Monica Bellucci came close to being a Bond girl twice before Specter

SPECTRE, left to right: Monica Bellucci, Daniel Craig, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Olley/© Columbia Pictures/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Monica Bellucci and Daniel Craig in the 2015 film Specter. (Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection)

At 50, Monica Bellucci was the oldest actress to be cast as a Bond “girl” in the 2015 film Specter.

Her appearance as Lucia Sciara, opposite the 47-year-old James Bond played by Daniel Craig, was hailed as a big step forward in the spy series, but had things gone differently, she could have appeared in a Bond film much sooner.

It is widely known that the Italian Irreversible star came close to playing Paris Carver opposite Pierce Brosnan in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies before losing out to the more box office-friendly American Teri Hatcher.

“[Monica] some time ago she was tested on screen as a Bond girl and the fools refused. Instead, Teri Hatcher stole the day,” Brosnan once lamented. And now a new interview with Colin Salmon has revealed that Bellucci got a second chance too.

Read more: How the Specter summoned ghosts from James Bond’s past

“She came twice, once on Tomorrow Never Dies and once on The World Is Not Enough,” the actor revealed on the SpyHards podcast.

In addition to playing MI6’s deputy chief of staff in both of these films, Salmon was also hired to test potential collaborators for Pierce Brosnan, filling the role of Agent 007 to act out scenes from the films.

Sophie Marceau and Pierce Brosnan as Elektra King and James Bond in The World Is Not Enough (MGM)

Sophie Marceau and Pierce Brosnan as Elektra King and James Bond in The World Is Not Enough. (MGM)

In Bellucci’s The World Is Not Enough screen test, Bellucci tried out for Elektra King – played by Sophie Marceau in the film – and they used the scene where the villain tortures Bond.

“She straddled me, then tied me to a chair and licked my face,” says Salmon, adding that he told the producers “give her anything she wants, please!”

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“I went to lunch with her because I noticed her English wasn’t what it should be, and I offered to do the lines with her,” adds Salmon, “I was very happy to see her on Specter.”

Monica Bellucci at 13 Paroures Pour Le 13 - One Hundred Years Cartier Celebrated In Paris.  (Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

Monica Bellucci at a party in 1999. (Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

However, this did not happen and Bellucci became a household name without Bond, starring in the controversial 2002 films Irreversible, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and The Passion of the Christ.

Read more: 16 actors who could be the next James Bond

However, Bond producers never forgot about her and she appeared for the third time in 2015’s Specter. “Compared to the Bond girls that came before, I’m a lot more mature,” said Bellucci. “I’d rather be called a Bond woman, or maybe a Bond lady.”

From left to right, Irish actor Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007, English actor Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson and American actress Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones in a scene from the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, 1999. (Photo: Keith Hamshere /Getty Images)

Pierce Brosnan as 007, Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson and Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough. (Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)

Speaking about her near misses in 2015, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said: “We’ve wanted her a few times in the past and it didn’t work out. I was really afraid that she would run away.

I couldn’t be happier that we finally got her in a Bond movie and in a really great role.”

SpyHards interview with Colin Salmon is now available.

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