- May Day: "And I thought that creep loved me!"
- James Bond: "You're not the only one he double-crossed."
- ―May Day and James Bond.[src]
May Day was a fictional bodyguard, lover and assassin employed by billionaire industrialist, Max Zorin. Portrayed by American singer and actress, Grace Jones, and doubled by stuntman, BJ Worth, the character acted as the secondary antagonist in the 1985 James Bond film, A View to a Kill. She subsequently appeared in video-game adaptions of the film, as well as the games The Duel (1993), GoldenEye 007 (1997) and Nightfire (2002).
May Day is the American bodyguard and lover of wealthy industrialist and former-KGB operative, Max Zorin. Little is known about her past. A tall woman in her mid-thirties, she exhibited abnormal strength; perhaps indicating her origin in the selective breeding experiments of Nazi eugenicist, Dr. Hans Glaub. During a hostile standoff with the KGB, she lifts a man over her head with no apparent effort. Her only physical equal appeared to be Zorin. Himself a confirmed product of Glaub's eugenics experiments, he managed to pin her to the floor during a hand-to-hand combat training session. She headed Zorin's group of female guards. Her later grief at the death of her subordinates, Jenny Flex and Pan Ho, suggests that they shared a close working relationship.
In 1985, she attends Royal Ascot with Zorin, who enters his thoroughbred, Pegasus, into the race. He cheats via the remote application of steroids; which subsequently results in May Day having to restrain the frantic horse after it wins. Following similarly suspicious racing activity, the French Jockey Club hires private detective, Achille Aubergine, to look to look into the possibility that Zorin may be involved in a horse-fixing scheme. Zorin dispatches May Day to the Eiffel Tower, where she murders the detective with a poisoned stage prop as he dines with James Bond. With Bond in pursuit, she flees up the tower and parachutes across Paris. She eventually escapes along the Seine in a boat driven by Zorin. Later that month, Zorin holds an annual thoroughbred sale at his stud farm near Paris. Bond infiltrates the gathering, but May Day quickly sees through his cover as a wealthy aristocrat; identifying him as the man from the Eiffel Tower. 007 seduces her in a bid to evade suspicion. Despite this, his cover is blown by Zorin the following morning. May Day subsequently garrotes his MI6 colleague, Sir Godfrey Tibbett, while he is taking his Rolls-Royce through a car wash, and participates in the attempt to drown Bond in said car.
Believing Bond to be dead, the pair depart for the United States to enact "Project Mainstrike" — Zorin's scheme to attain dominance over the global microchip market by destroying Silicon Valley with a super-earthquake. As they meet with co-conspirators on-board an airship, May Day executes a hesitant investor by defenestrating him into the San Francisco Bay. After discovering Bond to be alive, she kills his CIA contact, Chuck Lee, and participates in framing 007 for the murder of Zorin's stooge at San Francisco City Hall, W.G. Howe. The following day, she joins Zorin in Main Strike Mine as he prepares to blast through the lake beds above. After flooding the Fault under the mine, they planned to detonate hundreds of 50 lb sacks of ANFO in a bid to destroy the "key geological lock"; creating a catastrophic geological disaster and permanently submerging the region. After infiltrating the mine and learning the details of the plan, Bond and his companion, Stacey Sutton, are pursued by May Day, Flex and Pan Ho. However, Zorin betrays his entourage and prematurely floods the mine; causing them to be swept away by the floodwaters. Furious at Zorin's betrayal, May Day helps 007 extract the lock-breaking bomb and loads it onto a railroad cart. Realizing the breaks will jam without her, she defiantly rides the ticking device out of the mine and is killed in the subsequent detonation.
In the manual tabletop role-playing game, it is said that Zorin discovered May Day when she worked as a lion trainer in a circus.
In the 16-Bit variant of the 1993 James Bond action platform video game, The Duel, an insane professor hijacks a clandestine satellite launch center on a remote island in the Caribbean. In a bid to foil Bond's attempt to stop him, the professor built a cloning machine to replicate the spy's previous enemies; one of whom is dubbed "Yoyo", but is clearly intended to be May Day and is explicitly referred to as such in the Japanese manual. 007 encounters her whilst scaling a heat exchange reactor in the heart of the island's volcano. The character does not appear in the 8-Bit version of the game.
Despite her absence from its single player story campaign, May Day was included as a bonus multiplayer character in Rare's iconic 1997 first-person shooter video game, GoldenEye 007. The character was unlockable by completing the game's Antenna Cradle stage.
Behind the scenes
To create her character's look for the film, Jones collaborated with her personal designer, Azzedine Alaïa, and the film's costume designer, Emma Porteous. During production, Jones was reputed to be difficult to work with; with Roger Moore later remarking: "I’ve always said if you've nothing nice to say about someone, then you should say nothing." Among the off-screen antics, Moore stated that, despite his protestations, Jones played very loud heavy metal every day in her adjacent dressing room. He recounted how on one particular occasion: "I marched into her room, pulled the plug out and then went back to my room, picked up a chair and flung it at the wall". Perhaps most famously, he recalled how Jones - as a practical joke - wore a "rather large black dildo" during their love scene.
- Despite initially being one of the evilest villains, May Day is one of the few to change sides and become an ally, along with Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, Ladislav Kutze in Thunderball and Jaws in Moonraker.
- (2000). Inside A View to a Kill: A View to a Kill Ultimate Edition, Disc 2 (NTSC, Widescreen, Closed-captioned) [DVD]. MGM/UA Home Video. Retrieved on 07 July 2018. Event occurs at 13:00.
- Michael G. Wilson. (1985). Production Commentary, A View to a Kill [Blu-ray]. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Event occurs at 00:38:33. "Another one of those crazy ideas out of some genetic engineering from the days of the Second World War in Germany. These perfect people were produced. In James Bond's world its not impossible. So May Day and Zorin were this pair of counterparts, if you like, from this experiment."
- (1993) James Bond 007: The Duel instruction manual (in En). London, England: Domark Software Ltd., p.2.
- (1993) James Bond 007: The Duel instruction manual (in Jp). Japan: Tengen, p.12.
- David Naylor. (1985). Production Commentary, A View to a Kill [Blu-ray]. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Event occurs at 00:13:50.
- Moore, Roger (1st November 2009). "Chapter 12: A Farewell to Bond and Niv", My Word Is My Bond: The Autobiography (in En). Michael O'Mara. ISBN 1843173875.
- Rubin, Steven Jay (2003). The complete James Bond movie encyclopedia. Contemporary Books, 432. ISBN 978-0-07-141246-9. Retrieved on 21 May 2011.