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Lois `Moneypenny` Maxwell falls for dangerous new James Bond

12-Dec-2006 • Casino Royale

James Bond's longest-serving and most loyal woman still thinks he's wonderful - reports The Age.

Lois Maxwell, the actor who played Miss Moneypenny in 14 Bond films from 1962 to 1985, said the new movie, Casino Royale, was "fabulous".

The 79-year-old, who lives in Perth, said Daniel Craig's first outing as the suave British super-spy would ensure that Bond films remained a favourite. "He is very interesting," she said. "His face is extraordinary on the screen, and goes from being very attractive to being highly unattractive." The change has nothing to do with the injuries Bond sustains during the 144-minute epic: it's because of the danger he portrays in his character.

"He looks dangerous," Maxwell said. "He has a very good voice and, like my late husband, a very chewable lower lip."

Not all of Casino Royale met with the former Miss Moneypenny's approval. The music is very loud, and it was impossible to make out song lyrics.

"And I thought the opening sequence, with the swimming girls and the cars, was way too long: it was kind of boring," the Canadian-born Maxwell said. Much better was the "unbelievable" work by stuntmen and women.

"I don't know if anyone died on Casino Royale," Maxwell said. "Bond films have had a couple of deaths in the past — a cameraman was desperately wounded when his legs were taken off by a helicopter's blades in You Only Live Twice."

Sean Connery was Bond in that film, and he remains Maxwell's favourite.

There is no sign of Miss Moneypenny in Casino Royale, but the woman who played her for 23 years is not fussed.

"In this film they add the Moneypenny part onto Judi Dench's role, which is all right because she's such a lovely actress," said Maxwell. "But it wasn't really convincing. If they can't have me, why should they have anyone?"

The Bond legacy is in safe hands with Craig, although Maxwell believes the film franchise will always be a winner.

"I think they'll be as popular as ever," she said.

"Every man wants to be Bond, and every woman wants to be like the women in the films.

"But in Casino Royale, I did like how there's more of a story, the women have more dialogue, and Bond isn't jumping into bed all the time."

Maxwell, who has lived in Perth for five years, is writing her autobiography. As well as being a movie star she was a columnist on a Canadian newspaper for 16 years.

Sony Pictures said Casino Royale made $1,427,000 on the film's opening day last week, making it the biggest opening of a Bond movie in Australia.

The previous best Bond opening day box office was Tomorrow Never Dies, which made $1,177,000 in 1994.

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