From Russia with Love scene used in all James Bond screen tests

The name’s Bond. James Bond. And if you want to play him, you better nail the James Bond screen test, which involves acing a key scene from 1963’s From Russia with Love.

At a recent event at the British Film Institute to commemorate the James Bond franchise’s 60th anniversary, producer Michael G. Wilson went into details about the casting process and which scene is always used to gauge whether or not a potential James Bond has what it takes. “We always use the same scene…and that’s the one in From Russia With Love, where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe. Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed.” And you have now just pictured Idris Elba performing that scene is a James Bond screen test… (here’s a link to James Brolin performing that scene, and one with Sam Neill)

Wilson continued: “That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do.” Considering the scene has it all–a shirtless Bond, a sexy woman (Tatiana Romanova in this case), a quip (“I think my mouth is too big.”), and a moment of embrace–it does seem a fitting choice for the audition process. It’s not like they’re going to strap somebody into the Thunderball jetpack…

Michael G. Wilson came onboard the James Bond franchise with 1979’s Moonraker. Yeah, probably a good idea not using a scene from that movie for the audition…

In addition to Wilson, the 60th anniversary panel also featured frequent co-writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, casting director Debbie McWilliams, Rory Kinnear (M’s chief of staff Bill Tanner), production designer Mark Tildesley, and and associate producer Gregg Wilson.

What is your favorite James Bond scene? What should they really is James Bond screen tests? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.