The Daily Telegraph has reported that Saffron Burrows, Salma Hayek and Sophie Ellis-Bextor have all auditioned for roles in James Bond 20. With Pierce Brosnan unable to attend the auditions actor Colin Salmon, who plays Charles Robinson in the series, took his place.
The audition piece, much like past auditions, was Tatiana Romanova's seduction of Bond in his hotel room from the second film in the series "From Russia With Love". This audition piece was used in the past to audition actors such as Izabella Scorupco, Maude Adams, Maryam d'Abo and Sam Neill (who was up for the role of Bond opposite Pierce Brosnan).
"I really enjoyed the audition with Saffron Burrows," Salmon said about the audition, "and Salma Hayek was great. Sophie Ellis Bextor came along too but I can't tell you any more it would be more than my job's worth."
Saffron Burrows is an English actress born in 1973. She's amassed over 20 films to date, the most Bond connected being Enigma which was directed by Michael Apted who also directed The World Is Not Enough. In 2002 she has another film slated, Frida. Interestingly enough it stars Salma Hayek who is also rumoured for a role in Bond 20. They have also appeared together in the 2000 film, Timecode. Frida is already post-production so there will be no date conflicts.
The news from the Daily Telegraph isn't the first time that Salma Hayek's name has appeared in relation to Bond 20. In mid-November we reported on an interview that Hayek had with The London Evening Standard in which the actress said she'd like to be in Bond 20 simply because it was being directed by Lee Tamahori. With a rumoured filming location of Spain it's very possible that Hayek may have a role in Bond 20.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is the name that comes as most a surprise. The 22 year old pop star has no acting credentials, however, it is known that she auditioned for the lead role in Moulin Rogue so it seems very plausible that she's hoping to steer her career in the direction of acting. However, if Colin Salmon's comments are anything to go by, it seems he was too impressed by her.
With a casting announcement expected this month we'll undoubtedly know soon who the Bond Girl for Bond 20 will be. My money is placed on either Burrows or Hayek. If you'd like to discuss anything in relation to this news, visit the Bond 20 Forums and chat in this thread which James recently started.