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Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi)

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Tatiana "Tania" Romanova (Russian: Татьяна Романова) is a fictional Soviet army corporal who acts as bait in a plot to exact revenge on 007. Based on the character of the same name from Ian Fleming's 1957 novel, Tania appeared in the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love and was played by Italian actress Daniela Bianchi, voiced by Barbara Jefford. The character would later appear in the film's 2005 video-game adaptation, voiced by Kari Wahlgren with the likeness of Bianchi.

Film biography

A corporal in Soviet Army Intelligence, Tatiana Romanova is assigned to work in the Soviet Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey as a cipher clerk. She originally intended to be a ballerina, but she had to drop out because she was just one inch too tall to qualify. She has a number of friends and is very popular, though she has had only three lovers.

She likes the look of Bond, and when she sees him face-to-face she comments, "You're even nicer than your photograph", to which 007 replies "You're the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."

Her commanding officer is Rosa Klebb — in the screenplay adaptation, she is secretly an agent for SPECTRE — who manipulates her into believing that she is on an important mission for her country, when she is in fact merely a pawn in the terrorist organization's latest bid to humiliate and scandalize the British Secret service.

As with the novel, Romanova is a very dedicated woman, loyal to her country and eager to participate in what she believes is an important mission. She does, however, hesitate when she is required to meet Colonel Klebb, a mean and wicked woman who loves to play with the psyches of her prisoners by torturing them and then, when lost in pain, caressing them in a motherly way. Romanov fears Klebb and suffers when she reports to her for the first time, where she is interrogated by Klebb. After being told that her life depends on accepting the mission, she receives her briefing, a "true labor of love", according to Klebb.

Once in Istanbul, she contacts Ali Kerim Bey and tells him her plans: she would willingly defect from the Soviet Union and take with her the precious Lektor only if James Bond assisted the operation. She claimed that she had fallen in love with the man from a picture she had seen in a secret file and wanted to live with him.

From Russia With Love - Bond meets Tanya

James Bond meets Tanya.

Both M and Bond believe this to be a trap, but the prize was high enough to go for it. They react just as the main brain behind the plot, chess champion Kronsteen, predicted. Bond then flies to Istanbul and contacts Bey. While they wait for the girl to show up, they spy on the Soviet headquarters and become involved in a racial dispute between a Gypsy tribe commanded by Vavra, and a gang of Bulgarian thieves lead by Krilencu, an old enemy of Bey.

After the battle at the camp, Bond returns to his hotel room and finds Romanova walking naked across the room and getting into his bed, wearing only a black velvet choker. They make love but are secretly filmed by Klebb's minions via a one-way mirror. This tape is explicitly planned to be used to embarrass MI6 and humiliate Bond in revenge for the death of Dr. No.

After meeting her again to verify the authenticity of her information, they blow up the Soviet embassy in Istanbul to cover their escape. With the help of Bey, they board the Orient Express and depart for Trieste and the Italian frontier. As a part of Kronsteen's strategy, the SPECTRE assassin Donald 'Red' Grant kills Bey and the KGB agent following them.

Bond contacts Grant, who is pretending to be an agent named Nash. After sedating Romanova, Nash's identity is revealed to Bond, who then fights Grant in their train room. Bond finally kills the murderer and manages to take Romanova to Venice. It is there they meet Klebb again who, in an attempt to retrieve the Lektor and kill Bond, disguises herself as a maid and tries to eliminate the agent with a dagger-tipped shoe poisoned with blowfish venom after she disarms Klebb and picks up the gun.

Romanova is torn between her orders to shoot Bond and her feelings for him; in the end, she turns on Klebb and shoots her dead, ultimately saving the day. Bond and Romanova soon look at the tape before Bond soon tosses it in the ocean.

Video game appearance

The character's role in the video game adaptation of From Russia With Love is more or less the same as in the novel and film, with the only major difference being that she is now an unwitting double agent for a terrorist organization called "Octopus". She is voiced by Kari Wahlgren.

Behind the scenes

Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi (promotional photo) (1)

Promotional photograph of Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi on location in Istanbul.

Several actresses were considered for the role of Tatiana, including Italians Sylva Koscina and Virna Lisi, Danish actress Annette Vadim, and English-born Tania Mallet.[1] 1960 Miss Universe runner-up Daniela Bianchi was ultimately cast, supposedly Sean Connery's choice. Bianchi started taking English classes for the role, but the producers ultimately chose to have her lines redubbed by British stage actress Barbara Jefford in the final cut.[2] The scene in which Bond finds Tatiana in his hotel bed was used for Bianchi's screen test, with actor Anthony Dawson standing in, this time, as Bond.[3] The scene later became the traditional screen test scene for prospective James Bond actors and Bond Girls.[4][5] During the filming of From Russia with Love, Bianchi's driver fell asleep during the commute to a 6 am shoot and crashed the car. The actress's face was bruised and Bianchi's scenes had to be delayed for two weeks while the facial contusions healed. One of a series of problems for the production, only a few days prior director Terence Young's helicopter had crashed while scouting locations in Argyll, Scotland. [3]

Gallery

References

  1. (2000). Inside From Russia with Love [DVD]. MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc.
  2. From Russia with Love audio commentary, Ultimate Edition DVD
  3. 3.0 3.1 Martine Beswick, Daniela Bianchi, Dana Broccoli, Syd Cain, Sean Connery, Peter Hunt, John Stears, Norman Wanstall. (2000). Inside From Russia with Love [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment Inc.. Retrieved on 4 August 2007.
  4. (2000). Inside Octopussy [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment Inc.. Retrieved on 4 August 2007.
  5. (2000). Inside The Living Daylights [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment Inc.. Retrieved on 4 August 2007.

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