Pam Grier Wanted To Kill James Bond

Pam Grier didn't want to be a Bond Girl in Octopussy, but her questions for the producers must have made an impact as later Bond Girls followed Grier's suggestions.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Legendary actress Pam Grier, noted for being the first American female action star, was offered a high-profile role in the James Bond franchise back in the early 80’s. Reported by Entertainment Weekly, the producers of Octopussy wanted Grier to be a Bond Girl opposite Roger Moore. The Foxy Brown star sat down for an interview, but she never intended to take the role and only attended at the request of her agent.

Pam Grier explains her reasoning as “I just felt to be a Bond girl would be: What am I going to do? Am I going to help rescue him? Is he rescuing me? A Bond girl is an an afterthought, a CliffsNote, perhaps.” Instead of casting Grier, the producers went with former Bond Girl Maude Adams (The Man With the Golden Gun) as the titular Octopussy and Kristina Wayborn as Magda.

It’s unclear which role the producers wanted Pam Grier for, but it’s likely Magda as Octopussy was supposed to be an Indian actress. The strong star of many Blaxploitation films during the 70’s, Grier would have been too much of a force on screen as Magda. More importantly for the actress, it wasn’t until Tomorrow Never Dies with Michelle Yeoh and Pierce Brosnan that a Bond Girl didn’t sleep with the super spy.

Instead of just accepting a role as the attractive sidekick, Pam Grier instead made a few suggestions of her own: “Am I challenging Bond? Am I out to kill him? Will I kill him before he kills me?’ They hadn’t thought of that. I gave them other ideas, which were much more profound and interesting than what they were doing.”

Pam Grier in Jackie Brown

Yes, Pam Grier suggested that her character kills James Bond. This sounds like a preposterous thing to say of a Bond Girl, but as it turns out, the Jackie Brown star was just a few years too early. Or maybe her comment gave them the inspiration for Grace Jones role in A View to a Kill.

Grace Jones was already a legendary musician when she first starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan, followed by her villainous turn as Mayday in A View to a Kill. As the righthand woman to Christopher Walken’s evil businessman, Jones did try to kill Roger Moore’s Bond before ultimately sacrificing herself to save the state of California. Pam Grier would have been a fantastic Mayday since it sounds like her influence quietly led to the character’s creation.

Future Bond Girls followed Pam Grier’s vision, including Halle Berry’s turn as Jinx in Die Another Day, a character that was so popular there was talk of a spin-off. Berry’s character was presented as equal to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond and seemed to be pursuing him just as he was her. Daniel Craig‘s films have made the classic Bond Girl role into an important part of the plot, with one Quantum of Solace-sized exception of course.

Pam Grier went on to star in The L Word and brought her strong screen presence to bear in Smallville as Amanda Waller. Refusing to be a Bond Girl doesn’t appear to have hurt her career which is still going strong today.