mostly unknown internationally. An actress who could have been Perfect to play Christmas Jones  is the Norwegian/Swedish Maria Bonnevie. In 1999 she was 26 years old and was in her only Hollywood film in her career, the regrettable Antonio Banderas film "The 13th Warrior". TWINE would probably been much better for her international career. At that time she was Ingar Bergman's favourite theatre actress, a film star in her two native countries and she looked like this:

https://www.lindbergmanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/m.bonnevie_6971-copy-1.jpghttps://i.pinimg.com/originals/23/bf/dd/23bfdd13b89e056a901425f9cd00306d.jpg

Last edited by Number24 (26th Jan 2020 22:31)

21

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I'm watching the third part of JBR's review, and they mention Monica Bellucci as Christmas. I think that would have been great casting.
She would have been 35 at the time and here's how she looked in "Malena" (2000):

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rC7ROXgtjfo/TdZNUV5J2DI/AAAAAAAAB50/TnBmoQVzqCA/s1600/Hot+Pics+of+Monica+Bellucci+From+The+Movie+Malena+7.jpg

22

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Elektra to Bond, about Christmas: "Pretty thing! You had her, too?"

Having seen TWINE again, I feel strongly that the casting should have been exactly what it was, with Denise Richards playing Christmas Jones. Ms Richards looks sexy in classic 'Playboy' Bond girl style, she's feisty when bantering with Bond (spunky enough to convince as more than just a pretty face), and sufficiently athletic for all the gruelling physical work on the submarine set (having to hold her own on a slippery hydraulic rig, being drenched in torrents of water and submerged in a tank. Not all otherwise suitable actresses could have weathered that kind of punishment.) Denise Richards' character is the least well written and developed of the leads, but she coexists with and doesn't get in the way of Sophie Marceau's outstanding thespian performance at the dramatic centre of the film. Ms Marceau gets to do it all, from vulnerable victim to villainous vamp, from industrialist power broker to sexual romantic (even channelling Diana Rigg of OHMSS, for the ski scene), from tragic heroine with an Electra complex to unhinged torturer and would-be mass murderer. Denise Richards adds a contrasting, more consistent texture to the movie and keeps up a breezily conventional, 'wet tee-shirt' love interest, reaching through the action beyond Elektra's death. Some of the contemporary fall-out over Christmas as a character stemmed from the cheesey double-entendres for which her name seemed specifically purposed (Bond: "I thought Christmas comes only once a year!"): the Christmas jokes perhaps aligned her too closely in the minds of 90s audiences with ditzier sex kittens from Bond's past, such as Mary Goodnight (M on the phone: "Goodnight? Goodnight?" Bond: "She's just coming, sir... Goodnight, sir!")

When evaluating the first three Brosnan Bonds and their antecedents in the franchise, I tend to see GE as connecting back with Terence Young's dark edginess, TND with Lewis Gilbert's spectacular exuberance, and TWINE with the character-rich intrigue of John Glen's Bonds. Above all, Christmas Jones seems to me to channel geologist Stacey Sutton from Glen's AVTAK, a sexy young American with brains as well as beauty, possessing expertise relevant to the plot but essentially lightweight. Denise Richards ramps up and injects attitude into the same sort of appeal which Tanya Roberts brought to Stacey; yet Ms Richards occupies a role perhaps appropriately more limited by the richer configuration of other lead characters in TWINE (Elektra, Bond, Renard and M).

Last edited by Shady Tree (9th Feb 2020 06:35)

Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 49 years.

23

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Am I the only one who felt that after TND Pierce felt like a dirty old man, when he was far from that?
Especially in Die Another Day, I'm sure it's just the casting and the direction of it but like, I dunno, it's the same feel I get here.

It feels slimy with both Elektra and Jones that this Bond ends up banging them. That's my hot take on this.
She's fine for the setting but what ends up being the use of her in the story is entirely a script problem, same as her not feeling believable.
But eh. The movie's ruined in rewatches for me because of the prior problem.

Shrug.

a reasonable rate of return

24

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

Dirty Punker wrote:

Am I the only one who felt that after TND Pierce felt like a dirty old man, when he was far from that?
Especially in Die Another Day, I'm sure it's just the casting and the direction of it but like, I dunno, it's the same feel I get here.

It feels slimy with both Elektra and Jones that this Bond ends up banging them. That's my hot take on this.
She's fine for the setting but what ends up being the use of her in the story is entirely a script problem, same as her not feeling believable.
But eh. The movie's ruined in rewatches for me because of the prior problem.

Shrug.

The 'Dirty Old Man' latent in Pierce Brosnan's Bond of TWINE and DAD sometimes comes to the fore and I agree that this can get off-putting. The scene in Zukovsky's casino where Brosnan's eyeing up the talent with his X-Ray Specs and suppressing his 'phwoar' reactions would barely be out of place in a 'Carry On' movie. The same is true of his quip, "First things first!" when Christmas explains that "someone's gonna have my ass" if she doesn't get back the weapons grade plutonium. I'd add to the comparison I and others in this thread have already made between Christmas and Stacey Sutton by arguing that such 'Dirty Old Man' lasciviousness on Brosnan's part calls back to Roger Moore's Bond leering at Tanya Roberts some fifteen years previously, the age gap feeling even more uncomfortable in Moore's case: we get a similar changing in and out of overalls on an industrial site, and another puerile "ass" joke. (Stacey: "Do you know what I'm sitting on?" Bond: "I'm trying not to think about it!" [Stacey is hiding with Bond in a rail car full of explosives, her borrowed overalls too tight for her figure.]) Since this seems to have been the lineage invoked for Christmas Jones, Denise Richards is well cast.

Last edited by Shady Tree (8th Feb 2020 21:52)

Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 49 years.

25

Re: Who should have played Christmas Jones?

I would've gone with Jennifer Connelly.

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby