Bond Girl: Melina Havelock

Melina Havelock is the fictional daughter of British marine archaeologist Sir Timothy Havelock and his wife, Iona, and the love interest of James Bond. Based on the character Judy Havelock from the short story For Your Eyes Only, which is included in the eponymous anthology written by Ian Fleming, the Bond girl first appeared in the 1981 James Bond film of the same name, portrayed by French actress and model, Carole Bouquet. Melina would need later appear in the movie’s comic adaptation by Marvel Comics and was subsequently adapted for the 1983-87 tabletop role-playing game, James Bond 007: Role-Playing In Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Biography

Melina Havelock is half Greek and half British. She is the only daughter of Iona and Sir Timothy Havelock, two operatives working for the British Secret Service. She is brought in to help them as they are commissioned by the British Secret Service to investigate the sinking of an electronic surveillance vessel, St. Georges, and to recover the ATAC (Automatic Targeting and Attack Communicator) transmitter, a device for controlling and coordinating the Polaris nuclear submarine fleet. However, the couple is killed on the coast of Albania and Greece while Melina visits them onboard the Triana, their yacht. Unable to mourn her parents’ death, the young woman now swears revenge on their murderer.

Identifying the assassin as a Cuban hitman named Hector Gonzales through a private detective agency, Melina locates him at the villa he owns near Madrid, Spain, and goes there to exact her revenge. There, she assassinates Gonzales by shooting him with a crossbow as he is diving into his swimming pool but can only escape (in her CitroĆ«n 2CV hire car) with the help of James Bond, who was also there to investigate Havelock’s murder. Having seen a man (Emile Locque) paying Gonzales, she vows her quest for vengeance must go on, though Bond tries to warn her off.

Melina travels to Cortina when she is sent a fake telegram telling her Bond has met her parents’ killer and to meet him in Cortina. Melina has a lucky escape when Bond notices her and stops her from getting run over by a couple of Yamaha motorcycles. He eventually persuades Melina to return to the Triana in Corfu and let him investigate. She agrees to do so, but not for long.

After Bond kills Locque, he heads back to the Triana, where he finds Melina clearing the seabed and working on a Temple her father was restoring. After looking through her father’s logs, Melina tells Bond about a wreck that her father, Sir Timothy Havelock, had located.

Bond and Melina travel underwater to a depth of well over 500 meters in their two-man submarine Neptune to this wreck, St. Georges. During the disarming of the ATAC aboard St. Georges, Melina’s air hose is ruptured during a fight with a man in a JIM diving suit. Melina rushes back to the boat whilst Bond takes care of the impostor.

After dealing with a Mantis submarine sent by Aristotle Kristatos, who had previously employed Gonzales to kill the Havelocks for him, Bond and Melina return to the surface. Back on board the Triana, Kristatos is waiting and relieves them of the ATAC. After escaping from Kristatos in a unique underwater sequence, they head with Milos Columbo to Kristatos’ mountain retreat, where he is hiding and recovering the ATAC.

After finally catching Kristatos, Melina insists on killing him, but Bond tries to stop her, telling her that she would be no better than Kristatos if she killed him. The decision proved irrelevant, however, as Kristatos was knifed to death by Columbo while reaching for a concealed knife. After that, Bond and Melina are back on the Havelock family boat, where Melina says she would like a moonlight swim. Bond drops Melina’s robe, and she drops Bond’s robe, and they go skinny dipping (nude swimming) together.

Personality

Because of the Greek blood that runs through Melina’s veins, she is always determined to track down the people who caused her parents harm, as she tracked down and killed Gonzales before trying to kill Kristatos. She is always willing to take any to do justice in her own way. She is a determined, strong-willed, intelligent, courageous young woman with several resources to achieve her goals. Cold and unrelaxed, she is also mysterious and charismatic and has proven to be a valuable ally for both Bond and Columbo.

Behind the scenes

As the producers had seen the movie Flash Gordon (1980), they had initially wanted Italian actress Ornella Muti (Princess Aura) to play the role of Melina, having written it, especially for her, while wanting actor Timothy Dalton (Prince Barin) to play the role of Bond and Chaim Topol to appear in the movie. While Mutti did not end up appearing in the film or any other in the series, Topol played Columbo and Dalton played Bond after the departure of actor Roger Moore. In addition, a script draft called for Melina to be the girlfriend of MI6 Agent 006, who was then assassinated at the beginning of the film. Dutch actress and model Sylvia Krystel was initially cast as Melina but was unable to join the shoot because she was shooting scenes for the film Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981). Bouquet was suggested to play Melina by Jerry Juroe, the publicist for the distributor of the United Artists series, and after seeing the actress in the romantic drama That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), director John Glen and producer Albert R. Broccoli went to meet her in Rome to offer her the role.

During For Your Eyes Only filming, Carole Bouquet couldn’t dive as she had sinus problems. Slow-motion film and fan machines were used to create the close-up underwater scenes. and Bouquet both wore diving masks, and bubbles were added in by special effects to complete the scene.