Anya Amasova, also known by her codename Agent XXX, is a character with a rich and intriguing backstory in the James Bond franchise. This fictional Soviet intelligence operative, portrayed by the talented American actress Barbara Bach, made her debut in the 1977 film “The Spy Who Loved Me” and also appeared in Christopher Wood’s accompanying novelization. Additionally, she found her way into the world of tabletop role-playing games with “James Bond 007: Role-Playing In Her Majesty’s Secret Service” from 1983-87. Let’s dive into the detailed biography and characteristics of this captivating character.
Anya Amasova’s journey in the Bond universe unfolds when the British HMS Ranger and the Soviet submarine Potemkin are captured. MI6 calls back James Bond from a mission in Austria, and in the process, Bond encounters a Russian team led by Sergei Barsov. In an act of self-defense, Bond kills Barsov, unbeknownst that Barsov was Amasova’s lover. On the other side, Anya is recalled from her mission by General Gogol of the KGB.
Their paths cross at the Pyramids in Egypt, where Anya’s henchmen confront Bond, suspecting him of killing Aziz Fekkesh, an Egyptian contact. However, it turns out that Jaws was the real killer. They formally meet in Cairo at Max Kalba’s club, where they both compete to acquire a secret microfilm. When Kalba falls victim to Jaws, they embark on a joint mission to locate the microfilm. As they work together, Bond and Anya fall in love.
Their shared objectives and mutual affection lead them on a journey across Egypt. During a train ride to Sardinia, they share a meal and bond further, both personally and professionally. However, their night takes a dangerous turn when Jaws attacks Anya in her carriage. Bond comes to her rescue, and after defeating Jaws, they share an intimate moment.
On Sardinia, Anya accompanies Bond in his mission to meet Karl Stromberg while posing as his wife. During this mission, she learns the truth about Bond’s involvement in her lover’s death. Despite her initial desire for revenge, she decides to complete their mission first.
Anya’s loyalty to Bond is put to the test when she is captured by Stromberg and held captive at his underwater base, Atlantis. Bond stages a daring rescue, and as the mission nears its end, Anya points her gun at Bond but ultimately cannot bring herself to kill him due to her love for him.
In addition to her appearance in “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Anya Amasova has also been featured in alternate continuities, such as the role-playing game “James Bond 007.”
Anya Amasova is a complex character with various personality traits. She is portrayed as cunning, devious, and fearless, traits that serve her well in her role as a Soviet intelligence operative. She keeps her emotions under control, displaying them only sparingly. Her intelligence and adaptability are notable, and she may possess an eidetic memory, as evidenced by her discussions of blueprints.
Anya’s character also exhibits vengefulness, as she initially seeks revenge against James Bond for the death of her lover. However, she is capable of forgiveness and letting go of grudges, as she forgives Bond once she realizes he acted in self-defense. Her nerves of steel are evident in moments when she remains composed even when facing danger.
Despite her serious nature, Anya has a sense of humor and can be playful. She uses pranks to outwit Bond and is not above playful banter, as seen in her interaction with Q.
Behind the Scenes
Barbara Bach, the actress who portrayed Anya Amasova, was cast only four days before principal photography began. She auditioned for a supporting role in the film but ended up playing a significant part.
It was initially planned for Amasova to make a cameo appearance in the film “Moonraker,” released in 1979, as the woman in bed with General Gogol, but this idea was not realized.
Anya Amasova has garnered praise from Bond fans and critics alike. Entertainment Weekly listed her as the fifth best Bond girl, highlighting her ability to hold her own in action scenes and her role as a symbol of women’s liberation. She was considered one of the first Bond girls who could stand as Bond’s equal. Other rankings and reviews have also recognized her as a memorable and impactful character in the Bond franchise.