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"Oh, stop it, both of you! Stop it! You're like...boys with toys!"
― Natalya Simonova to Bond and Dimitri Mishkin.[src]

Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova (Russian: Наталья Фёдоровна Симонова) is a fictional Russian programmer and Bond girl who first appeared in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, portrayed by Polish-Swedish actress, model and singer Izabella Scorupco. The character was also featured in John Gardner's accompanying novelization and in the video-game. Natalya was subsequently re-imagined for the 2010 video-game GoldenEye 007, voiced by Kirsty Mitchell.

Biography

Background

Natalya worked as a Level 2 programmer for the guidance system at the Severnaya Satellite Control Center. She was best friends with Anna Nishkov and had a friendship with Boris Grishenko, whom was not very popular amongst his co-workers due to his arrogant and perverted personality, though Natalya was more patient and saw him just as a annoying little brother.

The GoldenEye attack

However unbeknownst to her and everyone else at the time, Boris had made a deal with Janus Crime Syndicate led by former MI6 spy Alec Trevelyan who sent agents General Ourumov (a treasonous member of the Russian army) and Xenia Onatopp (a deranged woman who enjoyed sexually crushing her victims to death) to steal a dangerous satellite weapon system named GoldenEye.

Natalya was in the kitchen making coffee and Boris had slipped away "for a cigarette" when he was really fleeing the scene in a hijacked Tiger Eurocopter before the two agents moved in for the attack. Natalya witnessed Xenia brutally shooting everybody there and tried to escape with no success. The sounds coming from the kitchen attracted Xenia's attention and assuming that person was hiding in the ventilation shaft, opened fire. Fortunately Natalya had hidden herself in one of the cupboards. She then watched Ourumov and Xenia take the three keys that launch the weapon and use them to activate one of the weapon satellites Petya with it's location being Severnaya itself, before fleeing the scene taking the keys with them.

Natalya caught in the GoldenEye attack.

Natalya was then left all alone and barely survived the electromagnetic pulse that was fired and destroyed the whole centre. She found Anna's dead body and covered it with a coat out of respect. She found her way out by climbing on the control centre satellite that had fallen through the ceiling during the centre's destruction. Trudging her way through the snowy night, she called out to Boris whom she didn't realize has already fled. She eventually found several sled dogs who have survived the attack unscathed due to being far away from the center and traveled back with them to St. Petersburg.

Trapped by the Janus Syndicate and meeting James Bond

Arriving at St. Petersburg, Natalya finds a computer to contact Boris and send him a message about Ourumov's attack. He tells her to meet him in a cathedral, but he betrayed her again by allowing her to be captured by Xenia. By this time Natalya was trapped in the stolen Tiger helicopter with MI6 agent James Bond who had also been captured by Janus. The helicopter had been set to fire missiles at itself, but Bond was able to eject the two. They are then arrested by the Russian government and transported to the Russian military archives where they were interrogated by the Minister of Defence Dmitri Mishkin. Bond tells him that he is innocent and he is investigating a case involving the GoldenEye theft and that there is a traitor in the ranks. Natalya however remained silent. Bond then interrogated Natalya herself saying that she knew more that she was letting on and he could help her if she trusted him. With no other choice Natalya told Bond what she knew about the destruction of Sevenaya and Boris' betrayal before Mishkin walked in. Bond and Mishkin then argued over the situation before Natalya silenced them both and revealed that Ourumov stole GoldenEye. Just after Mishkin set them free, Ourumov entered and Mishkin reprimanded him for his betrayal before he was brutally shot by the general, who then proceeded to blame Bond for it.

Train confrontation

Bond protecting Natalya at the St. Petersburg archives.

Bond then fought his way through the guards with Natalya close behind, but she fell from a loose catwalk and into the waiting arms of Ourumov who took her to Trevelyan's armored train. On board Natalya met Trevelyan who told her about his past friendship with Bond and then sexually harassed her to which Natalya angrily gave him a hard slap calling him a Svinya (the Russian word for a Pig). Bond meanwhile had taken a Russian T-55 tank and intercepted the train. Trevelyan then placed Natalya in Ourumov's hands before giving orders for the driver to ram the tank, but Bond derailed it by firing upon it. After Bond boarded the train and proceeded to shoot Trevelyan and Xenia who was also on board, Natalya was then brought in by Ourumov. Trevelyan gave Bond a choice to save her or continue with the mission. Bond then told them to go ahead and kill her as she meant nothing to him, much to Natalya's astonishment. Trevelyan then gave the word for Ourumov to kill her but Bond ended up killing Ourumov instead. Trevelyan and Xenia fled and sealed Bond and Natalya in. Before they escaped in a helicopter, Trevelyan told Bond that he had set the train to self-destruct, giving them only three minutes to escape. While Bond was using his laser to cut a way out through the floor, Natalya hacked into Boris' system to see where the location of where Trevelyan's base was. Boris however saw what Natalya was trying to do and tried sabotaging her chances, but she managed to find out that the location was Cuba. Bond then grabbed Natalya and they barely escaped the train before it exploded.

Rapprochement of Bond

Natalya: "How can you act like this? How can you be so cold?"
Bond: "It's what keeps me alive"
Natalya: "No. It's what keeps you alone."
―James Bond and Natalya Simonova[src]

Natalya making love with Bond.

Afterwards they travelled to Cuba where they were greeted by a friend of Bond's named Jack Wade who gave them a plane and also warned them that Trevelyan knows that they were coming. Later that night on a beach, Natalya questioned how Bond could simply just murder Trevelyan who had been his friend, but had now become his enemy. She disliked the brutish atmosphere she had encountered around her and Bond's supposed profession callousness. Bond tells her that it was what kept him alive, but Natalya retorts that it was what kept him alone. They suddenly kiss and then make love with Natalya asking if Bond really meant what he said to Trevelyan on the train, but Bond replied he was only drawing attention away from her.

Attacking the base

Next morning Bond and Natalya flew to the place where Trevelyan's base was, but a missile shot down their plane. They landed safely, but the impact knocked them both unconscious. As they were awakening, Xenia appeared, rappelling from a helicopter. She then attacked Bond, proceeding to use her deranged style of murder. Natalya attempted to intervene but Xenia headbutted her to the ground, telling her to wait for her turn. Bond then reconnected the rope that rappelled Xenia down to her safety harness and used her AK-74 rifle that was slung across her back to shoot the helicopter's cockpit which killed the pilot and fatally damaged the vehicle. The helicopter then began to plummet towards the ground dragging the screaming Xenia with it and trapping her in the fork of a tree, which ironically crushed her to death. Natalya and Bond dived for cover as the helicopter exploded as it hit the ground. They then stared at Xenia's dead corpse with Bond remarking "She always did enjoy a good squeeze."

Meanwhile Trevelyan and Boris had placed the antenna in position and planned to wipe out London's currency before setting off GoldenEye's other satellite Mischa to erase every trace of the theft as well as every other bit of information that would destroy the economy. Natalya and Bond found the entrance to base that had been concealed under the Cuban ocean and narrowly avoided Trevelyan's guards.

Natalya hacking into Boris' system.

While Bond was attaching mines to some of the flammable tanks in the base. Natalya slipped into the mainframe control room and hacked into Boris' system, changing the access codes for the satellite. She had just finished when the guards caught her and took her to Trevelyan who by this time had caught Bond as well. When she saw Boris, she furiously slapped him and proceeded to attack him so more before being restrained by the guards. Boris angrily told her to never do it again. Natalya then told him how disgusted she was by his betrayal and that more people would die because of his sick games. He raised a clenched fist to her face before being restrained by Trevelyan. He told him that Natalya had been in the mainframe so he should check the computer. Boris scoffed that Natalya was only a second level programmer and couldn't possibly do anything. However he was proven wrong when the satellite had already been programmed for re-entry and would be burnt up somewhere over the Atlantic. In a rage, Boris told Trevelyan that Natalya had changed the access codes. Trevelyan then placed Bond at gunpoint to threaten her into fixing it. Natalya however gave the same answer that Bond had given on the train; "Go ahead shoot him, he means nothing to me." Boris then said he could break her codes, but after a while he then screamed at Natalya to give him the codes whilst holding Bond's explosive pen that detonated and disarmed with three clicks each. Bond seized his chance and knocked the pen amongst the canisters which had a devastating effect on the control room. The two escape by lift and Bond asked her if Boris could break her codes. Natalya responded that there was a possibility, so the transmitter on the antenna must be destroyed. After taking out another guard, Bond gave Natalya the guard's gun for protection and told her to stay out of sight while he destroyed the transmitter. Boris meanwhile had succeeded in rebooting the system and proceeded to reprogram the satellite to it's original chosen location.

While Bond was fighting Trevelyan and sabotaging the antenna, Natalya stowed aboard a helicopter that had been sent to collect Trevelyan from the site. She then held the pilot at gunpoint and watched as Bond dropped Trevelyan to the dish below. Meanwhile due to Bond's sabotage of the antenna, the Mischa satellite went out of control and exploded in space much to Boris' dismay. Natalya then ordered the pilot to pick up Bond from the antenna before it exploded and fell, crushing Trevelyan to death. Meanwhile Boris was frozen to death by exploding canisters of Liquid Nitrogen.

Final situation

After stopping Trevelyan, Natalya and Bond travel to Guantanamo.

The helicopter landed in a secluded spot, where Natalya and Bond shared an intimate moment. But they were interrupted by Wade and his men who had come to rescue them and makes arrangements to travel to Guantanamo. Natalya was reluctant at first as every vehicle she had been on with Bond had always ended in disaster. But Bond carried her in his arms and told her nothing else could possibly go wrong.

Alternate continuities

GoldenEye (novelisation)

After a youth spent with her Grandfather, Natalya accepted a position as a computer programmer at the Severnaya facility. She worked there for a number of years and was paid in American dollars. One day, after her associate Boris Grishenko attempted to send a computer spike to the U.S. Ministry of Defense, Natalya went to the small kitchen in the facility for coffee, and heard gunfire. She then attempted to open a ceiling grate to escape, but opted for a spot under the counter.

She survived the attack, and changed in to winter gear before the GoldenEye weapon, which she had been maneuvering around the planet, struck the facility. This sent pieces of the concrete ceiling crashing to the floor. Upon feeling the cold air rush in from the hole in the roof, she used her climbing experience gained from an apple tree at her Grandfather's house to escape. Just outside the facility she found an abandoned team of dogs on a sled whose driver had died shortly before the GoldenEye strike, and she rode them to a train station near Severnaya where she sold the dogs to the station head, and bought a ticket on the next train to St. Petersburg. Natalya knew that she knew too much about the GoldenEye project to consider herself safe, and continued to drift through the railways. She got off at the Vokzal Railway Station where she bought more clothing and other supplies, and considered going to her parents' house at Lake Ilmen, but opted against it, as it would endanger her family as well as herself.

Natalya Simonova Literary - Profile.png

She then found a long forgotten official document in her bag that authorized her to test computers for government consumption, and headed out into St. Petersburg to find a computer store after mildly disguising herself. The store she found was primitive at best, and the shopkeeper disregarded her and only asked to help her when she was about to leave. She flashed her document and asked for a computer to test. He set one up for her, and she emailed her former coworker Boris, who had gone outside for a smoke when the weapon struck. He replied almost immediately, and they arranged to meet at a church the next day. Despite her skepticism in the existence of a god, Natalya prayed for her family until Boris came. He then directed her behind a curtain, where Xenia Onatopp waited with a hypodermic full of an incapacitating agent.

She then awoke in the technician's seat of a helicopter. She then desperately tried to awaken the man unconscious in the pilot's seat, and he asked her to locate a red square button on his console. Natalya saw it to his right, and informed him, and he pressed it with his right temple. The button then launched the cockpit into the air before some missiles that had been locked to the helicopter's coordinates when they fired struck the rest of the helicopter. He then helped Natalya out of the cockpit, and they were captured by the Russian Government who believed them to be the ones who destroyed Severnaya. They were interrogated by Minister of Defense Viktor Mishkin before he was murdered by General Ourumov, who really had destroyed Severnaya. the man from the helicopter, who introduced himself as James Bond, then threw a chair at him and they tried to escape the facility. As they made their way through the National Archives, Natalya was captured. Ourumov stuffed her in the back seat of a car with him and ordered the driver to take them to Janus. Natalya however, maintained a hope that her new friend Mr. Bond had escaped and was planning a rescue, which was confirmed when they were tailed through St. Petersburg by a T55 tank. She was taken to a trainyard where Ourumov killed their driver and left her with Onatopp. She was then taken to Janus, who informed her that she could live comfortably if she behaved, or be killed. She was soon rescued by Bond, but Janus left the train to explode with them inside. Natalya, knowing that Boris would be on a computer somewhere, sent a spike to his system and discovered that he was hiding North of Havana, Cuba. The prospect of visiting Cuba delighted Natalya, who had always wanted to visit the Caribbean.

They were smuggled out of Russia by Jack Wade, who gave Natalya the disguise and fake passport of a 15 year old schoolgirl. They arrived in America, and were escorted to a CIA safehouse in Puerto Rico for a few days before a plane was sent for them to fly to Cuba.

After finding the facility of Janus' second GoldenEye, and killing Xenia Onatopp, Natalya broke into the Mainframe server room after swinging across the spars underneath the facility's catwalks, and was able to crash the GoldenEye's navigation system. before being captured. She was interrogated, but Bond set off an explosive pen that allowed them to escape. Natalya escaped into the Jungle, and commandeered a helicopter at gunpoint, and forced the pilot to fly to the satellite dish to rescue Bond. They then reunited in a Jungle clearing, unknowing of the United States Marines retreating around them to give them privacy.

GoldenEye 007 (1997 game)

Izabella Scorupco's Natalya Simonova in GoldenEye 007 (1997).

In the 1997 Nintendo N64 video-game, GoldenEye 007, Natalya plays a very similar role to that in the film.

Bond first meets Natalya where both are being held prisoner. She has been branded a traitor and claims Ourumov stole the GoldenEye satellite. He later escapes with her and she continues to follow him on later missions.

Against the advice of MI6, Natalya returns to St. Petersburg, Russia and is kidnapped by the Janus Crime Syndicate. They have her and the stolen Pirate helicopter. Once Janus reveals himself as Trevelyan to Bond, he states that neither she nor the helicopter are needed any longer as they have the GoldenEye firing key. He rigs it to blow in 3 minutes but Bond saves her. As he is looking for the helicopter's black box, Natalya is held up by Mishkin and his men to be taken in for questioning. In Archives, they are questioned about the Severnaya incident. Bond escapes their clutches, rescues Natalya, and meets Mishkin to recover the black box in order to implicate Janus in the GoldenEye firing incident at Severnaya. When they escape to the streets, Ourumov kidnaps Natalya and proceeds to take her to an abandoned military depot and onto Trevelyan's Train. Bond again rescues her and she cracks Boris' code, figuring that Janus is going to Cuba.

MI6 realizes they can use her computer skills to hack into the GoldenEye satellite and agree to send her with Bond to Cuba. In the interim, Natalya has received training from Jack Wade.

In Cuba, Bond and Natalya travel together in an aeroplane, but are shot down by a Janus missile. They both survive the crash and must go through the jungle on foot to find the Janus base which holds the GoldenEye firing coordinates. Natalya must hack into it and change the coordinates which are currently set to fire on London. She succeeds and escapes to safety as Bond continues to chase Trevelyan. Once Bond kills Trevelyan at the antenna cradle, she pilots a helicopter to pick him up.

In the ending cutscene of the game, Bond and Natalya are kissing as the credits role.

Behind the scenes

  • Izabella said in an interview that she had enjoyed playing her character and admired her for her strength, bravery and willingness to help. She described her as a "very natural girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time". She also requested that her character be known as a "Bond Woman" because the term "Bond Girl" sounded to her as too demeaning.
  • The memorable outfit of the white La Perla bikini and patterned Ghost sarong was created by costume designer Lindy Hemming as a homage to Ursula Andress' character Honey Ryder. Izabella kept it after filming and later donated it in November 2012 to the Child Diabetes Fund in Sweden for a charity auction. It is now in the Swedish 007 museum next to a signed picture of herself and Pierce Brosnan.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Natalya can speak Russian, English, French, German, and Italian.
  • Natalya's watch was a graduation gift from her parents.

See also

References

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