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At 50, Monica Bellucci Is the Newest Bond “Girl”

Monica Bellucci, new Bond Girl

In a year when meaty movie roles for women 50-plus were as rare as crow’s feet on Rodeo Drive, it’s gratifying to see the news from London that Monica Bellucci, at 50, is about to become the oldest Bond “Girl” ever.

Bellucci will costar with Daniel Craig, 46, in SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond movie, slated for release a bit less than a year from now. The Italian actress is best known for her steamy scenes opposite Keanu Reeves in the second and third Matrix movies.

>> James Bond — The Spy Who Has Entertained Us for 50 Years

Actually, the Bond franchise has a long, if limited, history of casting mature women in sexy roles. Who can forget Honor Blackman in 1964’s Goldfinger, literally rolling Sean Connery in the hay ( “My name is Pussy Galore")?  Blackman was nearly 40 years old at the time — practically retirement-home material in 1960s Hollywood. And when Die Another Day was released in 2002, Halle Berry was a ripe old 36.

Directed by Sam Mendes, who referred to Bellucci and costar Lea Seydoux as his Bond “ladies” (the word you’re looking for is “women,” Sam), the next Bond film will have the same updated, gritty look featured in the most recent entries. But longtime Bondiacs will appreciate the title of the new film: SPECTRE, the international agency of evil that 007 eternally battles, was originally introduced to movie audiences in Dr. No, released way back in the Dark Ages known as 1962.

Photo: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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