Famke Janssen Says One Of Her Best Movies Ruined Her For Fame

Famke Janssen says that starring in the James Bond film Goldeneye ruined fame for her.

By Mark McKee | Published

Being in a James Bond movie can be a turning point for some folks’ careers for sure. But according to Famke Janssen, in an interview with The Independent, the experience of starring in Goldeneye nearly ruined her fame. That’s because playing a Bond Girl can be a mixed bag with the character sometimes damsel in distress and other times capable cohort helping the spy accomplish his mission.

Famke Janssen told The Independent that her success in Goldeneye eventually dictated her relationships with the press, commenting that following the movie, she received an onslaught of attention; good, bad, and everything in between. She said the experience was like being thrown to the wolves, causing her to step away from significant film roles, never date famous people, and even today stay off of social media.

The crushing pressure of being famous and having the eye of the public on you at all times is something that almost all celebrities face, but Famke Janssen chose to walk away from it. Put into this light, it’s somewhat easy to see why she went this route all things considered.

And it’s interesting to see the movie had this effect on Famke Janssen. Goldeneye was a return to form for the James Bond franchise, with Pierce Brosnan ushering in a new and revitalized version of the character, Judi Dench stepping in as the first female head of the Double-0 program, and a well-designed balance between tradecraft and gadgets.

Famke Janssen appeared as one of the secondary villains, Xenia Onatopp, who charmed her victims into scenarios where she could get her legs around them and squeeze the life out of them (literally). The character was unique, bizarre, and over the top, which ended up being precisely what the movie needed alongside the more menacing and dark Sean Bean. 

Following the success of Goldeneye, Famke Janssen appeared in smaller films like Rounders with Matt Damon and Edward Norton and The Faculty with Robert Patrick and Usher Raymond. While she stayed away from big franchises for a while, she eventually relented and starred as Jean Grey, AKA Phoenix, in the X-Men franchise, which played a significant role in reigniting the interest in superheroes. She also added her name to the trilogy of Liam Neeson-led action thrillers, Taken, where she played his ex-wife and sometimes abducted damsel in distress. 

Fame is a fickle thing, it can be an enjoyable experience with perks that can last a lifetime, and some celebrities will do anything to stay relevant and in the limelight while others do all they can to disappear into the background. For Famke Janssen, she avoided the limelight, feeling like the attention completely changed her life, putting all of her good and bad feelings out there for all to see.

Next up for Famke Janssen will be a number of movies including Door Mouse, Knights of the Zodiac, Boy Kills World, and The Experiment. So it would appear she’s still fine getting on the big screen when called to do so.