Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan
Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Simonova
Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp
Gottfried John as General Ourumov
Alan Cumming as Boris Grishenko
Judi Dench as M
Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade
Robbie Coltrane as Valentin Zukovsky
Michael Kitchen as Bill Tanner
Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Serena Gordon as Caroline
The Goldeneye cast was the biggest turnover in the franchise’s history and arguably it’s most star studded, too. The film was a critical and commercial success, with the cast a large part in that
The film starred Pierce Brosnan for the first time, as the suave and charming secret agent. Brosnan, who was the fifth actor to play Bond, brought a fresh energy and charisma to the role, which was much needed after the lengthy wait between this and 1989’s Licence to Kill.
Pierce Brosnan brought a new and different approach to that as we were served under Timothy Dalton Bond’s. Gone was the grounded and more serious 007 replaced by something more akin to a blend of Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
The opening scene of GoldenEye is absolutely spectacular and really set the scene for how Pierce Brosnan’s 007 would be.
Brosnan does all the tricks in his first role: introduces himself as Bond, James Bond, orders Martinis, shaken not stirred of course, and finds it easy to attract the women. Not surprisingly as the young Pierce Brosnan was a match for anyone in his tux.
Sean Bean plays Alec Trevelyan, initially Bond’s friend and fellow 00 agent. However, Trevelyan fakes his death and establishes the Janus crime syndicate, becoming the main antagonist of the film.
Trevelyan was hell bent on bringing down his country feeling let down, and Bean’s performance was outstanding, and his portrayal of the complex character was praised. So much so that he was offered many more villainous roles in films following GoldenEye.
Izabella Scorupco was cast to play Bond Girl Natalya Simonova, a programmer at the Severnaya lab who initially survives the GoldenEye attack. Natalya teams up with Bond and the two form a relationship, she’s a strong and independent character, who proved to be a valuable ally to Bond.
Scorupco’s performance was solid, and even though she dresses conservatively for a Bond girl, the Swedish/American actress certainly shines in every way.
Watch a documentary on the making of GoldenEye
Famke Janssen played Xenia Onatopp, a Georgian fighter pilot and Trevelyan’s henchwoman. Janssen’s performance was chilling, and her character is one of the most memorable villains in the Bond franchise.
Xenia was a sadistic killer who enjoyed torturing her enemies, and Janssen played the role to perfection, and this helped propel her career as she went on to star in many blockbusters including the X-Men series.
Robbie Coltrane played Valentin Zukovsky, a Russian gangster and ex-KGB officer. Coltrane was a fantastic actor and his performance was perfect. The scene where Bond surprises, him by racking the slide on his Walther PPK, and Zukovsky knows exactly which gun and therefore, who it is behind him was a great touch. As always Coltrane brought some humour to his part and the film, and his performance was widely praised.
Gottfried John played General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov, a Hero of the Soviet Union, Commander of Russia’s Space Division. Ourumov was one of the main Janus’ henchmen and his coldblooded character was played to perfection by John.
The opening scene where Bond is trying to escape of the munitions plant, and Ourumov shoots his own man cold dead for disobeying his orders shows how the wannabe Soviet leader means to go on. Gottfried John plays the character very well and has many interesting scenes throughout the film.
Joe Don Baker played Jack Wade, a veteran CIA officer on the same mission as Bond. Baker was previously part of the The Living Daylights cast playing the villainous Brad Whitaker, and now on Bond’s side in a different role the charismatic character actor added plenty of memorable moments, and some comic relief.
Alan Cumming played Boris Grishenko, a geeky computer programmer at Severnaya, later revealed to be an affiliate of Janus. Cumming’s performance was excellent, and his deteriorating relationship with colleague Natalya Simonova was well worked, especially when she beats him for being a traitor.
Desmond Llewelyn reprised his role as Q, the head of Q Branch. Llewelyn had played Q since the second movie From Russia with Love and was cast in every other Bond film except Live and Let Die (1973). Llewelyn’s performance in Goldeneye was as good as ever, and the scenes in the gadget hall add plenty of humour.
Samantha Bond played Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary. Bond had taken over her lifelong friend Caroline Bliss who only stayed in the role for 2 films. Bliss was a bit of a shadow in the background, to be honest, but Samantha Bond brought new energy to the role of Moneypenny.
The secretary and Bond’s flirtatious relationship has been key to the Bond series, and Samantha Bond’s new take shows that she will not be a pushover for the world’s smoothest operator.
Last word for the GoldenEye cast deserves to go to Judi Dench. She was the first female to be cast for the role of M and how she delivered. Of course, Judi Dench is a fantastic actress, and has that bossy personality, so being M seems so natural in hindsight.
Her chat with Bond where they first meet after she’s promoted is iconic. Bond is slightly condescending and they have a discussion about the case and their heated exchange, where M calls Bond a ‘sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War’ sets the tone for their relationship.
Judi Dench went on to star in 7 Bond films until she is killed off in a dramatic finale to Spectre (2012), but her debut was absolutely fantastic.
Watch the official trailer for GoldenEye
Other Members of the GoldenEye Cast and Crew
Minnie Driver as Irina
Tchéky Karyo as Dimitri Mishkin
Cmdt. Olivier Lajous
Billy J. Mitchell
Directed by Martin Campbell
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein
Story by Michael France
Based on James Bond by Ian Fleming
Cinematography Phil Méheux
Edited by Terry Rawlings
Music by Éric Serra
GoldenEye Theme by Tina Turner
Production companies: Eon Productions and United Artists
Distributed by MGM/UA Distribution Co. (USA) and United International Pictures (International)
Release dates: 13 November 1995 (NYC premiere), 17 November 1995 (USA), 24 November 1995 (UK)
Budget $60 million
Box office $356.4 million