New Podcast Claims James Bond Was Inspired by a Dominican Diplomat
There was quite a bit of bigoted backlash when 007 fans started floating the idea of Idris Elba as the new James Bond following Daniel Craig’s departure in “No Time to Die,” with those against the idea arguing that the franchise had no business going “woke,” whatever that means.
Those outspoken people who are terrified at the idea of a Black Bond will not rest any easier knowing that James Bond author Ian Fleming seems to have actually been inspired by an Afro-Latino Dominican man named Porfirio Rubirosa, an international man of mystery with ties to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Rafael Trujillo.
An essay by Daniel J. Voelker, a forensic historian and the founder of a boutique litigation law firm in Chicago, titled “Will the Real James Bond, Please Stand Up?” reveals Rubirosa as a man with many striking similarities to the iconic character.
Voelker’s argument becomes even more convincing when considering the fact that Fleming and Rubirosa traveled within the same social circles, sharing friendships with John F. Kennedy, Rita Hayworth, and Prince Aly Khan, among many others.
According to Voelker’s research, Fleming and Rubirosa were both hard-partying womanizers, but Rubirosa had the added benefit of engaging in global espionage and working under the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo while maintaining a friendship with Fidel Castro. He and Fleming, on separate occasions, also consulted with President Kennedy about diffusing nuclear tensions with Castro’s administration that would eventually snowball into the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Rubirosa himself lived a life worthy of its own history textbook, having made appearances as one of Hitler’s guests during the 1936 Olympics, one of Castro’s allies during the 1959 revolution, and as an enemy of the German Gestapo when he started selling Dominican visas to Jews fleeing the Nazis.
The man who would be James Bond seemed to have no political affiliation of his own, going only where he could be guaranteed booze, women, and action. Similarly to the character, Rubirosa was also known for his slew of high-profile affairs with the era’s most beautiful women, including Marilyn Monroe, Eva Person, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Veronica Lake, Joan Crawford, and Kim Novak.
Although he married five times, Rubirosa was known for his litany of affairs and was infamous for his irresistibly charming personality, seemingly a front for his cold and calculating approach to just about everything in life, including his relentless pursuit of any beautiful woman in his line of sight and his ability to both quell and fan the flames of global conflict. Remind you of anyone?
Voelker’s case for Rubirosa as the inspiration behind Bond focuses on the proximity in which Fleming and Rubirosa found themselves. The Dominican Republic was the home base for Rubirosa, while Fleming is known for his longtime residency in Jamaica, just a few hundred miles away and newly accessible by plane during the 1940s.
At the height of their respective escapades, Fleming and Rubirosa would have lived mere hours away from each other. Voelker also mentions Fleming’s propensity for birdwatching and went so far as to name the character after “A Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies” author James Bond.
The book contains information about birds indigenous to both Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, something that most likely prompted Fleming to indulge his hobby by traveling between the two islands. Voelker notes that Fleming’s penchant for partying meant he would have most likely taken some time to have a drink and a laugh during his visits to DR, where he would have most likely run into Rubirosa on more than one occasion.
A new podcast called “Rubirosa” hosted by “Call Me Kat” actor Christopher Rivas explores the life and times of this international playboy in more detail while exploring the host’s own Dominican identity in relation to a character he’s loved since childhood. In an interview with NowThis, the actor said, “[Rubirosa’s] essence was stolen by society and Hollywood, forcing me to ask: how might my life have been different if the character I loved most looked like me?”
The podcast has been released amidst rumors of who will be handed the Bond torch in the decade to come. According to an interview with Variety, franchise producer Barbara Broccoli has made it clear she wants Bond to evolve “as men are evolving,” but she’s probably referring to the franchise’s misogynistic tendencies, which have produced dozens of “Bond girls” who exist to be bedded and killed in each subsequent film.
Casting a Latino to play James Bond may not be an overnight cure-all for racism, but it will at least do Rubirosa some kind of justice, considering this debonair, calculating, and charming Dominican man inspired one of the most popular characters in history.
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