Anyone who’s watched James Bond (or read Ian Fleming’s books) will know 007′s order at the bar: a martini cocktail, shaken not stirred.
Despite Bond’s drinking being a central part of his character, however, we’re only just clocking on that it was actually deeply problematic.
A new study has categorised the British spy as a man with a “severe” drinking problem, who was drinking enough to kill himself – or at least put himself in a coma. Not quite so glamorous.
The report, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, detailed a tally of the drinks Bond consumed in every film – and researchers found he sipped his memorable tipple 109 times in movies between 1962 to 2015.
In one particular scene in ‘Quantum of Solace’, Daniel Craig’s character consumed six Vespers – a cocktail of gin, vodka and wine, which can contain up to 24 units of alcohol.
That would be enough to raise Bond’s blood alcohol level and cause heart failure, a coma, or even death, the report said.
It wasn’t just the quantity of booze – Nick Wilson, lead author in the study, added that Bond exhibited “risky behaviour” after drinking including driving (including in chases), high-stakes gambling, operating complex machinery, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance, and sex with enemies, “sometimes with guns or knives in the bed”.
Bond’s habits don’t fare any better in the books, either – in one novel, the report found the agent consumed a jaw-dropping 50 units of alcohol in one day.
The paper is also critical of the role MI6 played in Bond’s habit, and said it should’ve been helping Bond manage his stress levels. “More field support and a stronger team approach are needed so that his duties do not weigh as heavily upon him,” said Wilson.
If Bond was real he should’ve sought professional help, including from his employer. But alas, he’s not.