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Over the decades that the James Bond franchise has continued there were always certain elements that you could be sure would be included. Among them was the famous "Bond Girl." While the exact definition of what constituted the Bond Girl was somewhat fluid, you could always be sure the role would be played by a beautiful woman who would catch the eye of James Bond.
When the James Bond franchise got something of a reboot, Eva Green was offered the female lead of Casino Royale, but the actress actually turned down an audition initially. It seems she didn't have the highest opinion of the Bond Girl, and wasn't really interested in becoming one. According to Green...
I was probably a bit stupid or naive. I said, ‘Ugh, a Bond girl? What kind of prissy girl is that?’ They also kept the script secret. So it wasn’t until they gave me the script [nine months later] that I realized it was a meaty role. I didn't see her as a Bond girl. She’s a strong character; she’s got cracks.
To be fair, it seems Eva Green had no idea what she was actually saying no to when she was asked to consider the role. She saw the role as being something "prissy" that she had no desire to play. Once she had more of an idea of what the role actually was, she tells THR she became much more interested in it.
In the early James Bond movies most of the female roles were little more than sex objects that James would would either sleep with and/or rescue from the villain. There were always some exceptions to that rule, in some of the later films we saw actresses like Michelle Yeoh and Halle Berry take on roles of characters who were perfectly capable of fighting alongside James Bond, though the fact that they could do this might actually disqualify them from being "Bond Girls" depending on exactly how you define the term.
However, with Casino Royale the entire franchise saw a reboot. With that came a very different Bond in Daniel Craig and a very different sort of female lead. Eva Green's Vesper Lynd isn't another secret agent, but neither is she simply eye candy. She was one of the more complicated, and therefore more interesting, female lead's in the history of the franchise. She was so much more interesting that it's quite unfortunate that we lost her at the end of the film. Though the character's death went on to influence the rest of the Craig Bond films.
I for one am certainly glad that Eva Green joined Casino Royale as it's one of my favorite Bond films of all time and she's no small part of that. The next James Bond movie is finally moving toward production. Eva Green will be seen next in the new live action Dumbo.