Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane)
"I'm looking for a submarine: it's big and black and the driver is a very good friend of mine!" |
Character: Valentin Zukovsky
Movie: GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough
Status: Presumed Dead
Actor: Robbie Coltrane
Date of Birth: 30th March 1950
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Place of Birth: Rutherglen, Scotland, UK
Pleased To Meet You
Bond and Zukovsky have a long and tangled association of
convenience. On the "GoldenEye" mission CIA agent
Wade delivers James
Bond to the Russian mobster's back door and is surprised
to learn that 007 was responsible for the rogue's limp.
At Zukovsky's new nightclub, Bond confronts him with the
familiar click of a Walther PPK, but he does not want Valentin
dead - he wants a favour.
Sly, resourceful and with a devious sense of humour, Valentin Zukovsky is both
a smart businessman and a crooked con-man. With connections to the Russian
Mafia and as an ex-KGB operative, Zukovsky can get away with just about anything.
His connections have proved useful to James Bond on more than one occasion
- reluctantly assisting 007 on two documented missions, with reference to past
conflict between the old spies. Suspicious dealings, such as selling explosives,
guns or even submarines to the highest bidder, rarely go wrong for this experienced
Goldeneye - "Walther PPK? Only three men use such a gun and I believe I've killed two of them... James Bond!" On the mission to Russia, Zukovsky acts as middle man when Bond is attempting to track down the mysterious leader of the Janus crime syndicate. Zukovsky agrees to arrange a meeting if 007 organizes an escape from the authorities for Valentin's men trading tons of C4 explosives.
The World Is Not
Enough - The mobster has seemingly gone legitimate,
running a high-class casino and caviar factory in Eastern
Europe and the Caspian region. When the devious damsel Electra
King "loses" one million dollars at Zukovsky's
high-stakes table, Bond immediately notices Valentin
is up to his usual tricks again. It turns out, ever the
businessman, Zukovsky had provided a set of KGB parahawks
and pilots - used as an assassination squad to attempt
a hit on 007 - and a Russian Nuclear Submarine. Releasing
he has been duped by King, Valentin comes to Bond's aid
at Maiden's Tower in Turkey. At the remote outpost Zukovsky
is shot and left for dead.
[As a buzz-saw-helicopter destroys his caviar factory]
Valentin Zukovsky: The insurance company is never going to believe this!
James Bond: What's your business with Elektra King?
Valentin Zukovsky: I thought you were the one giving her the
Valentin Zukovsky: So Mr. Bond, what is it that
brings you to my neighbourhood? Still working for MI6, or have
you decided to join the 21st century? I hear the new M is a lady!
"Can't you just say 'hello',
like a normal person?"
Bull: Boss? You're alive! I'm so glad to see you!
[shooting his double-crossing henchman]
Valentin Zukovsky: Me too!
Valentin Zukovsky: So why did you not kill me?
James Bond: Call it professional courtesy.
Valentin Zukovsky: He wants me to do him a favour? My knee aches
every single day! Twice as bad when it is cold. Do you have any
idea how long the winter lasts in this country?
Born Anthony Robert McMillan, he was the second of three children
growing up in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. His father was a
GP and later a police surgeon. He was schooled at Glenalmond
College, the co-ed boarding school. He left school without
much distinction but found a talent for fine art and later
studied at Glasgow School of Art and even spent a year at Moray
House, College of Education at Edinburgh University.
In his early 20s he found a penchant for acting and in particular, improvisational and sketch comedy. Coltrane took his stage name in a nod to his jazz hero John Coltrane and in his early twenties earned himself a local reputation as both a stand up comedian and a regular performer at Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.
His first television roles came in the 1980s when he was cast in shows including, "Metal Mickey", "Keep It in the Family" and even tried his hand on the short-lived BBC chat-show "Sin on Saturday". Coltrane quickly won a range of bit parts in some early '80s films such as "La mort en direct" and the all-star "Flash Gordon" (1980), which included Bond actor Timothy Dalton as well as Max von Sydow, Brian Blessed and Topol. Focusing where his real talents lay, Coltrane teed up with a prolific selection of Cambridge Footlights stars, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Ben Elton to appear two short seasons of sketch comedy show "Alfresco" (1983).
In the late '80s Coltrane appeared in "Mona
Lisa". The twisted love-drama gave Coltrane the opportunity
to work with stars Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine. Following this
he earned the opportunity to headline his own TV show: "Tutti
which screened 6 episodes in '87. Following this his career boomed
- Coltrane appeared in two "Blackadder" episodes, Kenneth
Branagh's "Henry V", slapstick comedy "Nuns on
the Run" with
Python-man Eric Idle and a slew of other silly yet memorable
comedy films before taking a different turn.
1993 gave Robbie Coltrane the opportunity to explore the darker side of TV drama in the award winning "Cracker". Coltrane appeared in 20 episodes over 3 years as the harsh forensic psychologist, Eddie Fitzgerald.
Midway through his "Cracker" stint,
Coltrane rendezvoused with 007 on Pierce Brosnan's first outing, "GoldenEye".
Blessed with some of the best lines of the script, Coltrane was
reportedly so pleased with the character he suggested Zukovsky
at a later date. Four years later his request was granted. The
mobster's character is fleshed out and Robbie Coltrane is given
a substantially bigger role in 1999's "The World Is Not
Between Bonds Coltrane, shot with Stanley Tucci
and Kyra Sedgwick on crime-drama "Montana" and appeared
as the comic figment Tweedledum in a screen adaptation of Lewis
Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". Most recently Coltrane
has played the role of Rubeus Hagrid in the smash hit Brit film
franchise "Harry Potter" (2001-present) as well as
playing the British PM in kid-spy outing "Stormbreaker" (2006)
and the same year found time to reprise his famous role as Fitz
in a one-off "Cracker" special.