"The Bodyguard" meets "Thelma and Louise"

Hollywood needs to get in touch with female bodyguards Jacquie Davis and Helen Cliffe, like, yesterday.

By Kate Harding
Published October 13, 2008 8:20PM (EDT)

Someone needs to make a movie about Jacquie Davis and Helen Cliffe, like, yesterday. The story of two old friends who happen to be female bodyguards is intriguing enough right there, but better still, they're wisecracking female bodyguards! Take single mother Cliffe on her work-life balance: "It's far more stressful than being shot at, sorting out the childcare." Or former police officer Davis on working for the Saudi royal family: "It's the same thing every year: you have to be vetted by a guy from the Saudi embassy saying, 'Oh, my God, you are a woman!' At which point you have to throw one of his blokes on the floor and stamp on his windpipe to prove you can do the job." 

The story's got heart-pumping adrenaline and madcap comedy. Not only has Davis "been stabbed in the leg, thrown through a shop window and shot at by Kashmiri snipers," she's had to baby-sit a 10-year-old princess who requested "a kitten, a puppy, a baby to play with, and a tiger." (Davis: "I said I couldn't get a baby and all hell broke loose.") And awesomely, Cliffe already talks like an action-movie heavy. When delinquent teenagers were causing trouble in the neighborhood where she and Davis both live, she says, "We went out and told them their future. And now there are no problems." Heh. 

Finally, there's the irresistible Jane Bond-like aspect to their work. Unlike, say, Moammar Gadhafi's Kalashnikov-toting "badass bunch of Lara Croft clones," whom Lynn Harris wrote about in 2004, British-based female bodyguards like Cliffe and Davis rely heavily on their ability to go unrecognized as tough guys. In any picture of a celebrity's entourage, says the Telegraph, "the neatly dressed woman in the background you assume is a secretary or mistress is, in fact, far more likely to have a black belt in karate and be scanning the crowds for potential assassins." Whee! The bad guys will never know what hit ’em! It's all right there for you, Hollywood. You need to contact these women, pronto. Just don't make them angry.


Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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