Ringing in the Pierce Brosnan era, 1995’s “GoldenEye” pitted Bond against an old friend, Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), a former 00 agent incorrectly presumed dead. Like any self-respecting Bond villain, Trevelyan has his sights set on a satellite system with terrifying destructive capabilities (like, push a button and blow up the civilized world, kind of capabilities). Trevelyan’s allies are many, including but not limited to a leather-clad sadist-assassin who kills men with her thighs and a sticky hacker named Boris.
Luckily for him, Brosnan’s Bond has friends of his own … including Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane). An ex-KGB intelligence officer turned caviar-slurping mafioso, Bond visits Zukovsky’s nightclub in Saint Petersburg to arrange a meeting with the nefarious Janus organization. At the club, Bond sees (and, to his dismay, hears) the burlesque performance of Irina, Zukovsky’s mistress. Dressed as a cowgirl and demonstrating admirable enthusiasm despite being totally tone-deaf, Irina serves as little more than a punchline. But if you can tear your eyes away from the bedazzled cowboy hat, you’ll be treated to the realization that yes, that is indeed British actress/singer-songwriter Minnie Driver up there on stage.
Driver wouldn’t become a household name until “Good Will Hunting” a couple of years later; at this point in her career, Driver’s only big-screen credit was the 1995 coming of age drama “Circle of Friends.”