Masculinity in Bond Villains: The reference of homosexuality by ‘queer-coded’ male characters as a tool for violence and manipulation in 007 – does it have to be this way?

Screen shot from Skyfall (2012) directed by Sam Mendes, Eon Productions. Image features James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).

In this blog, I will look at how queer-coded masculinity is portrayed in the villains in James Bond films Casino Royale (2006) directed by Martin Campbell and Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes (2012). In particular I will look at La Chiffre in Casino Royale (played by Mads Mikkelsen) and Raoul Silva in Skyfall (played by Javier Bardem). Focusing on the torture and interrogation scenes from these films, I will consider the significance of mockingly ‘queer-coded’ behaviour of the villains included in the films, such as innuendos and homosexual references used to torture and manipulate Bond (played by Daniel Craig).

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Masculinity in 007: Is James Bond actually an empath after all?

Image: Movie still from Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell. Eon Productions, featuring Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and James Bond (Daniel Craig)

In this blog, I explore the portrayal of masculinity in some of the more recent-ish (i.e. after the 2000s) James Bond films: Casino Royale (2006) directed by Martin Campbell, and Skyfall (2012) directed by Sam Mendes, both starring Daniel Craig as Bond. I’m interested in Casino Royale and Skyfall in particular, because I think they both hone-in on Bond’s capacity to care and show empathy for other characters, in moments that I think are quite refreshing and historically unusual in the Bond film franchise.

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