Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bond Girl Venus 3: Rachel Grant - Die Another Day

From FHM Philippines

Today's Bond girl was one of those stunning bit-part players but was rather more than just background dressing. We were just flicking through the TV channels this afternoon to check out our newly installed fibre-optic cable TV when what should we come across but Children's TV Science show Braniac, which largely focussed on experiments such as how quickly would a microwave or caravan explode if you put inappropriate things in it. 

Very much the two best things in Brainiac was "Professor Myang Li" whose job was to demonstrate the answers to critically important questions such as "Which fruit floats?"

In reality Myang Li was British/Filippina actress Rachel Grant.  Miss Grant is a far more interesting person than her (admittedly enjoyable) bimbo role in Brainiac might suggest.

Rachel was born on Luzon in the Phillipines in 1977 but moved to the UK with her English father and Spanish Filipina mother within a month of her birth, forced out of the Philippines by a typhoon.  She was brought up in Nottingham where she made her fist stage appearance at the age of four.  Her full name is Rachel Louise Grant de Longueuil  and her father is the 12th Baron de Longueuil whose grandmother was a Bowes-Lyon and was closely related to the Queen Mother.  Technically she is third cousin to Princes Harry and William.

She came to London at the age of sixteen to study acting and whilst appearing in country soap Emmerdale  in 1999 didn't get her first regular TV role for seven years.  This was a role as a host for the Sci Fi channel's Fright Night in 2001.  That year she was also a body double for Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: (2001) as she is the same height: 5'8".

In 2002 she was cast as a masseuse called Peaceful Fountains of Desire in a speaking role in the twentieth James Bond film Die Another Day (2002) where she had a scene with Pierce Brosnan.  Here she is at the film's world premiere.

Adding the Bond Girl role to her qualifications has kept her in work (if not exactly stellar work) ever since.   She was Myang Li on Brainiac from 2003 until 2007 and appeared in a number of small TV and film roles.  She has also done quite a lot of TV advertising work.

She is active in charity work, especially in the Philippines, where she is considerably more well known that over here.

Rachel in New York

Rachel is a sports car enthusiast and has taken part in several rallys in the US including the Ferrari only Tour of the Hamptons and the Bullrun Rally driving from New York to Los Angeles.

She is also interested in travel and had her own travel slot on Cathay Pacific's in-flight travel show and writes for the Asian magazine Travelife.

Another big part of her life is martial arts and she has studied Filipino martial arts, in particular, Kali and Silat. She learned blade and stick fighting from Grandmaster Danny Inosanto: a training partner of Bruce Lee.  She has been featured in a number of martial arts magazines and is an experienced instructor.

Red Princess Blues

This expertise helped her win the best fight award at the Shockfest film festival in Los Angeles for her appearance in the short film Red Princess Blues (2010) (for which she took the best actress award too).

She was a finalist in Miss Great Britain and Miss Hawaiian Tropic and as a youngster would take part in drama competitions.

So, actress, model, martial arts instructor, travel writer and photographer, the very busy Miss Grant splits her time between London, New York and the Philippines.

A very worthy Bond Girl Venus!

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