WATCH: There’s ‘Honor’ in Being a ‘Bond Woman,’ Says ‘Skyfall’s’ Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris and Daniel Craig arrive at the U.K. premiere of ‘Skyfall.’ (Photo by Stewart Wilson/Invision/AP)

Ever since Ursula Andress stepped out of the ocean sexily clad in a bikini in 1962’s Dr. No, the first ever 007 film, the Bond girl has been a staple of the franchise. Over the years Bond girls have enjoyed adulation from legions of fans — as well as scorn from critics who see the depictions as sexist stereotypes.

But British actress Naomie Harris, who plays a Bond “woman” in the new 007 film Skyfall is quite clear where she stands on the issue. “I love the term Bond woman — or Bond girl — it’s a real honor to be part of that,” she says.

Rather than being a pretty damsel in distress, Harris plays MI6 spy Eve, who is very much Bond’s co-agent. The actress says: “She’s an agent, she’s not really living up to the stereotypes of what it is to be a sexy woman. She’s out there as an equal to Bond in the field,”

Even French actress Berenice Marlohe — who plays a femme fatale in Skyfall, a more stereotypically Bond girl role — sees many of the women who’ve populated 007 movies in the past in a positive light. She refers to an early Bond girl as having “huge femininity but also masculinity.” (Watch interview below with Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.)

At a recent press event for Skyfall, both actresses weren’t holding back on promoting the movie. Marlohe views the film as having “modernity” but adds that it still “manages to pay homage to previous Bond movies.” Harris agrees: “It has all the old classic elements of Bond and also a lot of really great modern elements as well.” They’re pretty much in line with many critics who’ve been giving Skyfall some very positive reviews.

Skyfall opens in U.S. cinemas on November 9th.