Interviews With Cast And Crew



  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff

    I completely agree, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record thanks again for this @CoolHandBond.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Interview with George Lazenby From Cinefantastique December 1999 by Rich Handley:

    Everything seemed familiar in 1969 as hordes of excited fans viewed for the very first time the opening of ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, the sixth entry in the James Bond film series. Eon Productions had made five highly-acclaimed Bond films to date, and if first impressions meant anything, this looked to be another success . A new face, a new voice-but authentic Bond, nonetheless.

    He was the Bond from Down Under. Born in September 1939, George Lazenby grew up an active child in his homeland of Australia. Following military service and a brief stint as a car salesman, he headed out to London in 1964 {the year Bond creator Ian Fleming died), where his rugged looks and strong build helped him make a name for himself as a model. He hadn't always wanted to be a screen actor, but when Sean Connery announced his resignation from the Bond fipms, he knew his chance for fame had arrived.

    At the time, Lazenby's acting experience was limited to a series of television commercials for Big Fry Chocolates, and his competition included actors Robert Campbell, Hans de Vries, Anthony Rogers, and John Richardson. However, this did not deter him from trying. " I got the role of James Bond," he recalls, "by walking, very determinedly, into Eon' offices in Audley Square and having the balls to convince Harry Saltzman I was the real 007. Of course, it did not hurt to be wearing a suit made by Sean Connery's own tailor from Saville Row, [or to have had the same barber as producer Cubby Broccoli]. I was hell-bent on being the next James Bond.The authentic James Bond 007." Mentally, said Lazenby, he was very focused. "I knew what I wanted and demanded it, just as Bond would do. And, physically, I was never stronger. I loved the films and knew, in my heart of heart , I could do the role." Producer Charles Feldman, while considering a serious adaptation of Ian Fleming's CASINO ROYALE, once offered the role of James Bond to Cary Grant. Howard Hawks was set to direct, but Grant turned them down, saying any actor who followed Conmerry would be asking for disaster. Lazenby denies such misgivings when he went into Saltzman's office. "I picked up the challenge. I will alway be very happy I did."

    Lazenby never compared himself to Connery and eschews such comparisons in general. "I looked for James Bond in Ian Fleming's novels," said Lazenby. "Bond is tall, dark, saturnine, with cruel good looks. I wanted to do that role very much. Once I convinced myself I was James Bond- and it wasn't too difficult- I went after it!"

    Lazenby convinced not only himself but Eon as well, and found himself cast as the second official James Bond. The film is often praised for its intense chase scenes, its vibrant musical score, and Lazenby’s extremely physical performance as Bond. Unlike the prior film , OHMSS focused on Bond's sensitive side, and is usually known as "the one where Bond got married."

    "We followed Ian Fleming's story and locale very closely," Lazenby remembered. "The film has a depth and feel like none other in the Bond series up to that time. I believe OHMSS as a motion picture stands up today. It is certainly a classic in it’s genre: excellent pace, solid direction by Peter Hunt, riveting music score by John Barry, absolutely beautiful Technicolor cinematography of the Swiss Alps." He considers Richard Maibaum's screenplay and Maurice Binder's opening titles among the best in the series.

    The producers were initially nervous about the audience's reaction to the change in actors, so a gag was inserted into the opening sequence, in which Bond saved a beautiful woman only to have her steal his car and leave without falling into his arms. Surprised, he turned to the camera, smiled, and said, "This never happened to the other fellow." A priceless moment, it allowed Lazenby and the producers to make light of the change from Connery and then move on.

    AlI told, Lazenby found working on the film a "wonderful experience." Despite rumors that he disliked his co-star , he dismissed the idea. "Everyone treated me very well, contrary to some things that may have been printed in the past." Specifically, he denounced the idea that anyone in the cast resented his replacing Connery. "Solid actors like the late Bernard Lee, who played M, and Lois Maxwell, who was Miss Moneypenny, were too experienced and far too professional to ruin a good show by such negative behavior. Lois Maxwell once called me 'a hoot,' and thank goodness she said it in a very complimentary way. I now wish to return the compliment and tell Lois she's a hoot, tool Beautiful lady - very underrated actress, very professional."

    As for sources claiming Lazenby and co-star Diana (AVENGERS) Rigg hated each other, he scoffed, "Forget those foul rumors, eh! She will always be ' my darling Tracy.' A good friend, then and now.... she's one of the greatest English-speaking actresses on the planet." Lazenby is also quick to denounce reports of a feud with the current Bond, Pierce Brosnan, who has expressed interest in filming a remake of ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. "Such nonsense makes for good copy in the tabloids," said Lazenby. "We are a small fraternity, the five of us who have portrayed James Bond, 007." One might say they share a special... bond.

    After OHMSS, Lazenby says his life changed. "Everyone started over-charging me from the get-go," he recalled. "Everything was suddenly six times more expensive than it was before playing Bond . Everyone wanted me to be 007, not just portray him on screen. I understand Connery went through an awful lot of that, too." Not one to dwell on the negative, though, Lazenby added, "The positive side is that Bond always gets the beautiful girl and the best tables in the house. One can quickly learn to appreciate Dom Perignom ' 73 and Beluga caviar, north of the Caspian!"

    Friends close to Lazenby have suggested his career might have been different had his first outing been DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. Though he has not seen the film, or any others in the series since then, he agrees.

    " I understand it was a romp for Sean Connery and that there were many comic elements in that film. A few people in the business have suggested that OHMSS was too dark a film to launch the career of a new actor, especially an unknown, in the role of James Bond, primarily because of the ending where Bond's wife, Tracy, is murdered by Blofeld. It was a down ending- a serious ending- and it may have left those Bond fans wanting another GOLDFINGER a little depressed.

    Another factor working against him was simple timing. Connery had done five films prior, and fans associated him with Bond. These days, it's normal, even expected, for different actors to take over the role, but in 1969 no one had yet experienced such a change, and some refused to accept anyone but Connery. He admits things might have gone differently had he been the third actor in the role rather than the second, but says be has no regrets and is concerned only with his career today.

    Following OHMSS, Eon was impressed enough to offer Lazenby a seven-year contract worth millions of dollars, but he declined. Walking away from success is not easy, and many have questioned his decision. Why, then, did be leave after only one film ? " Bad business advice," said Lazenby. "Plain and simple. Nothing more. I was not fired from the series [as some sources have erroneously claimed]. I listened to the wrong people. I left of my own accord, but in retrospect, I must now accept what Cary Grant once said: that a film actor cannot become a real star until be has at least ten starring pictures under his belt."

    Since then, Lazenby has more than tripled that number, appearing in films such as THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, GETTYSBURG, THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, and most recently, FOUR DOGS PLAYING POKER.

    Rumors have circulated that Lazenby has been in talks to play Bond once again if the rival Bond producer Kevin McClory ever gets his WARHEAD 2000 remake of THUNDERBALL off the ground.

    Lazenby preferred not to comment on such rumors, but noted be is ready to play Bond again after 30 years. ' I am in top physical condition and work out vigorously every day. I'm ten years younger than Sean Connery, you know. And, in the years since I completed OHMSS, I have trained hard as a professional actor."

    Though he departed after only one film, George Lazenby left his mark on the James Bond films. References to Bond's marriage have cropped up in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, and LICENSE TO KILL, and nostalgic fans will recognize the title of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH as the motto on Bond's coat-of-arms, seen in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. OHMSS, once a forgotten Bond film, is now receiving wide acclaim from video audiences free of the bias it once faced in theaters, and comments on Lazenby's performance have largely been positive in such fan forums as This may not have happened to the other fellow... but you won't find George Lazenby wasting time on regrets.


    I like George Lazenby a lot and only wish he had signed up to the 7-picture deal.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    George seems to have been in a good mood for this interview and didn't tell any questionable stories. It was around this time that he lent his voice to Batman Beyond and got to say "We have all the time in the world" once more.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    I didn’t know that George said this again in Batman Beyond, thanks @Revelator I’m learning new things on this site every day!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent
    edited April 2

    You're welcome--George says the line in episode 8, "Dead Man's Hand." Producer Bruce Timm has cited OHMSS as one of his favorite movies.

    George also has a silent cameo in the opening of the recent animated film Batman: Soul of the Dragon, which has at least seven other Bond references.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    Er - how can you make a silent cameo in an animated film? Is it a cartoon character who looks like him?

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Lovely pic.

    I too wish Lazenby had done Moore, so to speak.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent
    edited April 3

    Being mindful that this thread is about interviews with cast and crew talking about Bond movies, I have created a similar thread on the Off Topic Forum which will print interviews of personnel who have appeared in the series but not talking specifically about the Bond movies in great detail. The thread will also feature interviews of cast and crew of non-Bond films.

    The first interview will feature Vladek Sheybal of FRWL.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent
    edited April 4

    Interview with John Glen by John Brosnan in Starburst #34

    John Glen is the man responsible for those moments in recent Bond movies that prompt the audience to burst into spontaneous applause - those moments that stick in your memory when the rest of the movie has faded. For instance, he shot the pre-credits sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me where Bond went skiing off the top of a cliff and seemed to fall thousands of feet before his back-pack unexpectedly blossomed into a Union Jack parachute. He also directed the opening scenes in Moonraker where Bond was pushed out of a plane without a parachute but saved himself by swiping one of his attacker's parachutes in mid-air . . .

    Glen has been editor and 2nd unit director on three previous Bonds but with For Your Eyes Only he's been promoted by Bond producer Cubby Broccoli 'to overall director of the film. I spoke to him earlier this year shortly after the principal shooting had been completed and he was about to supervise the editing of the picture, though one unit was still in Northern Italy doing stunt work (tragically, on the very day I interviewed Glen, one of the Italian stuntmen was killed during filming).

    Glen, a softly spoken man in his late forties, was obviously relieved that the bulk of the work had been completed and was looking forward to getting into the editing. I asked him how he had become involved with the Bond series in the first place.

    "Peter Hunt, who directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 'discovered' me if you like. I'd been working on tv doing a lot of action direction in shows like Danger Man and Man in a Suitcase so Peter invited me to go out to Switzerland, mainly to do the bob-run sequence but after I'd been there a few weeks I inherited all the 2nd unit work. That was the first time I met Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. I didn't really work on another Bond film until The Spy Who Loved Me when the director, Lewis Gilbert, asked me to do a similar job . . ."

    I asked whether, in those days, he had been primarily an editor or a 2nd unit director, "Well, prior to this film I only used to take assignments where I was both the editor and the 2nd unit director. I edited On Her Majesty's Secret Service but Peter Hunt was an editor as well so you can say we had pLenny of editors on that one . .”

    Having seen OHMSS on tv again recently I mentioned to Glen that the editing in that film seemed much faster than usual. "Yes, and on television it's almost too fast because that extra frame per second or whatever it is when they project films on tv seems to make a big difference. It's strange. The original reason for the fast pace was because we were breaking in a new Bond, George Lazenby, and the idea was to surround him with a lot of expensive action. The film was basically very long — it was one of the longest Bonds — so we felt obliged to speed it up where possible. People would ask: 'How long is it exactly?' and no one would ever tell the truth. There were arguments about just how long it was, with people timing it with stop watches, etc. We knew how long it was, of course — it was too long! Eventually, after the first release, I think they cut 10 minutes out of it."

    How difficult was it, I asked, to come up with new ideas for the spectacular precredits sequences in the Bonds? "Very difficult because we've set such a high standard for ourselves — and I suppose i really got the chance to direct For Your Eyes Only mainly becase of my opening title sequences. It's a challenge to think up something that's going to grip people and be original. There aren't too many sports or activities that you can utilise for these opening scenes which haven't already been done. And invariably an American tv movie will get there before you — they may not be well done but they get into everything. Sometimes, you get an idea for an action sequence when you go on a recce before you start shooting. The actual terrain itself gives you an idea. For this film we went to Corfu on a recce and it gave us all sorts of ideas — for a car chase, for instance. I wanted to do another car chase in this film and had a lot of opposition to it because people said: 'Oh, not another one! Everything that can be done with cars has been done.' Yet there will always be car chases in movies and there will always be original ones. So when we went to Corfu and looked at the locations, various ideas struck us and before we knew it we had another car chase . . . and an original one."

    I asked about the filming of the stunning pre-credits sequence in Moonraker. "Well, I knew very little about freefalls until I worked on The Wild Geese and directed a free-fall sequence, which gave me an indication of what one could do. And then, when the Moonraker idea came up, we got in touch with an outfit called Big Sky and it was quite amazing what these blokes could do using a specially-made camera stuck on a helmet . . .

    "The technical problem was to work out a way of opening the cameraman's chute without breaking his neck because of the extra weight on his head. If you're falling head-first and you suddenly hit the chute, as they do, you suddenly get whipped round with an extra 7 pound weight on your head — which is what the camera weighed — and that can be a terrific strain on your neck muscles. So the cameraman had to have a reefing line fixed to his chute so that his chute would open very, very slowly. It used to horrify me to see him tying this great piece of rope over his chute to stop it opening properly but he knew what he was doing.

    "The whole sequence took basically a little over 3 weeks to shoot. It turned out to be one of our most economical units — it was a small one and very well organised. We had projection facilities at the aerodome because we were never sure what we'd shot in the air until we saw it on a screen, then we'd program our retakes into the schedule. The retakes were a constant process. I went down to San Francisco one weekend and cut a lot of footage together to see how we were going because I was beginning to forget what we'd shot and what we hadn't shot. Putting it together was a great help because it encouraged everybody in the unit to see what we'd achieved so far . . ."

    Glen confirmed that, of course, the stunt men had worn parachutes under their jackets (there is a limit to what stuntmen are prepared to do, even on a Bond film) and agreed with me that the scene where Bond puts his hands by his sides and starts to swoop down on the other man is a marvellous moment. "But funnily enough," he said, "it was one of our easier shots to do because that's how the free-fall parachutists normally accelerate - by putting their hands back - and decelerate by putting their hands forward, but it's a lovely scene, particularly when you've got the Bond theme in the background. It's very Bondian."

    I asked what they'd done for the precredits sequence in For Your Eyes Only.

    What makes it different I can't tell you — it would spoil the surprise — but every school boy is going to love it. I'm sure, We shot it in a huge derelict gasworks area in London's East End and in one scene we actually flew a helicopter through one of the huge Purification Sheds . . ."

    At what point, I asked, did he become involved with the development of For Your Eyes Only? "Very early on. I first arrived on the scene in the middle of May 1980 when I had a series of meetings with Cubby. He didn't specifically say I was going to direct it but he said he hoped I'd be associated with it in my usual capacity. I started with the film on the 1st of June, 1980, at which stage all they had was a 4 page synopsis. I was be in on it that early - it's very, very important to be involved with the scripting of a movie if you're the director because then you feel freer to adapt it as you're filming."

    Where had the basic idea come from? "I think it was an idea worked out by Michael Wilson, the executive producer, and Cubby Broccoli, and I think Richard Maibaum was brought in fairly early, and then this 4 page synopsis was then developed into a full script. The basic plot is based on the one short story actually titled For Your Eyes Only. It's a very well-written story about this girl out for revenge. It's one of the strongest themes we've ever had for a Bond film, particularly from the woman's point of view, The other two main characters, Columbo and Kristatos, come from the short story Risico which was set in Greece and was about drug smuggling. We incorporated incidents from both stories as well as incidents that we've not been able to film in the past. For instance, we've got the keel-hauling sequence from the novel of Live and Let Die which wasn't used in the film version.”

    For Your Eyes Only was obviously very different in approach from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker — was this a deliberate policy on their part? "Yes, we wanted the film to be more on the form of the earlier Bonds, when they were straight Fleming thrillers. I hope it will approach From Russia With Love in style - which is a particular favourite of mine. Moonraker was really about as far as Bond could have gone in that direction — the hardware direction. The Bonds have always prided themselves on being the originators of certain styles in the cinema and at the time we were making Moonraker the big idea was to coincide with the launch of the American space shuttle. The whole film was in fact geared to be released at the same time as the launch but we got here before the Americans. In fact the shuttle still hasn't been launched, but that was the whole thought behind Moonraker. I feel that if we hadn't done Moonraker when we did we wouldn't have gone in that direction at all because there were so many Star Wars type movies coming out by the time Moonraker was released and the whole space thing had become over-exposed.

    “There are no science fiction elements in For Your Eyes Only — the emphasis is on the people and their characters. We haven't got the grand sets just for the sake of making peoples’ eyes pop out. We purposely haven't gone that way. We don't have Jaws either. We had him in two films and very successful he was too ..."

    On the subject of Jaws I asked Glen if he and the other Bond people accepted the criticism that the humour in Moonraker had at times gone over the top? "Yes, I think there is a danger with the Bond humour because it's a very finely balanced thing and you're never quite sure whetJier you're going a little too far in one direction. One hopes for humour that is 'Bondian' humour and not 'Carry On' humour but sometimes the line is very thin and you have to pull back from a situation where you think - well, that's a little too bizarre. On the other hand, life itself is bizarre . . .

    "Roger Moore is, of course, the great mainstay of the Bonds, and I think he's on very good form in this one. His humour is different to Connery's though — no one would disagree with that. We haven't got that many one-liners in the film this time. We've got several but not that many. That's not to say there aren't a lot of laughs in it but the humour is in the action. And sometimes the laughs aren't planned at all when you get them . .”

    Knowing of the legal wrangle that's prevented the use of either SPECTRE or Ernst Stravo Blofeld in recent Bonds (Blofeld was last seen being bounced up and down in his mini-sub on the end of a crane in Diamonds Are Forever 10 years ago) I was very curious to know if Bond's arch-opponent would ever make a reappearance. "Well, Blofeld Is still loitering around, He's sort of in For Your Eyes Only in a funny kind of way. He's sort of in the opening — the presence is there. We've kept him alive because no doubt he will rear his ugly head one of these days in another Bond. I remember when we were making The Spy Who Loved Me we had armies of lawyers down there watching every bit of film we shot preparing themselves in case there was any trouble but I don't believe that’s a problem any more. I think it's been brushed under the carpet. I certainly wasn't aware of it this time . . ."

    Is SPECTRE actually mentioned in For Your Eyes Only? "No. Blofeld isn't even mentioned by name, it's just by a suggestion."

    I asked how Glen had found being responsible for the direction of the whole picture instead of just the 2nd unit. "I found it all fascinating. The most difficult part was the preparation before we started shooting. I've always suspected that that is where your film is basically made - in the construction of the script, the casting and the organisation of the shooting schedule. The shooting itself is important, of course, but if you've got good preparation then the shooting becomes very pleasurable. I was very, very relaxed on the floor during For Your Eyes Only apart from possibly the first week when I went a couple of days behind schedule. But overall I was surprised at how relaxed I was . .”

    Did he miss doing the 2nd unit work? "Yes. I think it's true to say that 2nd unit work is very exciting and I love doing action work. One of the reasons I like it is that you only have the responsibility for a particular sequence but you don’t have overall responsibility for the whole picture and it's very nice at the end of the day — if the sequence has worked well — to get a pat on the back from the director."

    Did he want to continue working as a director? "Well, yes, obviously my ambition is to remain a director from now on, if anyone will hire me. Everything depends on the outcome of this film which is why it's so important to me. I haven't thought any further than this film at the moment."

    Would he, I asked, be prepared to direct another Bond? "Oh yes. They're very pleasurable films to make — they're a lot of fun — but I wouldn't want to work on just Bonds alone. I'd like to direct other types of films as well but I'd certainly direct another Bond if I had the chance."

    Are there any plans for the next one yet? "Oh, I’m sure there are. I don't know if they’ve decided on a title yet but there will certainly be another Bond. Several, I would hope. There's still Octopussy to do and then, of course, you could start remaking them if you wanted to. You could have Dr Yes . . . [laughs] . I’m sure James Bond is going to be around for a long time to come."

    And one hopes that John Glen will be too. From what I've seen of For Your Eyes Only so far it looks as if it's going to be one of the best Bonds in years. In which case Mr Glen's future is assured...and we wish him every success. 


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    Thanks as always for this. Interesting to see how Peter Hunt's influence over the series was continued through Glen. The current Bond films could use a director with Glen's experience and expertise in action.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff

    Seconded, many thanks CHB.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,510Chief of Staff

    I’m really enjoying reading these reviews - thanks for finding and sharing them 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,929MI6 Agent

    John Glenn said "Eventually, after the first release, I think they cut 10 minutes out of it." (meaning OHMSS)


    any truth to this? theres 10 minutes missing from OHMSS? would this be the rooftop chase following the safecracking scene? anything else?

    I hadnt heard of content being edited out after first release. if true, I'm surprised it was never added back in a directors cut. is it available anywhere, bonus content on any of the DVD's?

    I know for teevee, they made the film artificially longer by repeating content, so as to stretch it out over two nights

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,510Chief of Staff
    edited April 4

    There were some scenes cut - apart from the missing rooftop chase, of which there are stills - but I don’t know if they were cut after a theatrical release 🤔

    One scene that was ‘added back’ is when Campbell tries to get the cable car up to Piz Gloria but is refused. Blofeld references this scene later when he tells Campbell that he had already been told he wasn’t allowed access.

    YNWA 97
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,929MI6 Agent

    thanks @Sir Miles . Glen may be confused as to when exactly that edit was made, this interview is 12 years later. If it were after first release youd think thered be more than stills, more likely it was well before the final cut the public got to see

    anyway good interview with John Glen. as I read that, I was thinking how often I'd noticed his name in the credits of Danger Man and other ITV adventure shows of the era. those shows had good visceral action sequences and tight editing, especially the early 1/2hr episodes where they had to pack a lot of plot into not much time. more cinematic than a teevee show needed to be. perfect experience for going on to direct Bond films!

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    There is an interview with Richard Kiel on the other thread - mostly non-Bond content.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,510Chief of Staff

    The rooftop scene was cut before theatrical release…I’m sure I’ve read an interview with Peter Hunt that the first cut of OHMSS was over 4 hours long, it may have been in an old copy of 007 Magazine?

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Though it’s obviously a very long time since 1969 I don’t remember any cuts being made after it’s initial release, in theatrical showings at least. I know there have been several different versions on video releases and television showings, of course.

    The first cuts of movies always seem to be around the four hour mark, I remember reading the same about YOLT, it would be fascinating to see these first cut versions!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent
    edited April 7

    Interview with Bruce Glover in Pschotronic #20 - Spring 1995 by Anthony Petkovch

    This is an edited version of the published interview which only contains James Bond material. I will post some non-Bond material on the other thread at a later date - it’s a HUGE interview so I will be selective in the editing process.

    Glover's unusual role in BLESS THE BEASTS ultimately helped him secure the fantastic part of Mr. Wint in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971). DIAMONDS marked Sean Connery's comeback as 007. It also features Charles Gray (as Blofeld in drag!), Jimmy Dean, Lana Wood, Bruce Cabot, Sid Haig, Marc Lawrence, James Bond being cremated, a great explosive finale on a Baja oil rig, and two of the best (and funniest) Bond villains ever — Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, played by Glover and Putter Smith, respectively. "I played the guy who was really more the controller of the two — the husband, I suppose (laughs). I was worried about Wint's character being over the top. Basically, I didn't want him to be a typical homosexual. I wasworried that the character would become too swishy. But once I'd established Wint, there wasn't any problem. I used to do very daring things — like arrive on the set without having any of my lines memorized, having no idea what I was going to do. It keeps you from being locked intosomething that has nothing to do with what's going to happen. Your creative process stops once you lock something in. Originally, they wanted a Sidney Greenstreet/Peter Lorre pair, some weird physical juxtaposition thing. Putter played bass fiddle and that's how he got the part. Guy Hamilton saw him playing with Thelonious Monk, and Putter looked so wild Hamilton just said, 'Look at this guy, he's great looking. He's one of the guys!‘ Putter's done a couple of little acting things since then, but he's got his own little group. You'll see him playing on Melrose Blvd. He's a great musician.

    "The scorpion scene was the first day of work on DIAMONDS. I had a guarantee of at least four month's work. It ended up being almost six months — I started one day earlier than Connery and quit one day later than him. Connery was great. I mean, it's like working with a mastodon, there's something huge about him. He's not glib or quick. He's just there. Massive. I baited him one day, about a week into the shooting We're doing a shot where I'm holding him up, about to put him in the trunk of this car, and he's going to be buried alive in the scene I'm playing a homosexual, right, and I'm holding him chest to chest, it's two thirty in the morning, our doubles have been dismissed, so now we're out there in the desert, it's dark, we're being lit for this moment — Connery, Putter, and myself. So, I'm chest to chest with Connery, and it's late, and I'm feeling kind of goofy, kind of cocky. And I'm looking at Connery and l'm like this close to him and I go, (whispers effeminately) ‘I think....l'm getting....emotionally involved....' (laughs) And I saw his eyes get this pained look, they rolled up and he went, ‘Oh my God...’ (laughs) And I thought, ‘He didn't get it! He's a Scot? He's supposed to have a dour sense of humor?’ And, remember, this is like the beginning of the film. And I see this look of terror on Connery's face. l just looked at him and thought, ‘Damn, he didn't get it,..l'd better tell him...’ And then I went, 'Nyahhhhh....ta' hell with it.’ (laughs) 'What the hell. Let him worry about it.’ So for months then, Connery was always looking at me weird. I had dinner with him and some other people a couple of times in Vegas, and he always had this look of real suspicion towards me. But a couple months later, previous to filming a scene in Frankfurt, I was sitting on a baggage vehicle, flirting with about five German stewardesses. Suddenly I felt this glowering presence, saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and heard someone say, ‘You son-of-a-bitch.’ I looked over and there was Connery, kind of half-grinning, half- scowling at me. And, of course, he finally realized I was straight. (Laughs) He came over and proceeded to join me in flirting with the German stewardesses."

    One of the most memorable (and hilarious) scenes in DIAMONDS occurs at the film's conclusion when Bond ties a bomb to Wint's coat tails, gives him a 'wedgie,' and flips him over the side of a cruise ship with explosive results. "That was an improvised moment, the coat tails between his legs. Guy Hamilton was great. He also did the BATTLE OF BRITAIN and a couple other Bond films including GOLDFINGER. Anyway, by that time in the film, Guy trusted me. I knew that Connery would be doing this thing where he ties a bomb to my coat tails. And I suggested to Guy. 'How about if you get a close-up on me doing this semi-pain, semi-pleasure expression of 'Whooooooaaaaa! What a way ta go!’ (laughs). And I thought it was very funny. It's really the biggest laugh in the film. Actually, I think if they let me, I could have taken Connery in that last scene. Then I'd have been James Bond today. Of course, with that character, I'd be ‘Jane Bond" (laughs).


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff

    This dour Scot enjoyed that informative interview, thanks CHB

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,510Chief of Staff

    It’s great hearing these ‘behind the scenes’ stories - thanks 😀

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    I’m glad you’re enjoying them, gents.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    An interview with Sean Connery in Cinefantastique December 1999 by David Giammarco.

    Although there is some non-Bond stuff here I am posting the entire interview as I feel it is too important to separate.

    There's good news and bad news concerning Sean Connery 's much-anticipated return to the James Bond films. The good news is Connery may be interested. The bad news is no one has made him an offer.

    Ever since Pierce Brosnan resuscitated the Bond series with GOLDENEYE and TOMMOROW NEVER DIES, the rumours have been flying that Connery would make a return to the series. Not as Bond, however, but as James Bond's father. Or perhap even a villain. The Bond camp had slyly alluded to it, Brosnan was hopeful, and fans rejoiced at the news of the unique casting twist.

    " I hear about my supposed return every year now," confessed Connery, now 68 in his home town of Edinburgh.

    "There have been no overtures made to me. I would certainly consider it. I don't know if I could avoid it, really.

    " But, quite frankly," he added with his characteristic wry grin and raised arched eyebrow, " I don't think they could afford me."

    Connery defined the 007 role, but his ability to transcend it took much longer than expected. As a result, Connery has always held a love/hate relationship with his infamous alter ego. It did make him a worldwide superstar and was the biggest break of his career. But when Bondmania swept the globe in the mid-'60s, Connery was trapped in the eye of a storm which had taken on Beatle-esque proportions. In fact, James Bond and the Beatles were the two biggest pop culture icons to emerge from that decade. "And there were four of them to kick it around," he joked, admitting it took years for him to recover.

    Born to humble beginnings, Thomas Sean Connery grew up in a poor and rugged part of Edinburgh, near a rubber mill and a brewery. "The place smelled of rubber and hops," remembers Connery. His father worked at the mill 12 hours a day and his work ethic rubbed off on his son. " ll 's blind allegiance, in a way. Therefore I couldn't wait to go to work." Shortly after his brother Neil was born, nine-year-old Sean began rising at six a.m. to deliver milk before going to school. It was wartime, and while his father worked in a munitions factory in Glasgow, Sean was doing his part to keep the family afloat.

    Connery said he recalls life being "disruptive." Still, be managed to see a few movies on Saturdays, trading jam jars and beer bottles, be said, for tokens to the local movie house. He says he loved FLASH GORDON, The Three Stooges and American cowboy flicks . He dropped out of school at age 13 and joined the Navy at 16. Stomach ulcers which he blames on his inability to deal with discipline got him discharged at 19. After attending a British Legion training school, he became a furniture polisher, which led to a job polishing coffins.

    In 1955, while working in a London newspaper printing plant, he joined a body building club. His six-foot-two stature and rugged good looks got him jobs as a swimsuit model. When he entered the Mr. Universe competition the same year, he was invited to audition for the touring company of "South Pacific." Connery wound up in the male chorus, going from town to town singing "There is Nothing Like a Dame," he recalled with a laugh. He graduated to a small speaking part and, on the road, made up for lost school time. Every day for a year, in virtually every town, Connery hit the local library and read into a tape recorder. Back in London, he immersed himself in theatre by studying at the Old Vic.

    He applied himself to repertory theatre and television work, making a mark for himself in a BBC presentation of " Requiem for a Heavyweight." Then came a role opposite Claire Bloom in ANNA KARENINA. Signed to 20th Century-Fox, Connery appeared with Lana Turner and Barry Sullivan in ANOTHER TIME,ANOTHER PLACE.He had just played a vicious killer in TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE when he got a call from two American producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman that would change his life forever. They had aquired the rights to several of Ian Fleming's popular James Bond novels, and they were interested in seeing the young Scotsman.

    For the role of Bond, however, the producers were considering more polished contenders, including Cary Grant, David Niven, Richard Burton, Trevor Howard, Peter Finch, James Mason, Roger Moore, and even Jimmy Stewart. But in came Con nery with that walk of his, a kind of fluid swagger that Broccoli later described as " the threatening grace of a panther on the prowl." Poorly dressed and with his thick Scottish burr, Connery delivered his theory of Bond, pounded the desk to make his points, then sauntered out, leaving the two men dumbfounded.

    "I used strong and commanding movements ," explained Connery of that fateful day.

    " Not with weight, but to show how Bond is always in control of a scene." It worked. And so did his fee of only $16,500.00, compared to the other big names who were just too big for the $1 million budget of DR. NO.

    Connery ran with the part, adding a blue-collar arrogance to the character written by Fleming as a more superbly efficient upper-class Brit. Connery also injected an ingrediant largely alien to Fleming's Bond: humour. It came in the form of teases - Miss Moneypenny, the secretary of Bond's boss being the most frequent target- and racy double entendres. In bed with yet another knockout dame in GOLDFINGER, Bond answers the phone and declines a dinner invitation with "something big's come up." Connery's Bond had a levity and innate cruelty, but was light footed enough to roll with the campy punches, not to mention dagger-tipped kicks and razor-edged bowler hats.

    " I look for humour in whatever I'm doing," mused Connery, "as long as the humour fits the character and the story. " His early role models: Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant ("probably the most underrated actor to appear on screen"), Marlon Brando ("the most watchable of American actors") and Sir Ralph Richardson. " I adored his acting," he said. " He always found something quite humorous in his way of doing things."

    Students of pop culture attribute the 007 phenomenon to America's need for a suave hero after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was himself an avid Ian Fleming fan. Not only did JFK list Thunderball as one of his favorite books back in 1960, but he even had Fleming over for dinner one night at his Georgetown residence. On the threshold of the sexual revolution in the '60s, the Beatles were taking care of the girls, but all women wanted Bond, and all men wanted to be Bond. The only exception was Connery himself. No matter how good he was at essaying the role, he was growing increasingly worried that he would be stamped as 007 forever, and was never at peace with the frenzied adulation and attention. On one occasion, while on location in Japan shooting YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, Connery was at dinner and after retreating to the men 's room, he looked up from the urinal to find a photographer snapping photos of him relieving himself. For Connery, that was the last straw.

    "The problem was that Bond was just so damn popular, the public only wanted to see me doing that," Connery sighed. "All I can do now is what's interesting and rewarding for me. To try to erase the image of Bond is next to impossible."

    Connery admitted the series became almost a straightjacket for him. The films often did not start shooting when they were supposed to and it was impossible to get a completion date, so Connery never knew when he might be free to make a non- Bond movie. And he desperately wanted to.

    "For me, what became wrong with the Bond films was that they just got further and further into the technological stuff and science fiction stuff, which was not very interesting for me, really," admitted Connery ...And they kind of lost the plot in terms of having some sort of story."

    But if he had to pick his favorite James Bond film? " I guess I'd have to say FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE - heavy on intrigue and light on technology," said Connery.

    After finally ripping up his license to kill after 1971 's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Connery returned to Bond in the competitor's 1983 attempt NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, but Connery came away from the experience disheartened. Connery said he's constantly offered action scripts, "where it's all action, action, action, right to the end. But my personal choice is for something much more than just that."


    At least one factual mistake - it was FRWL not TB that JFK named as one of his favourite novels, but a fascinating interview nonetheless.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff

    Another would be Jimmy Stewart being considered when actually it was Stewart Granger - whose real name was Jimmy Stewart, hence the confusion.

    Enjoyed that, CHB, thank you very much.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    That was a good article, but it is less of an interview, I feel. I think the moment of 'interview' [promoting Entrapment, perhaps?] was relatively short and David Giammarco has filled in his copy with back story from Who's Who. Unfortunately, he is all over the place with his dates for movies and television programs.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Interview with Michael G Wilson in Cinefantastique December 1999 By Alan Jones.

    A specialist in international taxation, Michael G. Wilson joined Eon Production in 1972 and was named assistant to the producer on THE SPY WHOLOVED ME. He received his executive producer stripes on MOONRAKER and continued with that credit on FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and OCTOPUSSY which he also co-wrote along with A VIEW TO A KILL, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS and LICENSE TO KILL. He became co-producer with his step-father Albert R. Broccoli on A VIEW TO A K.ILL and has continued in that capacity to the present date. And, he will on carry on his Hitchcockian bent of appearing in a small cameo in each of the nine James Bond adventures he has produced in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, he play a casino boss.

    "You know, I go around the world and see so much anticipation for each new James Bond picture," said Wilson. 'I get the same response everywhere I go -'Oh, the first film my dad ever took me to was FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE,' or ' I met my wife when I went to see GOLDFfNGER., There is such tremendous loyalty out there for every film we make and I never want to let the audience down. So we are still top-end style film-making and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is our most expensive entertainment to date [even though in real terms MOONRAKER is the biggest budgeted Bond of them all].

    The title of the nineteenth 007 spy saga comes from the Ian Fleming novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and can be briefly glimpsed in the 1969 movie starring renegade Bond, George Lazenby."lt’s taken from the Bond family motto," Wilson explained. ' It's actually seen in Latin on the Bond Coat of Arms and its specific translation is 'The World is Insufficient." It refers to the spiritual and moral sides of Bond's famiJy character actually transcending the material. It's a good title for this particular story as it's more intriguing and more personal because of Bond's involvement with the mysterious woman Elektra King. There's more mystery than normal in this tale for a different take on the Bond ethos. We have a British secret agent at the center of our stories. He's a European hero with an international flavor to his exploits. Every other action hero seems to be American. That's why Bond is a different action film in itself and in a genre on its own. It’s action adventure, not science fiction, as all of our ideas are based on the technical realities of the world and their physical limitations. We try and create interesting, complex and adult stories than you would never see in other action films. I think that's our major difference."

    For the unusual story this time out, Wilson and his co-producer wife Barbara Broccoli turned to screen writers Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, responsible for the 1991 British true crime thriller LET HIM HAVE IT."Neil and Robert are two young writer whose work we really liked," said Wilson. “There is a lot of great precision work to our scripts. That's the kind of producers we are, very thorough. The Bond movies are a family business and as we own the franchise we are very careful about it."

    That quality control is the reason behind why Michael Apted was chosen to direct THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. "The only way the Bond series can survive is to have interesting stories, characters and situations," said Wilson. "That's the focus of what we have to do creatively. We have a great team and special effects crew who put their head together to come up with sensational action and mind-boggling gadgets which all bring to bear on the story. But for the character and drama, which those aspect need to be wrapped around to shine, you need a good director. Michael Apted is one of the best performance directors around - he’s renowned for it. His films are always strong on character development and that’s what we needed here. When he first came to see us, he said, ' I’m not an action director' and we said, ' Good, we didn't want one! We've got plenty of people who have worked with us for years to help him in that department. We wanted someone who was a good storyteller."

    An important part of the script is the humor, according to Wilson. ' It' slightly cynical black humor with a sophisticated angle, and no one is better than playing that than Pierce Brosnan. Every one of the actors who has ever played Bond is a leading man and brings their own personality to the part. It's how they interpret the role that 's the key and Pierce brings a strong sense of romance, laced with biting humor, meshed with menace and his athletic ability. There's a touch of vulnerability about him too, so when you craft the script you can come up with situations that perhaps were not appropriate for some of the other Bonds. For example, by falling in love with Elektra and then beginning to become suspicious of her, it's an interesting twist that becomes the main intrigue of the piece."

    French superstar Sophie Marceau plays Elektra King for one main reason, explained Wilson. "We needed someone who was a great actress but who didn't come with a pre-sold image. The problem if you take a popular star who 's a firm favourite and make her the bad girl, the audience won’t like that. They've come to see their star in a typical role. On the other hand, if you take someone who's played nasty parts, like Sharon Stone for example, then everyone says 'Oh, it's Sharon, so of course she's playing the villain. In order to sell this picture we had to go with a great actress who doesn't come with any expectation of what she is. Sophie has boundless charm and everyone has fallen in love with her."

    Wilson loved TRAINSPOTTING and THE FULL MONTY, which is why Robert Carlyle was cast as the villainous Renard. We went for fabulous actors because we had Michael Apted on board and we knew people would want to work with him," said Wilson. "Robert Carlyle is like a fire-cracker. He brings a lot to the Renard role and the moments you feel sympathy for him are as important as the ones where you hate him. He has a real drive as the underdog who comes back and that makes him a different Bond villain, too. ..We are so lucky in our casting choices. Dame Judi Dench as M goes from strength to strength. Robbie Coltrane is back as Zukovsky, and he's a delight. And now we 've taken John Cleese on board as Q's youmy assistant R. He plays it straight, but even when he does that, there 's always a twinkle there, of course. We will have to replace Desmond Llewelyn as Q in the fullness of time and Cleese is a great choice."

    One would imagine that producing a Bond adventure for such a veteran a Wilson would be like running a well-oiled machine. But the reality is far from wishful thinking. Noted Wilson, "The very nature of the Bond movies is we are always doing stuff we haven't done before so there's always a lot to worry about. Everything gets more complicated because you have to keep topping yourself and be up to date. We don't have a car chase in this film because you can do that to death. We have a boat cbase up the River Thames instead because we've never had an extended action sequence set in London before. But just having bigger, longer bangs isn't the answer. There are plenty of those films around already. We are an action adventure film series and we take our hero on a quest to exotic locations to meet interesting characters. That's the heart of a Bond adventure - the stunt situations are just part of the unfolding story."

    The stunt situations in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH include a skiing sequence in the French Alps with half parachute/half aeroplane gizmos called para-hawks, exploding bombs in eerie underground nuclear test facilities, helicopters with huge chainsaws hanging off them and the climactic fight in the vertical submarine powering itself into the sea bed and filling with water. Noted Wilson, "Pierce is very athletic but there is stuff we don't allow him to do because it's so dangerous. He does as much as is humanly possible and he's always game to do more, but we don't allow it. We'd have to shut down the film if he had an accident."

    Wilson thinks he's a good producer for one main reason- the professional dedication of his core Bond crew, many of whom have worked with him for years. " I never have to crack the whip ,"he said."My job is just to help the top professionals we employ to do their jobs. All the members of our crew are the best in their fields. It couldn't be any other way because every Bond movie is a huge operation and you are working with the same people day-in, day-out, six days a week from the moment you start pre-production in July 1998 to the premiere in November 1999.That's what happens when you are a producer for life, because making a Bond movie every two years takes up every second of yout time."

    Wilson isn't saying what the next James Bond adventure is going to be, but it's no secret that Eon Production have recently purchased the remake rights to CASINO ROYALE.

    “CASINO ROYALE will have to be updated for contemporary demands. We have a contract with Pierce to make a fourth Bond. If he's game for another, we certainly are. It certainly is in all our minds at the moment.”


    One glaring error in this interview, obviously. I feel the Bond movies had long since being innovative by this stage and were hanging on the shirt tails of other action movies.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,929MI6 Agent

    Cinefantastique December 1999 said: ...Wilson and his co-producer wife Barbara Broccoli...


    do Babs'n'Mikey know about this?

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,213Chief of Staff

    Errors aside (and that one's a 😳) what comes across is a sense of enthusiasm which I fear MGW has lost these days.

    Also the part about after Brosnan's contracted "fourth Bond if he's game for another we certainly are" rings very differently in hindsight.

Sign In or Register to comment.