British actor Colin Salmon loves starring in the James Bond films for an unusual reason - he gets to screen test the superspy's female sidekicks and sexy villains.

The handsome star, who played MI6 aide CHARLES ROBINSON in TOMORROW NEVER DIES, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, claims contributing to the female casting process is the best perk of his job.

Salmon says, "For the last three movies, pre-production, I've played Bond.

"I read with the girls, do scenes with them because it's really difficult for them to come in, put on the costume, the Victoria's Secret outfits, whatever, and be judged like that, then remember to be actors.

"Yeah, there's kissing involved, it's quite a good job."

The most recent 007 Pierce Brosnan, who is set to be replaced by a new actor for the next Bond film, has touted Salmon as a worthy follower, saying, "Colin would be a great Bond."

Salmon adds, "Pierce has had the opportunity to watch me do it for three movies. He's watched all the tapes when I've worked with the girls. He's seen me be Bond."

26/10/2004 17:34