The character that stands out in every James Bond movie tends to be James Bond himself. Whether played by Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig, 007 is the shining star of all his adventures. But the gentleman spy in the icy tuxedo often has to share the spotlight with supporting players, from eccentric villains to mysterious love interests.
Brosnan’s Bond co-starred femme fatale Xenia Onatopp and badass secret agent Wai Lin, while Craig’s Bond co-starred spooky villain Le Cipher and reckless CIA agent Paloma.
9 GoldenEye – Xenia Onatopp
Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, GoldenEye, kicked off its tenure in fantastic fashion with two of the franchise’s greatest villains. Alec Trevelyan, a former 00 agent who turned his back on Her Majesty’s Secret Service, has a personal connection to Bond that adds an emotional layer to their conflict. But his henchwoman is an even more compelling character.
Brilliantly played by Famke Janssen, Xenia Onatopp is a true femme fatale. She seduces enemy spies and then crushes them to death during sex. She is a cross between a “Bond girl” and a Bond villain.
8 Tomorrow Never Dies – Wai Lin
Brosnan’s second 007 adventure, Tomorrow Never Dies, was criticized for its outspoken criticism of mass media (although it has since been reassessed as prescient satire). But it won acclaim for its action sequences, thanks in large part to contributions from screen icon Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin.
Yeoh gave an unforgettable twist in Tomorrow Never Dies. He’s an even more capable and badass secret agent than Bond himself, constantly showing it.
7 The World Is Not Enough – Victor “Renard” Zokas
In The World Is Not Enough, 007 faced the most wanted terrorist on Earth, Victor “Renard” Zokas, KGB agent turned high-tech international criminal. Robert Carlyle brings to Renard the same genuine uncanny quality that he brought to his infamous Begbie character in the Trainspotting movies.
Renard has a unique quirk that makes him an unforgettable villain. A bullet lodged in his brain has rendered him numb to pain, giving him a valuable advantage over 007 in their hand-to-hand combat.
6 Die Another Day – Jinx Johnson
Halle Berry gives a fierce performance as the main “Bond girl” in Die Another Day, NSA agent Jinx Johnson. Berry proved his action movie skills in this iconic role. Nicknamed after the fact that she was born on Friday the 13th, Jinx takes part in all of the film’s most exhilarating action sequences.
Equal to Bond in terms of movie star charm and skill in the field, Jinx was set for a spin-off which, sadly, never happened.
5 Casino Royale – The Number
Craig completely reinvented the Bond mythos with his turn in Casino Royale, a refreshing Martin Campbell reboot, but he co-starred with Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen gives a truly chilling performance as the villain Le Cipher.
The actor made Le Cipher as terrifying as his acclaimed portrayal of Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. The scene in which he brutally tortures a naked 007 on a seatless chair is one of the most unsettling (and gripping) sequences in the entire Bond canon.
4 Quantum Of Solace – M
Quantum of Solace is generally considered the weakest Bond film of Craig’s tenure. The villain, Dominic Greene, is a generic industrialist, and none of the film’s “Bond girls” are particularly memorable. But there are some great scenes for Judi Dench’s Mr.
M was given a much larger role than previous films in Quantum of Solace. This film established the motherly relationship she shares with 007 which would be explored further in Skyfall.
3 Skyfall – Raoul Silva
Skyfall is full of great secondary characters. Moneypenny reinvents himself as a field agent. Q is reimagined as a nerdy hipster fresh out of college. Judi Dench’s M gets a heartbreaking conclusion to her arc as a malevolent former MI6 agent exacts revenge on her. But this ex-agent steals all the limelight from them.
Javier Bardem became the first of three consecutive Oscar winners to play Bond villains with his performance as Raoul Silva. Bardem’s portrayal of Silva oscillates between flamboyant and sinister. He is one of the few Bondian villains with a sympathetic personal motivation for their evil plan.
2 Specter – Mr. Hinx
Dave Bautista gave the Craig era of the Bond series its most memorable henchman with his portrayal of SPECTER goon Mr. Hinx. Hinx is reminiscent of the burly henchmen of classic Bond adventures that were ripped from the pages of pulp fiction before Casino Royale’s gritty reimagining of the franchise.
Mr. Hinx even beats 007 to a pulp on a high-speed train as a tribute to the Orient Express brawl between Sean Connery’s Bond and Red Grant in From Russia with Love.
1 No Time To Die – Paloma
There are a bunch of great supporting players in No Time to Die, from Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, the new 007, to Rami Malek’s quiet turn as the villainous Lyutsifer Safin. But Ana de Armas’ Paloma blew them all out of the water.
Paloma only appears in a few scenes, but she effortlessly steals the show. He is a CIA agent who aids in Bond’s infiltration of Blofeld’s birthday party in Cuba. Paloma is hilarious and reckless. She claims to only have three weeks of training and it shows in her borderline-slapstick antics.
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James Bond: The standout character in all of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s films (besides 007) | Pretty Reel