Queen Elizabeth II. Parachuting into the Olympic stadium. With James Bond.
In a five-minute film played as part of the London Olympics opening ceremony, a global audience watched as James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
“Good evening, Mr. Bond,” she says, delivering her only line in the skit with aplomb.
The pair then board a helicopter and fly across various London landmarks towards the Olympic stadium. Hovering high above the venue, the Queen, in a fetching peach-colored dress – together with Bond (not in a fetching peach-colored dress) – jumps from the helicopter, with the two of them deploying their Union Jack parachutes within seconds.
Shortly after the parachutists disappeared from view, the Queen showed up in the stadium, taking her seat to rapturous applause from the gathered 65,000 audience. She later declared the London 2012 Games officially open.
Whether the head of state will get an entry on IMDb for her debut acting role remains to be seen (she surely must), but it was certainly a surprise no one had been expecting.
OK, there was, of course, some jiggery-pokery in the creation of the skit, with the parachuting Queen played by a stunt man. But it was certainly the real Queen who appeared in the segment at the start.
Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours director Danny Boyle, the man behind Friday night’s opening ceremony, had the idea for the sequence last summer, but it took until March before it could be filmed because of Daniel Craig’s busy schedule. The Queen apparently had a few appointments too.
According to a Telegraph report, the short film, directed by Boyle, took a crew of 130 three hours to shoot.
Nicholas Brown, the BBC’s director of drama production, said the Queen’s performance was perfect. “She got it in one take,” he said. “That’s what she does, and she does it very well. She is a professional.”
Brown added, “It was extraordinary to have the two [the Queen and Daniel Craig] together….the Palace was terrific about the shoot and we were delighted and honored that the Queen was involved.”
Check it out for yourself below.