Bond Girl: Pam Bouvier

Pamela “Pam” Bouvier is a fictional former United States army pilot and CIA informant. The character appears as the main Bond girl in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, portrayed by Carey Lowell and featured in John Gardner’s accompanying novelization. Lowell later reprised the role for the 2012 video game 007 Legends.


Pam Bouvier is a former United States Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot turned Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) informant who collaborates with DEA agent Felix Leiter to arrest and convict Franz Sanchez, a powerful Central American drug trafficker. While still employed by the CIA, Bouvier pretended to have resigned from the agency to sell her services as a pilot to Sanchez’s associates on his mission. Because she has vital information about the ruthless smuggler and his notorious associates, she has become a target of his cartel, remaining Leiter’s only living contact. James Bond first witnesses Bouvier talking to Leiter at the reception of his wedding, but she leaves before Bond can speak with her.

Helping Bond

Leiter was thrown into a shark tank by Sanchez, and Bond throws Ed Killifer in the same tank, resulting in Bond being fired from MI6. After Bond steals $5 million from Milton Krest, he sneaks into Leiter’s office to find he has set a meeting at a bar in Bimini. Bouvier is disappointed in seeing Bond but soon trusts him. When Dario enters the bar, she asks Bond if he has a gun. After seeing his Walther PPK, she shows him a shotgun which she soon uses to blast a hole in a wall before escaping on Bond’s boat. She is soon shot by Dario but is luckily unharmed because she wears a Kevlar vest. They escape and have implied sex. She agrees to help Bond track down Sanchez, playing herself off as Bond’s executive secretary while he infiltrates Sanchez’s operations. At the same time, she meets Colonel Heller to set up a deal granting him immunity if Sanchez is arrested.

With Q’s assistance, Bouvier follows Bond and Sanchez to the Olympatec Meditation Institute, where Sanchez has taken Bond. Bouvier has made her way to the OMI by disguising herself as a student. She steals a key from Professor Joe Butcher and sneaks into the distribution center, where she shoots Dario and helps destroy Sanchez’s drug convoy.

After dealing with Sanchez, Bouvier and Q go to a party with Bond at the drug lord’s former residence. Bouvier sees Lupe Lamora and Bond kiss. Bouvier, always jealous of Lupe, runs down the stairs to the pool. Bond sees this, and Lupe insists he stay with her. Bond, not wanting to break her heart, sets her up with a date with president Hector Lopez; he leaps off the balcony into the pool. He pulls Bouvier into the pool, and they kiss.

Loosely following the plot of previous James Bond films such as Licence to Kill, the 2012 video game 007 Legends features a mission where Bond finds his CIA agent friend Felix Leiter maimed in his house alongside his dead wife. As with the film, the man responsible is Franz Sanchez, a drug lord Bond, and Leiter had unsuccessfully attempted to take down weeks earlier. On a quest for vengeance, Bond and DEA agent Pam Bouvier infiltrate Sanchez’s facility inside an old Otomi temple, intent on killing him. Unlike the film, the video game has Bouvier (not Bond) going undercover at the drug kingpin’s distribution facility. In addition, 007 is operating under the blessing of MI6, who have sent him to expose Sanchez’s ties to international terrorism. After her cover is blown, Bond rescues Bouvier, and a car chase ensues, culminating in Sanchez’s death.


Pam Bouvier is an experienced operative accustomed to the murky environments of South American drug traffickers. She is also a woman of character who is rebellious, adventurous, fearless, intelligent, and a bit of a tomboy, not afraid to assert herself in front of her enemies or male colleagues like Bond in a haughty and sometimes contemptuous manner. Despite her affiliation with the CIA, Pam is an independent person who does not appreciate being subjected to the sexism of her partners. Although she can be naive and sensitive in certain situations, the former pilot is by no means a fragile girl and is fully capable of surviving in hostile environments, conducting her operations successfully, and handling almost any situation.

Behind the scenes

After Carey Lowell was chosen to play Pam Bouvier, she watched many previous films in the series for inspiration. Lowell had described becoming a Bond girl as “huge shoes to fill,” as she did not see herself as a “glamour girl,” even coming to her audition wearing jeans and a leather jacket. While Lowell wore a wig for the scenes in the United States, a scene where Bouvier cuts her hair was added so Lowell’s natural short hair could be used. Her surname references American First Lady Jackie Kennedy, whose maiden name was Bouvier. By coincidence, athlete Rafer Johnson, who plays Mullens in this film, was present at the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.