The cast for Bond 25 (name TBD) was just announced, and while most of the Craig Era cast is returning, one notable addition is recent Oscar-winner, Rami Malek. The new announcement doesn’t specify Malek’s role in the film, but rumour had it back in February that he was in talks to play the next Bond villain. We can totally see it.
With his latest role, Malek is joining an elite group of actors who went from winning Academy Awards to playing Bond characters. This exclusive little club includes the likes of Halle Berry, Christopher Walken and Dame Judy Dench—ever heard of them?
Check out this ragtag team of misfits who went from winning acting’s highest honour to appearing alongside the most famous spy in history.*
*Sean Connery won his Oscar for The Untouchables in 1988 which was after his last appearance as 007 in 1983, so he’s not included in this list.
Halle Berry seriously hasn’t aged a day since her turn as Jinx Johnson opposite Pierce Brosnan’s Bond in Die Another Day 17 years ago (yes, seriously, that movie came out in 2002). Halle won her Oscar for Best Actress in Monster’s Ball a few months before the film’s release while DAD was still in post-production.
A veeery blond Christopher Walken played Max Zorin, the slick Silicon Valley-hating antagonist to Roger Moore’s Bond, in the 1985 film A View to Kill. A few years before that in 1979, Walken won Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Deer Hunter. Look at the range on that guy!
What is it with Bond villains and platinum blond hair? Javier Bardem also dipped a little too far into the peroxide for his character Raoul Silva in Skyfall in 2012. Before he played the blond Bond bombshell, Bardem won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2008 for No Country for Old Men.
Dame Dench is obviously in a category all her own, but she also shares these coveted credentials with the rest of this list. Miss Dench replaced the late Robert Brown as M (the head of MI6) in 1995’s GoldenEye and then went on to reprise her role seven more times over the next 20 years. Her final appearance as the character came as a cameo in Spectre in 2015. Technically, Dench won her Supporting Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999 after already appearing in two Bond films, but since she played the character again after that, we’ve included her in this list.
Christoph Waltz thankfully didn’t go with the platinum blond look for his stint as a Bond villain, but that didn’t make him any less sinister. Waltz played SPECTRE creator Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the organization’s namesake film opposite Daniel Craig in 2015. Christoph is the only two-time Oscar-winner on this list, earning the Best Supporting Actor honour for both Inglourious Basterds in 2010 and Django Unchained in 2013.