For anyone who had their hopes set on Phoebe Waller-Bridge—certified expert on comedy, murder, and hair—transforming James Bond into Hot Priest 2.0 in the upcoming Bond movie, it may be time to disabuse yourself of those expectations. The Fleabag mastermind, who was tapped to spruce up the Bond 25 script by none other than Daniel Craig, isn’t interested in altering 007’s behavior toward women, she told Deadline in a new interview. She just wants the Bond girls to have roles worth playing.
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” Waller-Bridge said. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
While Waller-Bridge insists that she’s only livening up what’s already in the script, she fortunately will be dedicating her talents to some of Craig’s dialogue. “When I saw his Bond for the first time, there was a wryness to his performance that I really loved,” she said. “So, I was really excited about writing dialogue for him.”
As for the female characters, Waller-Bridge just hopes to make them as meaty and fully formed as actual women. “It’s just about making them feel like real people,” she said. “I always think the test for me as an actor, whenever I’m writing anything, is: Would I want to play that role? And so I’m coming into this polish thinking, I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana [Lynch], Léa [Seydoux] and Ana [de Armas] open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’ As an actress, I very rarely had that feeling early in my career. That brings me much pleasure, knowing that I’m giving that to an actress.”