When you think of spies, how do you picture them? What do they look like? What are their character traits? What do they do throughout the day?
Our perception of spies is mostly based on popular movies about secret agents. Still, when we take a closer look at the biographies and photos of some famous spies, most of those myths are dispelled.
In movies, spies are typically good-looking, with tight abs occasionally showing underneath their perfectly-fitted designer suits.
Spies are recruited depending on the task. Sometimes, good looks are necessary, as they might make it easier for a spy to gain access to certain social circles or information. However, it is much more important for them to fit in, which means they tend to look average.
Secret agents in movies usually drive fast and expensive cars.
In real life, spies drive cars that don’t stand out. However, if they are supposed to fit in a high-class society full of multimillionaires, they will need an adequate vehicle, of course.
Spies in movies often participate in high-speed chases, and they usually help the hero out of trouble.
When a real spy is being chased at high speed, that means something has gone terribly wrong. Driving fast will not help them — in fact, it may cause them to be exposed, as they might end up arrested, interrogated, and deported. While the mission is ongoing, it is desirable for the agents to drive within the speed limit and not draw attention to themselves.
In movies, secret agents always use cutting-edge devices.
Movies are often inspired by real life; however, when it comes to espionage, the opposite is sometimes true. It is said that some CIA directors were inspired by interesting gadgets they saw in James Bond movies, which would cause them to ask the Directorate for Science and Technology whether they could make something similar. Occasionally, the answer was — yes.
The life of a spy is extremely exciting, dangerous, and unpredictable.
In reality, this is far from true. Real secret agents try to find the most efficient way to get the information they need, which, luckily, doesn’t involve shooting and physical violence.
In fact, experts say — the more boring a movie is, the closer it is to reality.