James Bond showed his all Monday night for the world premiere of “Die Another Day” in London before Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The movie’s stars, Pierce Brosnan (who plays 007), Halle Berry (who plays an agent named Jinx), Madonna (who sings the title song and plays a not-so-innocent bystander in a fencing club scene) and Toby Stephens (the new villain, who also happens to be the real-life son of Maggie Smith) were onhand at Royal Albert Hall for the Royal Film Performance to aid the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.
As reported by Reuters, the queen, 76, who greeted each cast member, said to Brosnan, 49: “So you’re the modern James Bond are you? I’ve met the other three downstairs.”
She was referring to former 007 stars George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Roger Moore. Sean Connery, the very first of the Bonds (and, arguably, still the best), was the only former star not to show up. The Bond series turns 40 this year.
Madonna, 44, arrived with husband Guy Ritchie, 34, and was dressed conservatively in a knee-length black cocktail dress. She also practiced her curtsy in front of costar John Cleese (who plays gadget expert Q) and told Reuters afterward: “The queen asked me about Bond. I have never met her before, but surprisingly I wasn’t nervous.”
Berry, 36, didn’t speak about the queen, but of Bond girls. “Say what you want,” she said, “and I know people do criticize them, but the women in these films have a great allure and people want to see them.”
As for the film’s reception at a New York screening, Berry was right. There was applause for her entrance — on a beach in Cuba wearing an Ursula Andress “Dr. No”-like bikini — and for several of her action feats.
Madonna’s cameo was met with giggles, less for her suggestive dialogue with Brosnan’s Bond about his sword than for her appearing ill at ease on screen.
Overall, the film and its many, many explosions were well received.