Roger Moore as James Bond
Maud Adams as Octopussy
Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan
Kristina Wayborn as Magda
Kabir Bedi as Gobinda
Steven Berkoff as General Orlov
Robert Brown as M
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Walter Gotell as General Gogol
Geoffrey Keen as Minister of Defence
Vijay Amritraj as Vijay
Octopussy is the thirteenth film in the James Bond franchise, and the Octopussy cast was somewhat thrown together at the last minute.
Roger Moore had decided to finish his tenure as Bond after For Your Eyes Only, and his reluctance to return as Bond prompted a semi-public quest for his replacement, with Timothy Dalton and Lewis Collins potential replacements.
Other potential Bonds included Michael Billington, Oliver Tobias, and American actor James Brolin, who was reportedly on the verge of moving to London to begin work on the film when the producers convinced Moore to return.
Casting for the titular character of Octopussy was equally challenging. While Sybil Danning was initially announced in Prevue magazine as the lead, her personality was deemed too strong by Albert R. Broccoli.
Faye Dunaway was considered too expensive, and Barbara Carrera turned down the role to play Fatima Blush in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again. The producers ultimately wanted a South Asian actress to play Octopussy, leading casting director Jane Jenkins to audition Persis Khambatta and Susie Coelho, the only two Indians in predominantly white Hollywood.
However, the role ultimately went to Maud Adams, who had previously played a Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. To acknowledge her character’s Indian heritage, Adams had her hair dyed, and a few lines were added to the script to show she had an Indian upbringing.
Watch Inside Octopussy Documentary
Robert Brown’s portrayal of M is also noteworthy. He was recommended by Moore, who had known him since they worked together on the series Ivanhoe. Brown was previously cast as Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Brown’s performance as the head of the British Secret Service is understated but authoritative, and of course he went on to play the role in A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and his last appearance as M was part of the Licence to Kill cast.
The Octopussy cast’s villains are also an interesting mix of characters. French legend Louis Jourdan played Kamal Khan, an exiled Afghan prince who conspired with Steven Berkoff’s General Orlov, a renegade Soviet general, to bomb a US airbase. Jourdan’s performance synchronously exudes charm and menace, while Berkoff looks menacing throughout.
Bollywood start Kabir Bedi plays Gobinda, Khan’s powerful and menacing bodyguard. Bedi’s performance is strong, and his physicality makes Gobinda a formidable opponent for Bond. He’s loyal to Khan even to the extent of climbing out onto the plane’s fuselage to kill Bond. Unfortunately for Gobinda, it’s the end for him.
Kristina Wayborn plays Magda, a trusted subordinate and henchwoman to Octopussy and Khan. Wayborn’s is more than just a simple henchwoman. She beds Bond to get the Faberge Egg and her somersault get away from the balcony is memorable.
Vijay Amritraj, a popular professional tennis player, makes his acting debut as Vijay, Bond’s MI6 aide in India. Amritraj brings a natural charisma to his role, and his tennis racket weapon is a fun gimmick that adds some lightheartedness to the film.
David and Anthony Meyer play Mischka and Grischka, Orlov’s knife-throwing circus performers and henchmen. The Meyer twins bring a some light comedy moments to the film, and their knife throwing skills blend into the film’s theme seamlessly.
Desmond Llewelyn returns as Q, MI6’s gadget designer. Llewelyn’s performance is as delightful as ever, and he’s even out there in the field helping Bond.
Lois Maxwell returns as Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary. Maxwell’s performance always offers fun moments, and a scene closes in on a beautidul woman, believed to be Moneypenny, but it turns out to be her assistant Penelope Smallbone, played by Michaela Clavell.
The cast of Octopussy is a unique and diverse mix of actors and circus performers that contribute to the film’s theme. Despite the challenges in casting the lead role and finding a replacement for Moore, the producers managed to assemble a talented and memorable cast that delivers a solid performance.
Watch the Octopussy Official Trailer
The rest of the Octopussy Cast and Crew Information
David Meyer as Mischka
Anthony Meyer as Grischka
Douglas Wilmer as Jim Fanning
Albert Moses as Sadruddin
Bruce Boa as U.S. Air Force General Peterson
Michaela Clavell as Penelope Smallbone
Paul Hardwick as the Soviet Chairman
Andy Bradford as MI6 agent 009
Dermot Crowley as Lieutenant Kamp
Peter Porteous as Lenkin
Eva Rueber-Staier as Rublevitch
Jeremy Bulloch as Smithers
Bruce Boa as Lieutenant General Peterson
Richard LeParmentier as General Peterson’s aide
Directed by John Glen
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli
Screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, and Michael G. Wilson
Based on James Bond by Ian Fleming
Cinematography by Alan Hume
Edited by Peter Davies and Henry Richardson
Music by John Barry
Octopussy Theme Song, All Time High sung by Rita Coolidge
Production companies: Eon Productions, United Artists
Distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co. (U.S.), United International Pictures (International)
Release dates: 6 June 1983 (UK), 10 June 1983 (USA)
Budget $27.5 million
Box office $187.5 million