The Living Highlights

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

JOHN GLEN - The second-unit director turned director of five Bond movies, from For Your Eyes Only to Licence To Kill.

What’s the toughest challenge you faced on a Bond movie?
Filming the opening sequence to The Spy Who Loved Me [where 007 skis off a cliff and then opens a Union Flag parachute].

Were you worried that the stuntman, Rick Sylvester, might be badly hurt?
Yes, there was a good chance he might have died. But we were very careful. I decided that, unless the conditions were perfect, we weren’t going to do it, which, considering we waited three weeks up in the Arctic Circle, meant there was huge pressure on me. I said, “Look, Rick, if you change your mind, just tell me and we won’t do it.” But Rick was a gutsy guy, a guy made of steel.

Is it true Pierce Brosnan was set to take over from Roger Moore for The Living Daylights?
Brosnan was cast. He was fixed and we even went out and celebrated. We drank a glass of champagne and toasted his success. And then the next day the story broke that Mary Tyler Moore was going to take up his option to do another series of Remington Steele. Poor old Pierce had to wait a few years...

Who would you like to see take over?
Russell Crowe. When I first saw him, I thought he could play James Bond. Because he comes across as rather rude, with that kind of arrogant streak that Bond needs.

 

JANE SEYMOUR - The lovely Dr Quinn was once a Bond girl extraordinaire, as the card-reading Solitaire in Live And Let Die.

How did you get the gig?
Producer Harry Saltzman called me in for an audition. I did this thing of coming in with my hair up in this fur hat, because I’d been told I look different with my hair off my face than I do with it round my face. He told me to take it off and my hair came tumbling down. He offered me the job on the spot... I was in total shock about the whole thing. I got into my little Volkswagen Beetle and accidentally backed into Harry Saltzman’s Rolls-Royce...

When did you first meet Roger Moore?
They took publicity pictures of us and I was required to be naked from the waist up with my mercifully long and thick hair plastered over any parts I was unwilling to show. I was hugging him, though. And for an almost virginal 20-year-old, hugging The Saint was an interesting experience. Especially with his wife standing next to the camera saying [puts on syrup-thick foreign accent], “No, Roger, you no can-a kiss her like-a zat! You kiss her like-a zis!”

What was the toughest challenge you faced?
The snake scene. By the time they came to do my close-up, they’d been doing the sequence for three or four days and the dancer who was holding the snake got a little careless, and the snake turned around and bit him. The guy ran off screaming, taking everyone with him – and leaving me tied to the stake with the snake coming straight for me. The handler grabbed it at the last second...

Were you really on the double-decker bus during that chase?
Yes! It’s one of the stupidest things ever. If you look at the movie there’s this tiny dot of orange and that’s all you see. There’s absolutely no reason for me to be there. It could have been a stuntman there and no one would have known the difference! Press from all over the world came and watched that stunt, though. That’s how I was shamed into being on the bus in the first place. They said that if I didn’t do it then everyone would know how I’d chickened out...

Have you kept any Bond memorabilia?
No! They took everything back. The producer’s wife got all my clothes... I didn’t even get the playing cards.

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