Back from the brink of obscurity, GoldenEye's Izabella Scorupco is aiming to break the Bond girl curse once and for all.

Izabella Scorupco - Life After Bond
22nd August 2002

It was the typical Bond girl story: young unknown foreign actress thrust into the limelight as the latest conquest for the world's most famous secret agent. But that is where the dream stops for most women who have played leading ladies in Bond's adventures.

Many fail to capitalise on their new found fame with projects after the film is no longer the latest in the series. The career casualty list is long, and includes the likes of Daniela Bianchi (FRWL), Claudine Auger (TB), Mie Hama (YOLT), Lana Wood (DAF), Lois Chiles (MR), Lynn-Holly Johnson (FYEO) and Maryam d'Abo (TLD).

Brosnan's girls have faired somewhat better than his predecessors, with Famke Janssen, Teri Hatcher, Michelle Yeoh, Sophie Marceau and Denise Richards keeping their careers beating.

Izabella Scorupco was at risk of breaking the mould. She shot on to the world stage as the strong willed and independent Natalya Simonova in Pierce Brosnan's debut as Bond - GoldenEye.


But like so many women before her, she faded fast from the media spotlight after GoldenEye became just another notch in the longest running film franchise of all time. "I just needed time to think. I wasn't prepared for all the craziness that went on after you do a Bond movie. I became unsure about who I was and what I wanted to do".


Fans of the 32 year-old Polish born actress can breath a sigh of relief. 2002 is the year that will mark the comeback of Scorupco's career in film. After calling time on an eight year marriage to professional ice hockey player Mariusz Czerkawski, Izabella says it's time for her to return to the blockbuster.

After a few low-key appearances ("With Fire and the Sword", "The Driver", "Vertical Limit"), X-Files director Rob Bowman approached Scorupco about his latest project. "Reign of Fire", a story about a boy who awakens ancient dragons in London and sets about the near destruction of the earth, will see Izabella back in the big time as helicopter pilot 'Alex'.

Bowman explains his choice of casting: "She was very handy in both Vertical Limit and GoldenEye, and I could throw plenty of dirt on her, stick black circles under her eyes, never comb her hair, put her in a loose fitting costume, and underneath you can still see a gorgeous woman".

She has also earned great respect inside the movie business with her courteous approach and willingness to learn everything about the film making process she can. "I was brought up to treat people with respect" she says, "I have been fortunate, the whole Bond machine is as kind as it possibly can be because the producers insist on it. Nowhere is quiet like that".

Making sure she is making the most out of every opportunity, Scorupco recently moved to Los Angeles. "Actresses don't have a long life span. So I need to be in the right place, to take advantage of the chances I get".

"I have grown up a lot since Bond. I am realistic about living in Hollywood and being part of the movie system. If I am still working at 40, I will be lucky". Some would argue you make your own luck, and with such a down to earth approach to the industry, and an imminent blockbuster predicted to do big business, Scorupco could join the ranks of Jane Seymour and Famke Janssen in sustaining a successful life after Bond.


"Reign of Fire" opens for UK general release in cinemas from Friday August 23rd 2002