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17 women who'd make an awesome James Bond.

Gillian Anderson and Emilia Clarke are into it.

It's Bond. James Bond.

Beloved fictional British spy James Bond has been saving the world for more than half a century, and while there's been some change (he's been played by seven different actors over more than 20 films), at its core, the Bond character continues to resemble the spy originally crafted by novelist Ian Fleming.


Photo by Greg Williams/Eon Productions via Getty Images.

Recently, there's been a push to cast a woman in the role of 007, and at least two actresses are totally on board with the idea.

Gillian Anderson of "X-Files" fame and Emilia Clarke from "Game of Thrones" have both tossed their hats into the ring to replace Daniel Craig, the current Bond.

It started when Anderson answered a question on Tumblr: "What is the best rumor you've ever heard about yourself?" with "That I might be the next Bond." Since then, fans have been coming out of the woodwork to support the idea of Agent Scully stepping into the role.

Craig, who reprised the role for the fourth time in l "Spectre," is totally cool with the concept of having a woman play the role, saying, "I think it’s a great idea. If it works it works. That’s the great thing about film is it’s all about imagination so of course it could happen. Not that’s it a huge push, it’s just that anything’s possible."


Here's a look at 17 badass women in Hollywood who'd probably do a pretty awesome job as James — er, Jane Bond.

1. Gillian Anderson

"The X-Files," "Hannibal," and "The Fall" feature the versatile actress playing complex (and badass) characters. Without a doubt, she'd be an awesome Bond.

Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company.

2. Emilia Clarke

Not only does Clarke play Daenerys Targaryen on "Game of Thrones" (which, honestly, would have been enough reason to put her on the list), but she also flexed her action-star muscles a bit playing Sarah Connor in 2015's "Terminator Genisys."

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

3. Zoe Saldana

She certainly held her own in "Avatar," "Star Trek," and "Guardians of the Galaxy." Who's to say she wouldn't make an awesome Bond?

Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images.

4. Lucy Liu

Currently starring as Dr. Joan Watson on "Elementary," Liu is the very model of how seamless a gender-swapped character can work into a storyline. Add in the fact that she's been in films like "Charlie's Angels" and "Kill Bill," and she'd totally do a great job as Bond.

Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.

5. Angelina Jolie

Not only has she starred in action roles like "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Salt," and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," but she's also a UN Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees. Action chops and diplomatic experience? Perfect.

Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images.

6. Serena Williams

OK, so, Serena Williams isn't really known as an actress (though she did pick up a screen credit in Beyoncé's "Lemonade" video, so that should count as like half a dozen regular roles, right?), but admit it, you'd totally want to see a James Bond movie starring the tennis legend, right?

Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.

7. Michelle Rodriguez

Star of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, Rodriguez has shown she can hold her own when it comes to anchoring an action sequence. She's been outspoken about her desire to see better roles for women in action movies for a while now. You can imagine what she'd be capable of with Bond's license to kill.

Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images for Avakian.

8. Robin Wright

Robin Wright probably isn't the first name to come to mind when you think of a future James Bond, but her role as Claire Underwood on "House of Cards" makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

9. Kerry Washington

James Bond is basically Olivia Pope — except for all the shooting and the ... OK, so, Bond and Pope don't have that much in common, but Kerry Washington can basically do anything, so I wouldn't count her out.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for the DAILY FRONT ROW.

10. Ming-Na Wen

You probably know Ming-Na Wen from her role as Melinda May on Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." And if you do, you know that she's part of some of the most badass fight scenes to ever appear on TV and has a killer high kick that you would not want to be on the receiving end of.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

11. Tatiana Maslany

Tatiana Maslany is the star of "Orphan Black," where she plays a half a dozen or so characters, each more complex than the last. If you're looking for someone who can bring something new and fresh to a storied franchise like James Bond, Maslany's a solid choice.

Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for GLAAD.

12. Rosario Dawson

Yes, it's been more than a decade since Dawson was tearing things up in "Sin City," but that doesn't mean she's lost her edge. Popping up in Marvel properties like "Jessica Jones," "Daredevil," and the upcoming "Luke Cage" series, Dawson's still got it.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

13. Charlize Theron

It's Furiosa. Imperator Furiosa. Seriously, not only should Theron do as many action flicks as possible (please do another "Mad Max" — please), but she could 100% rock the role of James Bond, mixing sophistication with all-around badassery.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

14. Lynda Carter

She doesn't act all that much anymore, but Lynda Carter (aka Wonder Woman) could make a monster comeback by picking up the role of MI6's finest.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media.

15. Beyoncé

Let's forget that Queen Bey was in that 2002 Austin Powers movie. Let's just forget that. OK? That was forever ago, before she harnessed the superpower that is being Beyoncé. You saw her kicking ass in the "Lemonade" video. She's a natural for this role.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images.

16. Jessica Alba

With action and adventure credits that include "Dark Angel," "Sin City," and "Fantastic Four," Jessica Alba has a resume that'd make just about any casting director drool. Now imagine her as James Bond.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

17. Lucy Lawless

If for no other reason than the fact that she played "Xena: Warrior Princess," Lucy Lawless would be warmly welcomed back into action roles. Lawless. Lucy Lawless.

Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM.

Will the next Bond be a woman from this list? Probably not. Even so, it's fun to think about.

And beyond that, it's great that this is even an idea that's being entertained outside the realm of fan fiction. Are there more pressing gender-related issues to worry about in Hollywood? Sure. Wage inequality and representation both in front of and behind the cameras could use some major work. Does that make dreaming up a gender-swapped James Bond any less entertaining? Nah.

May the next James Bond — whoever they may be — lead the franchise in exciting new directions.

Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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