“The name is Bond. James Bond.” Few lines in Hollywood are more iconic than that. They convey images of debonair spies drinking well-crafted martinis in tuxedoes while smoking cigars in luxurious casinos. With the passing of two legendary actors and real knights of the British Empire, Sirs Sean Connery and Roger Moore, it’s time to look at the connection between 007 and the famous James Bond cigar.
James Bond Cigar Origin
Ian Fleming, the legendary creator of the James Bond series, spent countless afternoons on the patio of his Jamaican estate “Goldeneye” smoking hand-rolled cigarettes. So, the original Bond character smoked upwards of sixty cigarettes a day. James Bond, played by Sean Connery in “Dr. No,” appeared with a silver cigarette carrying case. In “Goldfinger,” while in the private lounge of the Bank of England, he is offered a cigar and declines in favor of his hand-rolled cigarettes.
Art Imitates Life
When Roger Moore became a guardian of the role in 1973, he brought a well-known love affair of cigars to the screen. His cheekier take on Bond included making the jump from cigarettes to cigars. Cigar aficionado Moore even had a contract with a clause. As a result, he received an unlimited supply of Montecristo Number 3’s while on the set. He was prominently featured smoking in “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “Live and Let Die,” even putting his trophy cigar out on a rogue agent’s wrist.
James Bond Cigar VS. License to Kill
Product placement is an integral part of the series. Aston Martin and Walther PPK pistols have been the vehicle of choice. However, Romeo Y Julieta is the clear winner regarding cigars. In “Thunderball,” master gadget maker “Q” offers Connery a cigar in a particular aluminum case. The case — an underwater breathing apparatus is a focal point, but the cigars are unmistakable. Moore’s Bond typically enjoys his personal favorite, Montecristos. Still, Pierce Brosnan’s take as Bond in “The World is Not Enough” features an opening scene of him about to enjoy a Romeo Y Julieta Churchill before being interrupted.
James Bond Villains Smoking Cigars
The popular television game show “Jeopardy” featured a category for James Bond villains. Each villain had a particular nuance or unique tick, but most had one thing in common. Cigar lovers. Sanchez, in “Licensed to Kill,” and Largo, in “Thunderball,” frequently use cigars as menacing props. Nothing compares to Famke Jannsen’s Xenia Onatopp in “Goldeneye” as a seductively evil villain while relishing her Romeo y Julietas in the casino.
Life Imitates Art
In homage to the James Bond franchise, Romeo y Julieta launched a bespoke line of 007-branded cigars in 2002. Meant to replicate the ones depicted on screen, they came packaged in a commemorative James Bond-designed humidor. A prominent English cigar retailer offers a particular flight of cigars. These replicate the various locations of essential Bond movies. Current Bond portrayer Daniel Craig takes a more realistic view of the battle between life and art. “There is absolutely no way I could run 3 miles in a chase scene or do any number of fight scenes if I smoked sixty cigarettes a day as it was originally written. I’ll enjoy my cigars- after filming,” said Craig.
Photo credit: “Goldfinger – Aston Martin DB5 & Sean Connery,” by FR, Wikimedia Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.