The villains of GOLDENEYE faced agent 007 with new and original threats. They meant a personal, physical and historical challenge to Pierce Brosnan is his first outing as James Bond, 20 years ago.
Sheffield-born actor Sean Bean, who would later be known for the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and nowadays the TV series GAME OF THRONES, was cast as the main villain of GOLDENEYE: who was no other than agent 006, "the man who knows him better", according to the film promotions.
Alec Trevelyan is the first villain in the franchise to have worked as a Bond collague and is seen on a mission with him at the very beginning of the movie, leading an assault to a Soviet chemical warfare facility in the USSR. But the times have changed and now he's the shadowy leader of the Janus Syndicate, linked to the new Russian mafia. His plan: bring England back to the Stone Age by ruining it finantially.
"He's a very clever fellow and matches Bond with his wit, intellect, special training and aggression. I think Bond appreciates and understands the fact that they're equals. Also, the audience will hopefully think, even though in the back of their minds they know the answer, who's going to win", Bean said in 1995 about his character.
But of course, Trevelyan is not alone. On his side there's his one time "executioner" General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov, played by German actor Gottfried John.
Ourumov, a high-ranking Russian colonel back in 1986 during the Arkhangelsk assignament, has been promoted to General and sees himself as "the new Iron Man of Russia" during the new world order after the fall of the Berlin Wall. "I tried to represent the rise and the fall of the Soviet Union in one character," John said.
One of Reiner Werner Fassbender's predilect actors, John's career include credits in many GermanTV series like BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ and ACHT STUNDEN SIND KEM TAG, as well as a couple of European productions until he was cast in GOLDENEYE, which led him to appear in more Hollywood-esque productions like PROOF OF LIVE and ASTERIX AND OBELIX VS CAESAR. He died in 2014.
He is now known for his role in the TV series THE GOOD WIFE, but twenty years ago Scottish actor Alan Cumming gave laughs to Bond fans as Boris Grishenko, a Servernaya based computer genius in Janus' payroll who enjoys hacking the US Department of State website as a pastime, yelling his battle cry "I am invincible!" every time he succeeds.
"Boris is a very sad person. He has obviously had an unhappy childhood and threw himself into the world of computers and never quite developed in other areas," Cumming commented about Boris, expressing his enthusiasm for being part of a 007 adventure: "I certainly liked the idea of working in a Bond film. It was a terrific part anyway, but the fact that it was a Bond film really clinched it for me."
Cumming has recently published his autobiography, Not My Father's Son: A Memoir.