Ringing in the Pierce Brosnan era, 1995’s “GoldenEye” pitted Bond against an old friend, Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), a former 00 agent wrongfully presumed dead. Like any self-respecting Bond villain, Trevelyan takes aim at a satellite system with terrifying destructive abilities (like pushing a button and blowing up the civilized world, sort of abilities). Trevelyan’s allies are many, including but not limited to a sadistic leather-clad assassin who kills men with his thighs and a clingy hacker named Boris.
Luckily for him, Brosnan’s Bond has his own friends…including Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane). A former KGB intelligence officer turned caviar-loving mafioso, Bond visits Zukovsky’s nightclub in St. Petersburg to arrange a meeting with the infamous Janus Organization. At the club, Bond sees (and, much to his dismay, hears) the burlesque performance of Irina, Zukovsky’s mistress. Dressed as a cowgirl and showing admirable enthusiasm despite being totally deaf, Irina is little more than a punchline. But if you can take your eyes off the dazzled cowboy hat, you’ll be treated to the realization that yes, that’s British actress/singer-songwriter Minnie Driver up there on stage.
Driver wouldn’t become a household name until “Good Will Hunting” a few years later; At this point in his career, Driver’s only big-screen credit was the 1995 coming-of-age drama “Circle of Friends.”