Rosamund Pike, who some of us know best from her starring role in the incredibly smart Gone Girl, was no newcomer to the femme fatale role when she signed up for the 2014 thriller. Long before she began outsmarting Ben Affleck at every turn, she'd played the trickster Miranda Frost in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day. But in a recent "Audible Session" interview, Pike reveals that at the time of her Bond girl audition, she took what felt like a great risk in not complying with an audition requirement she didn't feel comfortable with. And, in what feels like a rare story of the triumph of respect for personal boundaries in Hollywood, she was cast anyway.
The British actress, who was just 21 at the time, said, "My first audition was for a Bond film and I remember them saying I was to drop my dress and appear in my underwear." Pike continued, "On the day, I don't know how I got the resolve and strength of mind, but I just thought, 'Actually, sod that, if they're gonna see me in my underwear they better give me the job.' So I thought, 'There's no way I'm going to take off a dress in the audition for this tape to be sent around Los Angeles and to be judged on that.'" So: she didn't.
The dress she's referring to was the subject of some negotiation as well. Another requirement of the audition was for actresses to appear in a ball gown, which, along with the aforementioned lingerie attire, is still to this day the assigned costuming for women in Bond films. (Which can't help but remind us of Elizabeth Olsen's recent hope for more evolved costuming for Scarlet Witch.) Pike had chosen to wear a lovely silk gown that had belonged to her grandmother, but says she was told by the costume designer, "'That's a very beautiful dress, but in Bond films we wear things a little more like this.'" Pike added, "And she held up three pieces of string."
Pike ultimately opted to wear the dress suggested by the costume designer, but not to take it off, as had been requested. "I put on this shimmering sheath," she said, "or whatever the order of the day was, but I didn't drop it." She was cast as Miranda Frost and shone in her Bond girl role. Pike added that on the set itself with costar Pierce Brosnan (the reigning Bond of that time) she always felt comfortable.
Pike's interview with Audible was to promote an audiobook version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility which she had recently narrated. MGM has not commented at this time.