For Halle Berry — the very first Oscar-winning actress to wear a bathing suit in a James Bond movie — being sexy isn’t the only mission to accomplish in ”Die Another Day” (opening Nov. 22). As Jinx, a smart-mouthed, catsuit-clad American spy every bit as indestructible as Agent 007 himself, she may pull off something not even Ursula Andress did: She might steal the movie.
Of course, Pierce Brosnan is the star of the film. And in his fourth outing as Bond, he shows a fallibility rarely seen before (even spending part of the movie in a North Korean prison camp, where Bond is beaten, tortured, and ends up looking like a roadie for ZZ Top). But check out the film’s marketing campaign and you’ll see something unprecedented for a Bond picture: two stars. In virtually every billboard, poster, trailer, and TV spot, Berry’s face is featured just as prominently as Brosnan’s.
”She’s prominent in the film, too,” says Chris McGurk, vice chairman and COO of MGM, the series’ longtime home. ”She’s a totally new type of Bond girl. She’s as close to a female Bond as has ever been written into the series.” In fact, MGM is so convinced it’s found a girl Bond in this new Bond girl that the studio is dangling something in front of Berry almost as priceless as that golden statue she won last March: an action franchise all her own. Among the many properties the studio is developing for her is a spin-off movie featuring Jinx.