In Theatres and On Demand, Feb 17
It’s tough to live up to being THE James Bond than being a James Bond. That’s because anyone who bears that name has the weight of living up to that namesake thrusted upon them. For Matthew Bauer to examine where pop culture crosses over to reality in his documentary, The Other Fellow, is very telling. It has moments where you have to smile, cheer, and wonder.
It’s amazing these individuals have adapted. Most of them want normal lives. But for those who love this celebrity identity, their introspection is surprising. In contrast, for the other James Bond who hates it, the spite is very telling. Not everyone named James Bond wants this status.
For example, in Sweden, Gunnar Schäfer is a superfan of all things 007 with his own James Bond Museum. His backstory is important to explain why he’s embraced the role, and it makes sense. When he lost his father because of mysterious circumstances, why not? A lot of time is spent on this individual, and I can understand why. When compared to everyone else born with this famous name, he’s about the only individual to trule embrace it.
In contrast, a gay theatre director from New York finds the namesake annoying. The media were not kind to him because of his orientation whenever his company gets profiled.
Elsewhere, an African-American man with the name was alleged to have murdered in cold blood. As a result, at least according to the local media, to define who may be named Bond… James Bond depends on who you ask.
When half the world has seen a 007 film, the label will stick. After watching The Other Fellow, I think my theory from my review of No Time to Die has merit. Even the other people interviewed here have something to say about this label, and the fact the author whom Ian Fleming said he took the name from had a confrontation says a lot about the controversy!
But in the end, for an individual who is forced to change their name, and say, “I’m no longer a Bond,” is another issue altogether.
4 Stars out of 5