As long as there has been James Bond, there has been a long line of femme fatales with ridiculous names eager to bed Bond. The latest in this series of human window dressing is the character of the surprisingly sensibly named CIA agent Paloma, played by Ana de Armas opposite Daniel Craig's Bond in the upcoming No Time to Die. In an interview with Vogue, Armas explained that she needed to know her character was empowering rather than being window dressing before signing on for the film.

"What matters most to me is representing women and female characters in an empowered, realistic way and outside of the stereotype. In this 007 movie I have been aware of paying the greatest attention and being careful with the subject. That was the main thing I addressed when I spoke with the director."
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The whole "female empowerment" discussion has been a recurring theme during the making of No Time to Die, which is unsurprising given the Bond franchise' reputation for casual misogyny and one-dimensional female characters. First, it was announced that Daniel Craig had asked Fleabag star and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge to assist with the script of his movie to give it a more feminine perspective.

Then it was revealed that the movie will feature not one but three main female characters, and one of them, Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch, will be revealed to have replaced Bond as the new 007. In a recent interview, Lynch stressed that the character of Nomi was going to be one with her own sense of agency and power.

"I knew who Nomi would be, because I had direct conversations with Barbara Broccoli and Cary about who they wanted her to be, but also who I wanted her to be and alongside that I spoke with our writers and Phoebe Waller-Bridge who has done wonderfully in collaborating with us. And what I saw was a woman who had agency, who was powerful, who was committed, and who believed that she was the best person at MI6 [laughs]."

While typically Bond girls are usually there to be seduced/saved by 007, it seems No Time to Die will turn the tables to a certain extent, and finally bring the character of Bond to a place where he is working alongside females instead of operating above them (pun intended).

Since this is going to be Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond, fans are impatiently waiting to see how he plans to say goodbye to his secret agent persona in No Time to Die, as well as enjoy the crackling chemistry between Craig and de Armas after their previous joint outing in last year's Knives Out.

Directed and co-written by Cary Fukunaga, No Time to Die features a lead cast of Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek. The film arrives in theaters on Nov. 20. This news comes from Vogue.

Neeraj Chand