MI5 may not have selected Sean Connery: Hollywood spy vs. the reality of spy jobs

What are the essential characteristics of James Bond? Let me explain to you. Mostly dressed up, sporting a crisp bow tie, super cool sunglasses, and a go-to personality. Everything a true MI5 spy would avoid. In short, James Bond would make a poor spy, a position that intelligence officials have consistently defended for centuries. To back up this claim, MI5, the UK’s national counter-intelligence and security agency, has released a list of basic requirements for the role of spy, and James Bond clearly fails on several counts.

The £37,757-a-year role is largely focused on “blending naturally into the surroundings wherever you are”. Thus, 007 wannabes are not allowed to be oversized or have any identifying traits, such as tattoos on their hands, face, or neck.

Women must be under 5ft 10in and men under 6ft 2in to be considered for the position. Sean Connery, the first to portray James Bond on the big screen, would therefore have been very thin at 6ft 2in and is unlikely to have been hired.

Daniel Craig, the newest James Bond actor, who is 5ft 10in, would be a good choice.

The most accurate portrayals of espionage were found in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, whose best-known pre-war spy thrillers included, ‘The man who knew too much (1934) and ‘The 39 steps (1935). These movies introduced a concept that later became common in spy movies: the non-spy who gets caught up in a scheme and is confused by what’s going on.

The portrayal of espionage had advanced to the point that film and television directors were using a strategy far too removed from reality by the late 1950s. These acts became the stuff of humor or fantasy stories with a comedic touch rather than being portrayed as a serious, secret business. James Bond, the protagonist of 14 novels by British intelligence officer Ian Fleming, stands out as the best illustration of this pattern.

Bond, Agent 007 has a license to kill, and he makes the most of it in his endless operations against the Soviet-style group known as Smersh, using both that license and his signature finesse to get out. unscathed from every adventure.

Well, good for the real-life Bond, but if anyone was applying for the MI5 spy job, throw those Bonds out as idiosyncrasies and blend in with the crowd.

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