Playing rebooted characters is doubtlessly intimidating—in the Bond universe, there is nary a role that can be cast without an upsurge of “Are you kidding me?!”s. But I have a very good feeling about Naomie Harris as Moneypenny in the upcoming Bond 23, directed by Sam Mendes. As previously speculated, the actress has recently been confirmed to take on the role in the 2012 installment opposite Daniel Craig.
Harris is a great pick because she’s exceptionally versatile. She doesn’t rely on a resonant persona, but instead seamlessly becomes her roles. I guess that’s the whole point of acting—but how many performers today can you say that about? Harris’ most famous work would probably be 28 Days Later and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, in which she excelled.
Moneypenny, name alone, ranks high among beloved Bond characters. The role was immortalized by Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in fifteen different Bond films, over a twenty-three year span. That’s the kind of thing that really does a number on your sense of identity.
Ten inspiring honourees from across the globe were celebrated for their goodwill efforts as they were brought on stage at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles to receive awards from a host of celebrities, including Greg Kinnear and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
In one of the night's most emotional moments, James Bond star Pierce Brosnan recalled his late wife Cassandra Harris, who died of ovarian cancer in 1991, while paying tribute to breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory, who helps provide free screenings in Florida.
Eva Mendes awarded the Hero of the Year prize and a $100,000 (£62,500) grant to 21-year-old Efren Penaflorida, who founded a mobile pushcart program to distribute books to children in slums in his native Philippines.
Country sensation Carrie Underwood, R&B singer Maxwell and pop star Leona Lewis all performed at the event, which will air in the U.S. on Thanksgiving (26Nov09).
Frida star Hayek will be presented with the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence, while De La Hoya will receive the Special Achievement in Sports Television honour at the event next month (Sep09).
Montalban, who died in January (09), will be the subject of a special tribute hosted by West Side Story star Rita Moreno.
Among the nominees for top prizes at the event, Alfred Molina, Cheech Marin, Javier Bardem and Joaquin Phoenix will compete for the Best Actor award and Sofía Vergara, Cameron Diaz, Eva Mendes and Oscar winner Penelope Cruz will fight it out for Best Actress.
Enrique Iglesias, Maxwell, Christina Aguilera and the Black Eyed Peas are among the nominees for the night's music awards, and Jessica Alba, Alessandra Ambrosia, Elsa Benitez, Gisele Bundchen, Fergie, Daisy Fuentes, Adriana Lima, Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria Parker are all up for the 2009 Fashion Icon Award at the ALMAs.
The list of nominations was announced on Tuesday (25Aug09) prizegiving hostess Eva Longoria Parker's Latin-themed restaurant Beso in Hollywood.
The ALMAs will be televised in America on 18 September (09).