Major Anya Amasova: Soviet union’s Agent XXX
Meet Major Anya Amasova, the captivating Soviet intelligence agent known as Agent XXX, portrayed by the talented Barbara Bach. This formidable Bond girl seamlessly blends intelligence, beauty, and combat skills as she becomes Soviet Union’s number one agent and an eventual ally for James Bond.
Anya Amasova boasts an intriguing background with complex relationships, defining her as one of the most enigmatic figures in the James Bond universe. She makes her debut in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, and then in Christopher Wood’s novelization, where she’s part of Otdyel IV, a division of SMERSH.
Major Anya Amasova of the Soviet Intelligence Army stands as 007’s equal. Codenamed Agent XXX, grew up in in the harsh, frozen landscapes of Siberia. Boasts an unblemished mission success record, Agent XXX is a highly respected spy for the KGB, entrusted with the most demanding and perilous assignments.
Anya Amasova’s love interest, Sergei Barsov – a fellow Soviet agent, meets his end when 007 takes him down during a high-stakes ski pursuit. Swearing vengeance, Anya vows revenge on whoever is responsible.
When the British HMS Ranger and the Soviet submarine Potemkin are seized, M summons James Bond from a mission in Austria to hand him the mission. Meanwhile, Agent XXX is given the mission by General Gogol of the KGB to discover the whereabouts of the Soviet submarine, Potemkin.
Anya Amasova first comes across Bond at a performance near the Pyramids in Egypt. She mistakenly believes he killed Aziz Fekkesh, an Egyptian contact whose body is discovered in one of the pyramids. In reality, Jaws is the murderer, but Amasova’s henchmen clash with Bond as a result.
Later, in Cairo, Amasova and Bond formally meet together with Max Kalba at his club. In a competitive way, they exchange personal information, as they compete to get the classified Microfilm that they’re in Egypt for.
Kalba is murdered by Jaws, but Bond and Anya hide in the back of Jaws’ van to follow him for the Microfilm. Jaws knows they’re in the back, so he takes them to a ruined site. Bond and Jaws fight, while Amasova holds the giant up at gunpoint. He hands over the film to Anya, and she escapes with the Microfilm, leaving Bond to battle with Jaws.
A scaffold collapses on Jaws allowing Bond to leave and just as he and Amasova are about to drive off Jaws rips the van to bits. She starts the vehicle and runs it into him, crashing the giant into a wall, before they drive off.
Although Agent XXX outsmarts Bond to acquire the Microfilm, Bond has already examined it, they both report to the Abu Simbel temple. There, General Gogol and M agree to collaborate in order to determine how and why their submarines are being hijacked at sea.
Throughout the joint mission, Bond and Anya Amasova work together, but often trying to outperform each other. As they travel to Sardinia by train, they share a meal, and Anya declines Bond’s invitation for a nightcap before going to her carriage.
Amasova opens her cabin and finds Jaws inside, who attacks her. As Jaws is about to bite her, Bond intervenes. Jaws then attacks Bond, who struggles to fend him off, but Bond grabs an electric lamp and connects it to his metal teeth, electrocuting him. Bond then kicks him out of the train window.
After this, they share a close moment, as Anya tends to Bond’s injuries, and they then spend the night together. In Sardinia, Anya accompanies Bond, posing as his wife, to meet Karl Stromberg. After the meeting, she learns about Bond’s role in her lover’s death and tells him, “When this mission is over, I will kill you.”
They both go to a meeting with Karl Stromberg at his Atlantis lair. Afterwards, Stromberg orders Jaws to kill both Bond and Anya Amasova, once they reach the shore.
Bond and Amasova are then chased by Jaws and his fellow henchmen. Bond uses the Lotus Esprit’s special gadgets, spraying dirt on the windshield of Jaws’ vehicle, helps them evade the henchmen.
But then Stromberg’s skilled pilot, Naomi, takes to the skies in her armed helicopter, pursuing the duo relentlessly. To get away Bond and Amasova drive the Lotus Esprit off a pier and into the sea, as the Lotus transforms into a fully-functioning submarine. While submerged, Bond fires a torpedo at Naomi’s helicopter, ending her relentless pursuit of Bond and Amasova and allowing them to get to immediate safety.
Later, Karl Stromberg captures Agent Anya Amasova, imprisoning her in his vast underwater base, Atlantis. Anya, however, remains unyielding, refusing to divulge any information to her captor. In an attempt to demean and control her, Stromberg forces Anya to change into a revealing outfit, while tying her to a chair.
James Bond infiltrates the heavily fortified base, determined to rescue Amasova and foil Stromberg’s nefarious plans. Bond frees Anya, and together they make their escape, battling Stromberg’s henchmen and sabotaging the base in the process.
As the mission is finished the two are now alone in an escape pod, and with her gun pointed at Bond, Anya says, “The mission is over, Commander.” Just as she tightens her grip on the trigger, Bond opens a champagne bottle, causing the cork to pop.
Anya smiles and stifles a laugh. Bond replies, “In my country, Major, the condemned man is usually allowed a final request,” to which she grants. Bond suggests they change out of their wet clothes.
Bond and Anya Amasova are drifting at sea in the pod, and are enjoying time in the lavish bed, when a British Navy vessel, carrying M, General Gogol, Q, and Fredrick Gray, finds them, albeit unaware who is inside the pod.
Curious to discover who or what is inside, they’re shocked to find Bond and Amasova lying in the luxurious bed together. Anya is the first to notice their superiors, and Bond quickly realizes the situation, so he pulls the curtains, playfully suggesting they enjoy some more time together before facing them.
Barbara Bach, born as Barbara Goldbach on August 27, 1947, in Queens, New York City, rose to prominence as a model in the 1960s. After graduating, she joined the Eileen Ford Agency in New York, gracing the covers of international fashion magazines and becoming a highly sought-after model.
Fluent in Italian, Bach made her acting debut in 1968 in Italy, starring in a TV adaptation of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. She then appeared in several Italian films, before her major breakthrough role in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
Following The Spy Who Loved Me, Bach appeared in Force 10 from Navarone (1978) and other Italian films. Her acting career slowed in the 1980s, with only a few more appearances, including cameos in Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984) and To the North of Katmandu (1986).
In her personal life, Bach was first married to Italian businessman Augusto, Count Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna. They divorced in 1975, and Bach later met Beatles legend Ringo Starr while filming Caveman in 1980, marrying him in 1981.
Agent Anya Amasova
Agent Anya Amasova, AKA Agent XXX, remains one of the most memorable and iconic Bond girls in the James Bond franchise. Her strength, intelligence, and resourcefulness defied the stereotypical role, making her a powerful and compelling counterpart for 007.
Played by Barbara Bach, or Lady Starkey, Amasova’s character arc, from a rival agent to a loyal ally, made for an enjoyable plot and arguably, Roger Moore’s best Bond film.