René Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini)
René Mathis played by Giancarlo Giannini
Born in La Spezia, Italy on 1st August 1942
Starred in Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008)
Mathis meets with Bond and Vesper Lynd shortly after they arrive in Montenegro. Mathis informs Bond that Le Chiffre arrived in Montenegro a couple of days early, allowing him to reacquaint himself with an old friend, the chief of police. With no amount of money really being enough to bribe the chief of police, Mathis gleefully tells Bond that he faked a number of documents so that the chief of police would be arrested on crimes of corruption.
Later when the poker game has started, Bond informs Vesper and Mathis that his loosing streak has been worth it since he has learned of Le Chiffre's tell. Bond tells them that when Le Chiffre is bluffing he has a slight twitch in his left eye. During a break in the game Mathis decides to report the latest happenings, whilst Bond and Vesper head up to Le Chiffre's room. After the stairwell fight, Mathis removes the bodies of Steven Obanno and his bodyguard by framing one of Le Chiffre's henchmen.
Mathis points out Le Chiffre's tell to Vesper later in the poker game, with both him and Bond convinced that Le Chiffre is bluffing. However Bond can't quite believe what's happened when he loses the hand, and has to resort to asking Vesper for more money to buy back in. When she refuses, he heads off to assassinate Le Chiffre, and informs Mathis to get Vesper out safely. However, Bond luckily meets Felix Leiter who agrees to stake him back in the game.
After Bond wins the poker game, Vesper is shortly called away by Mathis. Bond then realises that it was only Vesper and Mathis he told about Le Chiffre's tell, and chases after her knowing Mathis might be a double agent. Le Chiffre supposedly confirms Bonds feelings by informing him that Mathis is in fact his friend, not Bond's. During Bonds recovery, he has Mathis escorted away by MI6 agents for questioning. After Vesper is revealed as seemingly a traitor, Bond tells M that all this proves is that she was guilty and that Mathis is not necessarily innocent.
In Quantum of Solace after M puts out a capture order on Bond and cancels his credits cards in Austria, he decides to pay a visit to Mathis. Arriving at his new Italian villa, courtesy of MI6 as compensation for his mistaken loyalties, Mathis isn't particularly pleased to see Bond. However he is willing to listen to what Bond has to say, and after Gemma amusingly tells him that if it wasn't for Bond he wouldn't have this villa anyway, the pair discuss business.
Bond tries to persuade Mathis to come out of retirement and help him with his infiltration into Bolivia. Previously working in South America for MI6 before moving to Montenegro, Bond tells him that his assistance would prove invaluable. Weighing up the options, Mathis decides to help Bond for one last time. Upon arrival in Bolivia, Mathis contacts an old ally Carlos, the Colonel of the Bolivian Police. Whilst Bond gets to know Strawberry Fields better, Mathis meets with the Colonel to catch up on old times.
Later at Dominic Greene's fund raising party, Mathis introduces Bond and Fields to the Colonel, before going off to continue their discussions. Happening off-screen, Mathis suffers a betrayal of trust by the Colonel and is left for dead in the boot of Bond's car.
When Bond leaves the party with Camille Montes, he is stopped by the Bolivian police in a back street and told to open the boot, only to find Mathis inside. Realising he is still alive, the officers shoot Mathis twice before Bond takes them out. Bond stays with Mathis until the end, and places his body in a nearby rubbish bin and drives off.
Mathis is an agent on the payroll of MI6, whose many years of field experience aids Bond on his arrival in Montenegro. A resourceful, charismatic and clever ally, Mathis provides Bond with varied assistance from help with logistics, removing potential threats, and dealing with the 'dirty work'.
Having been cleared and compensated by MI6 in Quantum of Solace, Mathis is enjoying his retirement. Whether he feels that he does indeed owe Bond, or simply misses being a field asset, it is unclear why he decides to leave Gemma and his villa to help. Once he is back on his old stomping ground, he is back to his usual warm, charismatic, witty self.
Mathis' death is a truly sad one, much like that of Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love. During his last moments, Mathis asks Bond if they forgive each other. He reminds him how much Vesper loved him, and he should forgive himself. When Camille asks about Bond's treatment of Mathis' body, he simply tells her that Mathis would understand there is a job to do, and now isn't the time to hang around. §