Veteran Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams gathered many talented performers from the United Kingdom, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, the United States and France for GOLDENEYE. Few of them were known worldwide, however, they managed to pull off convincing performances in their respective roles. For many of them, like Famke Janssen, Sean Bean and Alan Cumming, GOLDENEYE was the springboard that made their careers go up and be recognised and admired forever outside their countries.
Pierce Brosnan JAMES BOND, 007
Born on May 16, 1953, in County Navan, Ireland, Pierce Brendan Brosnan moved to London in 1964, where -ironically- he became interested in acting after watching Sean Connery playing James Bond in GOLDFINGER. As he grew up with minor roles in movies like THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY and TV series like THE PROFESSIONALS, in 1982 Brosnan was cast in one of the leading roles of the popular detective series REMINGTON STEELE, opposite Stephanie Zimbalist. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Brosnan starred in many low budget action/adventure movies or romantic dramas like ENTANGLED, TAFFIN, NIGHT WATCH and the adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's THE FOURTH PROTOCOL. Finally, in 1994 he was cast as the fifth James Bond actor to star in GOLDENEYE set for a 1995 release. Brosnan's Bond tenure was followed by other three successful 007 films: TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and DIE ANOTHER DAY. Over the following years, his career included movies like Roman Polanski's THE GHOST WRITER, the romantic comedy LAWS OF ATTRACTION, the spy thriller THE NOVEMBER MAN, the drama LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED and, more recently, he starred opposite Jackie Chan in THE FOREIGNER, directed by GOLDENEYE's Martin Campbell, and SPINNING MAN.
Sean Bean ALEC TREVELYAN, 006
Born in Sheffield, England, on April 17, 1959, Shaun Mark Bean has been active since the 1980s in radio, TV, movies and theatre. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and performed roles in West End theatre productions like a version of ROMEO AND JULIET in 1987. In 1992, his performance as IRA terrorist in 1992's PATRIOT GAMES opposite Harrison Ford proved that he was a good material to play vengeful and menacing villains. After Timothy Dalton resigned to the role of James Bond in 1993, Bean was one of the candidates considered for the role. Yet, after Pierce Brosnan was cast in GOLDENEYE, director Martin Campbell thought Bean would be a great choice indeed considering the antagonist Alec Trevelyan was an evil version of Bond and a former MI6 agent and colleague of 007. After GOLDENEYE, the career of Sean Bean continued with movies like LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, the epic drama ANNA KARENINA (opposite future Bond girl Sophie Marceau), John Frankenheimer's spy drama RONIN, the Jodie Foster movie FLIGHTPLAN and the role of Ned Stark in the popular TV series GAMES OF THRONES.
Izabella Scorupco NATALYA SIMONOVA
Izabella Dorota Scorupco was born on June 4, 1970, in Bialystok, Poland. She moved at a very early age with her mother to Sweden, where she studied drama and music, making her first appeareance in the 1988 film INGEN KAN ÄLSKA SOM VI, becoming a local teen idol shortly afterwards and initiating a career as a pop singer. In 1989 she launched her first single, "Substitute" and her subsequent album IZA, which went gold. In 1994 she got the leading role in the Swedish movie PETRI TARAR, and in 1995 she was cast as Natalya in GOLDENEYE, which was her road to stardom. Years later, in 2000, Scorupco teamed once again with director Martin Campbell for the 2000 movie VERTICAL LIMIT, which was followed by other Hollywood productions such as REIGN OF FIRE and THE EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, plus a number of American series like ALIAS, starring Jennifer Garner. Lately, she has appeared only in Scandinavian movies such as the comedy MICKE AND VERONICA and the 2019 series HIDDEN: FÖRSTFÖDD.
Famke Janssen XENIA ONATOPP
Famke Beumer Janssen was born in Amstelveen, Netherlands, on November 5, 1964. She began her model career in her native country with her stunning 5' 11½" statuesque figure featuring in many lingerie ads for companies like Victoria's Secret. She moved to the United States in 1984 and majored in writing and literature at Columbia University while studying acting with Harold Guskin and Roy London. Her cinematic debut was in Jeff Goldblum's FATHERS AND SONS in 1992 and later participated in TV productions like MODEL BY DAY and the series MELROSE PLACE. After her leading role in United Artists' LORD OF ILLUSIONS she was cast as the deathly villainess Xenia Onatopp in GOLDENEYE, which became one of her most famous roles of a career that included sci-fi films like DEEP RISING, the crime thriller DON'T SAY A WORD with Sean Bean, the adaptation of the TV series I SPY and the role of Jean Gray in the X-MEN movies. Opposite Liam Neeson, she recently played the role of Leonore in the TAKEN saga between 2008 and 2015.
Joe Don Baker JACK WADE
American actor Joe Don Baker returned for the James Bond saga after portraying Brad Whitaker, one of the leading villains to Timothy Dalton's 007 in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, released in 1987. Born on February 12, 1936, in Texas, he attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a business degree in 1958. After serving in the US Army he pursued acting and became a well-known character actor in the 1960s and 1970s with western series like THE GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and BONANZA. He would later go on acting in movies like WALKING TALL, FRAMED and FINAL JUSTICE and would become a regular actor in productions directed by Martin Campbell, such as the successful BBC TV drama EDGE OF DARKNESS and CRIMINAL LAW, released in 1985 and 1988, respectively. This was surely one of the reasons he was given the role of James Bond's CIA contact in GOLDENEYE, a role he reprised for 1997's TOMORROW NEVER DIES. His most recent performance was in 2012's MUD, directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.
Judi Dench M
Born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, on December 9, 1934, Judi Dench was the first and only woman so far to portray the head of the British Secret Service in the James Bond series, in an era that would begin in 1995 with GOLDENEYE and end in 2012 with SKYFALL, covering all the Pierce Brosnan 007 films as well as the first three Daniel Craig ones. Dench attended Mount School in York and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre. In 1970 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and in 1988 a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Her credits include movies like MRS. BROWN, CHOCOLAT, IRIS and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, for whom she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1999. More recently she could be seen in VICTORIA & ABDUL, the remake of MURDER IN THE ORIENT EXPRESS and RED JOAN.
Robbie Coltrane VALENTIN ZUKOVSKY
Anthony Robert McMillan was born on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, Scotland. Since a very early age he was interested in art, music and films, making his acting debut on stage at the Glenalmond College playing king Henry V. His TV debut was in the BBC mini-series THE LOST TRIBE in 1980, later appearing in movies like SUBWAY RIDERS and THE POPE MUST DIE, before taking the lead of the British TV series CRACKER in 1993, where he played forensic doctor Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald. His role of former KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky in GOLDENEYE was so popular that he was included in the script of the following film, TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Still, he finally made the last appearance as Zukovsky in 1999's THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, again opposite Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Another popular role he would have years later would be Hagrid in the HARRY POTTER movies between 2001 and 2011. His credits also include MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, THE BROTHERS BLOOM, GREAT EXPECTATIONS and EFFIE GRAY. Coltrane sadly passed away on October 14, 2022.
Tcheky Kayro DIMITRI MISHKIN
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 4, 1953, Baruh Djaki Karyo was raised in Paris, where he studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, playing several classical roles. His debut on the big screen was in 1982 with French movies like LE MARGINAL and L'OURS, latter appearing in Luc Besson's NIKITA. Besides GOLDENEYE, in 1995 he would also appear in the English language productions BAD BOYS and CRYING FREEMAN. Recently he could be seen in the BBC One drama THE MISSING, playing Julien Baptiste. He is also a musician and songwriter, releasing in 2006 the very acclaimed album "Ce Lien Qui Nous Unit" and "Credo" in 2013, for his 60th birthday.
Gottfried John GENERAL OURUMOV
Born in Berlin on August 29, 1942, Gottfried John had a troubled childhood on a children's home after his custody has been removed from his mother. He then escaped with the aid of his mother at 18 and moved to Paris, where he worked as a street painter and a construction worker until he went back to Berlin in 1962. It was in 1965 where, after some failed attempts to become an actor, he was finally cast in many stage plays as Robespierre or Richard III. His career started to grow during the 1970s and 1980s when he moved to Munich and worked for director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in TV's EIGHT HOURS ARE NOT A DAY and films like WORLD ON A WIRE and MOTHER KUSTERS' GO TO HEAVEN before being cast as Ourumov in GOLDENEYE. In 1999, he played Julius Caesar in ASTERIX & OBELISK VS CAESAR, with Roberto Begnini, for whom he won a Bavarian Film Award. He later appeared in PROOF OF LIFE, starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan. John died on September 1, 2014, aged 72 after enduring a long battle with cancer.
Alan Cumming BORIS GRISHENKO
Born in Aberfeldy, Scotland, on January 27, 1965, Alan Cumming went to Monikie Primary School and Carnoustie High School, where his acting interest aroused after appearing in school plays. In 1981 he left school and worked as a sub-editor at D.C. Thomson Publishers in Dundee, answering readers' letters. In 1982 he began a three-year course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, graduating in 1985. After a number of theatre plays, he began his film career with PRAGUE, directed by Ian Sellar. His first Hollywood film was CIRCLE OF FRIENDS in 1995, shortly after playing the part of whiz-kid Boris in GOLDENEYE. In the late 1990s he had roles in ROMY AND MICHELLE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION and Stanley Kubrick's last movie EYES WIDE SHUT, before having a part in 2003's X-MEN (opposite Bond girls Famke Janssen and Halle Berry) and SON OF THE MASK, the sequel of the popular Charles Russel 1994 comedy. He could be recently seen in the TV series DR. WHO and THE GOOD WIFE. In 2015 he published his autobiography, titled "Not My Father's Son".