The Living Highlights

The Bond franchise’s luminaries share their 007 recollections with Total Film.

RICHARD KIEL - The man-mountain behind metal-mouth Jaws – the all-time favourite Bond henchman according to a Total Film poll.

What was the toughest challenge you faced playing Jaws?
Making the character more than a stone-faced killer and giving him some other character traits – such as persistence, vulnerability and frustration.

Did you keep your metal teeth?
They were only able to make one set of teeth and the producers have kept them stored in their safe. I kept some of the blazers, trousers and pants, but wore them until they were worn out and, much to the dismay of collectors, my wife, Diane, threw them out.

Did the teeth hurt?
The teeth were not painful, but because they went up into the roof of my mouth they were nauseating. It’s like when you get a dental impression and they stick that tray of gooey stuff up into the roof of your mouth – it makes you want to gag.

What’s your fondest Bond memory?
There are two. The first was seeing Jaws survive in the screening room at MGM and hearing the blue-collar audience roar with delight. The second was having Cubby Broccoli tell a journalist that he and I had a disagreement about how the scene in Moonraker where I first meet Dolly [Jaws’ tiny blonde girlfriend] should be played, and that I was absolutely right in wanting to play it the way I did. They’d wanted to cast a woman even bigger than me for a joke, and I suggested that the motivation for me turning into a good guy in Moonraker was because Dolly needed to be protected from being annihilated by Drax, as she wore glasses and wasn’t good enough for Drax’s perfect society. Cubby was a big enough man to admit, in front of a journalist, that I’d been right. That was a moment of personal validation I’ll never forget.

 

PETER LAMONT - From Fort Knox to the Ice Palace – he’s been shaping the Bond look since Goldfinger.

What was your first job on Bond?
I worked as a draftsman for production designer Ken Adam on Goldfinger. The first day I came into the office, Ken gave me a folder stuffed with drawings of Fort Knox. You can’t get near the real thing, so we had to build our own. I spent about a month making a model of it, then we sent the details to the estimator and he came back with some figure like $55,000! I almost collapsed because the most expensive set till then had been about $29,000! I thought: “I’m going to get fired.” In the end, Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli got the price down to $35,000 and we built it.

What’s your fondest memory?
The Spy Who Loved Me. Everything was done on time, we went to some great locations, and I was the one who did the recce of Egypt. I had an Egyptian guide who was absolutely wonderful. We went everywhere. I went into tombs that had never been opened before, it was just amazing!

So, are you ready to do the next Bond?
If they want me. I’m getting old but I have a great team and you’re only as old as the team around you.

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