AJB Interview with Yaphet Kotto



  • AndrewBondAndrewBond Skyfall, UKPosts: 64MI6 Agent
    Ah that’s great, thanks for organising Barbel, and of course big thumbs up to Yaphet for giving us some of his time! -{
    ‘Secret Agent?? On whose side?’
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,425Chief of Staff
    Much appreciated. I should also thank Mr Kotto's assistant Mirasol whose help was invaluable.
  • Mr SnowMr Snow Station "J" JamaicaPosts: 1,736MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:

    Live and Let Die was Roger Moore’s first appearance as Bond, how do you feel about Roger’s performance over the seven films he did and the legacy he leaves behind?

    Roger did his thing, and he was very good at it.

    Absolutely. Moore was never my favourite Bond actor but everyone has their own style. LALD and FYEO were my favourite Moore Bond films.

    How confident did you feel that the public would accept a new James Bond after Connery's long time in the role?

    There’s only one James Bond and that’s Sean Connery. I saw all of them. Even now, at any age he’s still James Bond.

    :) -{

    Do you still watch Bond films? If so, what do you think of the direction which the films have taken?

    I watched all of Roger’s, and no more.
    I’d make changes to the franchise, they take too long between movies. And it’s insane to talk about a black James Bond or a female James Bond- he’s a white man.

    I think we all agree on this. Almost 5 years until NTTD. Such high anticipation, the film could be on a hiding to nothing.

    I've always been intrigued by your fighting style with the knife against Bond, it's very elegant, is it based on any particular style or choreographed purely to look good on screen?

    I came up with that myself. Thank you for saying it was elegant! My aunt had a dance school in New York, where James Dean and Marlon Brando attended.

    Makes me think Kotto is a very humble person.

    What was your reaction, when watching Kananga's death scene for the first time at the premiere of LALD?

    It was laughable. I tried to persuade the producers to consider doing it again.

    I think most people would agree with this.

    Kudos to you Barbel and thank you - nice work. I bet you had an extra spring in your step after that :) As Golrush007 said "an excellent coup" {[]
    "Everyone knows rock n' roll attained perfection in 1974; It's a scientific fact". - Homer J Simpson
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,425Chief of Staff
    Oh yes, definitely! :)
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,125MI6 Agent
    I watched LALD and noticed the fighting style of Kananga for the first time.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited September 2019
    Joshua wrote:
    I watched LALD and noticed the fighting style of Kananga for the first time.

    It's pretty nifty work and adds a little something extra to that fight scene and his performance as Dr Kananga. It was great to hear Mr Kotto's answer here about how he came up with it.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ChriscoopChriscoop Belize Posts: 10,449MI6 Agent
    Fantastic Barbel, he sounds like very decent chap indeed. Many thanks for bringing us these interviews.
    I'm pleased to finally have an answer to the knife fight style, it's even more gratifying to learn it was his own composition, I'd often wondered if it was based on some sort of African tribal movements.
    It was either that.....or the priesthood
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,057MI6 Agent

    I never read this before.

    A great little interview. I'd forgotten he was in Across 110th St. ! Also, interesting to read that he choreographed his own fighting style. I always wanted that battle to go on a little longer as it was unusual to see Bond fighting a knifeman (2 brief instances in DN & YOLT aside).

    Yaphet was truely a great Bond villain. Moore's 70s protagonists are much 'heavier' than his 80s ones who all seem a trifle sleek. Kotto, Lee, Jurgens & Lonsdale all brought gravitas and some menace to proceedings.

    Great job, Barbel. I envy you indeed.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,425Chief of Staff

    Thank you, chrisno1. I'm going to treasure this memory.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,142MI6 Agent

    Yaphet had incredible presence. Even in a scene where he didn't have a lot to do, he was THERE. You could feel him. Not sure if it was sheer force of will or just natural charisma or something else but he was THERE.

    And I know that he's mainly known for LIVE AND LET DIE and ALIEN, but I think I'd cite MIDNIGHT RUN as his overall best (and funnest) role. Beyond being an excellent movie, Yaphet is simply great in it.

    Also, how cool of a name is Yaphet Kotto? You come into a room like that and you're already ahead of everyone else.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,975MI6 Agent

    I read earlier today that Kotto was considered to play captain Picard in Star Trek NG.

Sign In or Register to comment.