James Bond has worn OMEGA Seamaster watches in every movie since 1995’s GoldenEye. His has become a household name and 007 is an enduring part of our popular culture. The iconic secret agent is associated with the exotic espionage equipment and vehicles which play crucial roles in his missions. And, of course, there are the Bond Girls. Caterina Murino, who created such a memorable impression with international audiences when she appeared on-screen in a green bikini and riding a white horse in the movie Casino Royale, was the star attraction at an event celebrating the Bond Girls. It was held at the OMEGA Pavilion on the Olympic Green in Beijing.
Ms. Murino was joined onstage at the Pavilion by Kevin Rollenhagen, President of OMEGA Greater China. He described arriving in China for the first time in 1991 with a staff consisting of a part-time driver and a part-time translator. “Since that time, OMEGA has had a total transformation here, just like China itself.”
Rollenhagen talked about OMEGA’s involvement with the James Bond film franchise dating back to 1995. “GoldenEye was released that year and it was at just the time that our market in China was really starting to develop.” He pointed out that Casino Royale was the first James Bond film to receive official permission to be shown in China. “It was a powerful indicator of just how much the country has been opening up.”
Caterina Murino said that being cast in Casino Royale “was a huge present for me. It was like living a dream.”
She described how her participation in the film almost didn’t take place. She was preparing for another film which required her to ride a horse. A friend let her ride a race horse which threw her to the ground leading to a broken rib and injuries which made it difficult for her to walk. She was scheduled to audition for the role a day later but the director made other arrangements and she was successfully cast in the career-changing movie.
“When I got the script for Casino Royale,” she laughed, “it was 120 pages long. On those 120 pages there was one horse – mine.”
Asked whether she was a victim of the so-called Bond Girl jinx which suggests that actresses who are cast opposite 007 are type-cast in similar roles and not considered for more substantial parts, she answered, “No, no, no, no, no. I have been offered a range of completely different roles in films all over the world. All I can say is ‘Thanks again, Bond’.”
Caterina Murino starred in the 2007 film St. Trinian’s with Gemma Atherton, who has been cast as a Bond girl in the upcoming Quantum of Solace. Based on her close association with the Bond producers and her friendship with Atherton, could she give the audience any inside tips about the new Bond movie?
“I know everything about the script,” she said with a smile. “And I’ll share one detail with you. At one point Daniel Craig will say, ‘My name is Bond. James Bond.’”
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