Producer of the James Bond Movies
Picks His Favorite Special Agent OO7
THE STAR - September 30, 1980
WHO was really the best James Bond? Macho Sean Connery? Super-smooth Roger Moore? Or the short-lived George Lazenby? It's a question moviegoers have been arguing about for years.
Now, for the first time, the man best qualified to answer, film producer Cubby Broccoli who made all the Bond movies, has given his opinion on the actors who have played that most special of special agents - and he's as ruthless as any of his characters.
Speaking in the strangled whisper that earned him the nickname The Godfather, Broccoli took a break from shooting his new James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, which is being filmed in Greece at a cost of $30 million, to take a stab at the three heroes.
SEAN CONNERY (Bond #1): "He was the greatest. It's a shame he lost his hair. You could say he got us by the hairpiece.
"What was so great about him was his terrific animal masculinity - it drew males as well as females. He really had it. Sean could deal with a violent situation so coldly, and then bring in this terrific humor.”
"And he had that marvelous Scottish accent. The way he pronounced Pussy Galore in Goldfinger as 'Poooooooosy' was fantastically sexy.”
"He was a much better actor than anyone mentioned when they talked about the Bond movies, and I guess that's what finally got to him. He had to prove he wasn’t just James Bond, and he's proved it.
"Deep inside all of us, when we reach the top is a desire to jump off and see what else we can do. I've been dying to do just that for 19 years."
ROGER MOORE (Bond #3): "Roger's a nice guy, I like him a lot. But let's say greed reared its ugly head.”
"I thought we were scraping the bottom of the barrel when we took him on. But when we slimmed him, and got rid of those damned eyebrows he kept wiggling up and down in The Saint, he was fine.
“Roger's good in a different way from Sean. He s never managed to be cruel, and cruelty is an important part of Bond's makeup. But he's first class in the humorous parts, and he's a very dignified secret agent, the old-school type Ian Fleming probably had in mind when he wrote it.
GEORGE LAZENBY (Bond #2): "Lazenby would have been all right, if it weren't for his personality. He made the top too soon and didn't know how to behave.”
"Suddenly, he wanted a bigger salary, a bigger dressing room, and a bigger limo. He blew it."
Broccoli, a massive man with steel-gray eyes, looking as sinister as his villains, admits that some of the stunts which made the Bond flicks famous, resulted from "really stupid" suggestions.
"Remember the bit in Live and Let Die when Roger hops from crocodile to crocodile like stepping stones? That happened when one of the crew said, 'If we can't get him off the hook any other way, maybe he could just stroll off across the crocs.' And the stunt man did just that. The part where you see the croc snatching at his trouser bottom was for real," he revealed.
In his hoarse whisper, Cubby said: "There's got to be a change soon, because the public will want a new Bond.
"He'll have to be dark. There's no reason he couldn't be blond, but somehow he couldn't. Around 6 foot 1 to 2 1/2 inches and much younger. I want an unknown.
The only American to admit he couldn't play Bond was Clint Eastwood. Strangely enough, he's probably the only one who could."