Famke Janssen, who played the bizarre and deadly Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye, turns 42 today. (And, appropos of nothing, today would have been my 19th!! wedding anniversary, had I stayed married. But I didn’t.)
Archive for Famke Janssen
Today is the Action Heroine Blogathon. There are lots of kickass action Bond girls, so I thought a lot about who to feature today. Even a relatively passive heroine like Domino Derval manages to kill the villain with some pretty decisive steel in her eyes.
Finally, I decided I just had to talk about GoldenEye, because it has two, count ’em two ass-kicking women.
Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) spends about half the movie in a fairly dowdy skirt-and-cardigan. Despite the lack of Bondian glamour, I rather like the outfit, because it’s expressive of the character; it’s what Natalya actually would wear. From the beginning, she shows not only strength, but depth. She’s tough enough and smart enough to be the only survivor of the Severnaya massacre, but human enough to weep for her dead friends.
Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) is her total opposite. Insanely glamorous, she’s also just plain insane. I don’t think there’s much in the movies as disturbing as watching Xenia have an orgasm while killing a roomful of people. Over-the-top is a fine line, and Janssen treads it admirably. She’s a FREAK with a capital FREAK, but she’s also a real character, stopping just this side of Fatima Blush territory.
In terms of action, yes, Natalya knows “how to use one of these” (guns) and Bond looks suitably pleased. She pushes him, hard, and she yells at him. Maybe somebody out there wants to call her a bitch, but y’know? Life in danger, things about to explode, not time to be polite. It’s more evidence that she’s human; fear, anger, and frustration are as present as action and adventure.
Back to back, villainess and heroine, ass-kicking and kicking-ass, GoldenEye is the must-see for the fan of the action female.