Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” is often referred to as one of the best James Bond movies ever made, and one of the film’s best moments is a bit of sinister flirting between Daniel Craig’s eponymous 007 and Javier Bardem’s villain, the MI6 operative-turned-cyberterrorist Raoul Silva. The villain has Bond bound to a chair and caresses his face, telling him, “You’re trying to remember your training now. What’s the regulation to cover this? Well, first time for everything I guess.” That’s when Bond replies, “What makes you think this is my first time?”
The playful bit of dialogue hinted that Bond and Raoul Silva had sexual encounters with men in the past, which is apparently not something the studio wanted in the finished movie. As Bond producer Barbara Broccoli revealed in the new Apple TV+ documentary “Becoming James Bond” (via NME), “I remember we were told to cut that line by the studio. We said, ‘No, no, no.’ We resisted.”
Broccoli and co-producer Michael G. Wilson are the heads of Eon Productions and have final say on all things Bond, thus the studio couldn’t overpower their decision to keep the homoerotic moment in the film. Broccoli said her decision to keep the dialogue in the film paid off during the movie’s world premiere.
“The night of the premiere, that line, just the whole place rocked it then,” Broccoli said. “I remember looking at the studio executive [and] going, ‘See, told you.’”
“Skyfall” director Sam Mendes added, “I think there’s a huge homoerotic undertow in a lot of Bond movies.”
Craig and Bardem addressed the moment themselves in 2012 during an interview with Movieline. Craig said, “I don’t see the world in sexual divisions…Someone suggested that Silva may be gay. And I’m like, ‘I think he’ll fuck anything.'” Bardem added that Silva’s sexuality is “part of the game…[I]t was more about putting the other person in a very uncomfortable situation where even James Bond doesn’t know how to get out of it.”
Bardem’s “main goal” for Silva was to create “uncomfortable situations” with any character he shared the screen with. “Within that, you can read anything that you want or wish,” the actor noted.
Craig is returning for one more final Bond outing, “No Time to Die,” in theaters October 8. The documentary “Becoming James Bond” is now streaming for free on Apple TV+.