From the Archives: Bonds, Baddies and Babes

Variety's behind-the-scenes coverage of 007 personalities


Sean Connery feted last night by UA at the Directors Guild screening of “Dr. No,” plus a feed at Chasen’s, was only a coupla years ago hitching rides on Hollywood Blvd. That’s show biz.
— Daily Variety, March 14, 1963


Miss (Honor) Blackman seems to enjoy the flustered Yankee premieres immensely. She reports that the British press and such don’t take quite the same squeamish attitude toward obvious anatomical gags like the “Pussy Galore.” She finds the Yank sensitivity to words “silly.”
– Weekly Variety, November 25, 1964

At Chasen’s, locals hosted (and toasted) Honor Blackman, costar of “Goldfinger” who made a cross-country tour with the pic. … Honor B. happily looks forward to “Moment to Moment” (her next pic) which will not require any physical violence — for a change. “I’ll be happy if I never again have to do judo,” she said within earshot of director Guy Hamilton.
— Daily Variety, Nov. 30, 1964

Sean Connery’s celebrating these days. “Goldfinger” biz? Nope – he broke 80 at golf.
— Daily Variety, December 29, 1964


The new “James Bond,” George Lazenby, hadda come to Hollywood to see himself as “007” — but no one in the local audience recognized the longhaired, bearded one as the star of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” […] He is still insistent this is the first and last “Bond” film for him. “I’m just an actor — not ‘Bond.’ It took Sean (Connery) three films before he started to complain — I made one, and halfway thru it I started objecting.”
— Daily Variety, Dec. 17, 1969


Scene between Sean Connery and Lana Wood in the Riviera casino was ruined by the p.a. blaring, “Mr. Sean Connery, long distance –.” […] In the casino between takes, Connery plays the quarter slots, whereas James Bond rolls dice for $50,000. (And Cubby Broccoli plays baccarat.)
— Daily Variety, April 28, 1971


UA’s “Live and Let Die” screened at Grauman’s followed by a Chasen’s supper party where Roger Moore was properly toasted as a terrific James Bond. Despite his cool bravery on screen, Moore was too nervous to view the film, instead he braced himself for audience reaction later at the eatery. […]
— Daily Variety, June 26, 1973


Christopher Lee, here to p.a. “Man With the Golden Gun,” and weary of queries about his horror-film past, shrugged, “I guess the ‘Dracula’ image is just a cross I have to bear.” That, sirrah, is the unkindest cut of all.
— Daily Variety, Dec. 4, 1974


Roger Moore is driving an Aston Martin Lotus Espirit in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Only 70 of

the supercars have been built, and the Bond company has six of ’em. Incidentally, Roger writes he’s plenty happy to be home from the Egypt location where logistics broke down and one night members of the crew had to sleep in a plane because there were no hotel rooms.
— Daily Variety, November 19, 1976


Half the fun of any James Bond picture, of course, is watching the fellow on screen trying to escape a variety of deadly devices. But Roger Moore doesn’t really think his special efex experts are trying to kill him; it only seems that way. “They’re always saying, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be safe.’ And I look over and they’re either hiding behind steel shields or way out in a boat somewhere,” Moore moans.
— Daily Variety, July 21, 1977


Christopher Walken, who went platinum to play the evil Max Zorin, James Bond’s arch-enemy in “A View to a Kill,” tells us he still has to dye his hair back to its natural color six months after the pic.
— Daily Variety, June 10, 1985


“I’m not bitter,” Pierce Brosnan admits as Timothy Dalton takes over the James Bond role in “The Living Daylights.” Brosnan, who must return to “Remington Steele,” allows, however, “It would have been nice.” Nice indeed — Cubby Broccoli and UA wanted to sign him for four Bond epics, he admits.
— Daily Variety, August 12, 1986


As for his new Bond, Timothy Dalton, Broccoli says, “He’s different – he called me up at the end of the movie and said it was the happiest thing he had EVER done! That’s the first time an actor ever did that.” Broccoli says Dalton “is a very physical Bond and tried to do most of his own stunts.”
— Daily Variety, March 4, 1987


“This will be a Bond for the ’90s,” Brosnan said at Wednesday’s press conference. “Bond has to go back to be a more conflicted character, with humor as well. We want to peel back layers in his character and see what demons exist there.”
— Daily Variety, June 9, 1994

(George Lazenby) thinks Brosnan will make a great Bond for the ’90s. “When I played Bond, he slapped woman and used them to shield himself from flying spears. Brosnan will bring a more modern sensibility to the role.”
— Weekly Variety, September 5, 1994


“I’m glad I didn’t screw it up for the kids. They could say, ‘My father buried Bond,'” Pierce Brosnan said after an emotional premiere of “GoldenEye” Wednesday night at the Acad.
— Daily Variety, Nov. 10, 1995


(Halle) Berry didn’t have time to savor the Oscar victory as she left the next day for filming as Jinx in “Die Another Day.” As for this role, she says, “I play the feminine James Bond. She’s the next step in the evolution of women in the Bond movies. She’s more modern — more intelligent — and not the classic villain.” Sure there are love scenes, she allows, but there’s no disrobing, reminding, Bond films are PG-13. “And besides, I’ve been there,” she laughed — “and I’m not looking to do that again!”
— Daily Variety, April 12, 2002


At a press conference at the Czech Republic’s Barrandov Studios, new 007 Daniel Craig fielded with good humor questions that grew increasingly bizarre. One journalist from the Czech magazine Spy asked him what he thought of media speculation about his “orientation.” After a moment, Craig responded icily, “I didn’t know they had, but thanks for the information.”
— Daily Variety, Feb. 16, 2006


“SHHHHHHHH!” That was the sound heard as the lights went down at the special NYC screening of “Quantum of Solace.” Who was that shushing the noisy audience? 007 himself, Daniel Craig. Of course the joke here is that the first 10 minutes of “Quantum of Solace” is an explosively loud, astonishing car and foot chase between Bond and various villains. It’s an incredible segment, but nothing could be heard above the onscreen din.
— Daily Variety, November 18, 2008


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