Category: Interviews

Exclusive interview: Caroline Munro & Martine Beswick – part 2 (2016)

On September 1, 2016, Bond•O•Rama.dk had the pleasure of sharing a table with legendary Bond girls Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick. This is the second half of our three-way conversation.

Caroline Munro (b. 1949) adorned the set of “James Bond 007 - Casino Royale” (1967) at the age of 16 as an uncredited "Guard Girl”. Ten years later, she made quite a sensation as Stromberg's scantily clad helicopter pilot Naomi in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977)

Martine Beswick (b. 1941) made her striking film debut as Zora, one of the fighting gypsy women in "From Russia with Love" (1963). The film's director, Terence Young, asked Beswick to return for "Thunderball" (1965), now in the role of Nassau agent and Bond ally Paula Caplan.

Bond•O•Rama met Caroline Munro, now 67 years old, and Martine Beswick, 75, at the design hotel The Thief in Oslo. Whereas the first part of the interview concerned the two cult actresses' roles in the James Bond 007 film series, this second part is devoted to their collaborations with Ray Harryhausen, Oliver Stone, Hervé Villechaize and notorious B-movie producers Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus among others.

Read part one of the interview: Caroline Munro & Martine Beswick discuss their Bond girl experiences
Munro Golden Voyage of Sinbad quad poster

BI: Brian Iskov/Bond•O•Rama.dk
CM: Caroline Munro
MB: Martine Beswick

Ray Harryhausen

BI: You both worked with Ray Harryhausen. And you, Caroline, are connected to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation as well?
CM: I was a trustee, and now I'm a ... they call me patron. Which sounds really well-put, but I quite like that.
MB: Yes, very grand. Because you are. Ha ha.
CM: I don't know about that. But I spread the word, and of course I was in "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" (1973), and Martine was in "One Million Years B.C." (1966).
BI: What was that like?
CM: Oh, amazing.
MB: We loved him. I just thought he was fabulous and brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
CM: So special ... and genius, really, at what he did. Willis O'Brien had started it with his "King Kong" (1933), but Ray kind of took it to another level and just went with it. He named it Dynarama, didn't he? [Dynamation, ed.] It was just so special, the process, and all the big ones ...
MB: ... acknowledge him for making it work, starting them, actually. [Steven] Spielberg ...
CM: Yes. He was sort of their person they look to, and they said, yep, we want to do that.
MB: He was the inspiration to a lot of these guys. I feel very privileged to have worked with him. Don't you?
CM: Me too, absolutely. We're very close with Vanessa, his daughter. She's lovely.
MB: She was on the cruise with us last year. Hi hi.
CM: She was! Yes, she and her husband. They're both farmers. He's a sheep farmer, Ray's son-in-law, and Vanessa is a farmer's wife now. A very selective one, but a farmer's wife.

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Exclusive interview: Caroline Munro & Martine Beswick – part 1 (2016)

On September 1, 2016, Bond•O•Rama.dk had the pleasure of sharing a table with legendary Bond girls Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick. This is the first half of our three-way conversation.

Caroline Munro (b. 1949) adorned the set of “James Bond 007 - Casino Royale” (1967) at the age of 16 as an uncredited "Guard Girl”. Ten years later, she made quite a sensation as Stromberg's scantily clad helicopter pilot Naomi in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977).

tswlm-framegrab-4
Caroline Munro as Naomi with Roger Moore in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) • framegrab

Martine Beswick (b. 1941) made her striking film debut as Zora, one of the fighting gypsy women in "From Russia with Love" (1963). The film's director, Terence Young, asked Beswick to return for "Thunderball" (1965), now in the role of Nassau agent and Bond ally Paula Caplan.

Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan with Sean Connery in "Thunderball" (1965) • framegrab

Beswick, now 75 years old, has since retired from acting, whereas 67-year-old Munro still does the occasional tiny cameo. The two lovely and charming women are however much in demand as guests of honour at horror, sci-fi and James Bond conventions all around the world. Beswick and Munro prefer to travel and appear together, and as the bosom friends merrily chattered away, completing each other's sentences almost telepathically, their chemistry was immediately apparent to Bond•O•Rama's special correspondent.

Ditto their contrasting personalities. As soon as Caroline Munro learned that yours truly was yet to have lunch at 3pm, she warmly offered to share her pot of tea with me. She came across as sweet, motherly and somewhat innocent compared to the more devil-may-care, outspoken "big sis" Martine Beswick. Both were exceedingly fun and endearing.

Bond•O•Rama met Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick at the design hotel The Thief in Oslo, where George Lazenby had held court at a press conference earlier that day. This first part of the interview (edited for clarity) primarily touches upon subjects related to James Bond 007. Part two, focusing on Beswick and Munro's film work outside of the Bond series, will follow shortly. [EDIT: Read part two here.]

A very special thank you to Morten Steingrimsen and “James Bond in Oslo” for facilitating this interview.

Bond•O•Rama meets George Lazenby: "James Bond in Oslo"
Exclusive career interview: George Lazenby, part 1
Exclusive career interview: George Lazenby, part 2

Caroline Munro, Brian Iskov and Martine Beswick in Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov
Caroline Munro, Brian Iskov and Martine Beswick in Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov

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Roger Moore in Copenhagen: Danish TV interview (TV 2 1995)

Today, 14 October 1927, marks Sir Roger Moore's 89th birthday.

In 1995, Roger Moore agreed to an interview for the children's show "Snurre Snups Søndagsklub" [Bugs Bunny's Sunday Club] on Danish TV 2 to mark UNICEF's international "Tune In To Kids Day".

The show's host, Bubber (Niels Christian Meyer), met Special UNICEF representative Roger Moore at Hotel D'Angleterre in Copenhagen. The interview was eventually broadcast as a show in its own right, titled "Roger - a gentleman", on 31.12.1995 (with a re-run on 1.1.1996).

In the show, Roger Moore talks about his many visits to the Danish capital of Copenhagen and his childhood in 1930's London. He also shares his thoughts on child rearing and the challenges of being a gentleman in our time and age.

The show is in English with Danish subtitles. Apologies for the poor image quality (the footage was sourced from a second-generation VHS recording).

More rare videos at James Bond•O•Rama's Vimeo page

“Bond in Motion”: Vic Armstrong interview (2014)

FEATURE

Today, veteran James Bond 007 stunt co-ordinator and second unit director Vic Armstrong turns 70. The following interview was conducted during the "Bond in Motion" press day at London Film Museum, 18 March 2014.

All text © Brian Iskov/James Bond•O•Rama

Vic Armstrong, 18 March 2014. Photo by London Film Museum

Vic Armstrong, very pleased to meet you. You and the Bond franchise go way back.
Yeah, 1966. Forty-odd years.

Do you have a favorite Bond car?
I did like the Aston Martin. But if I had my choice to pick any one of the cars I've worked with, it would be the BMW Z8. I think it's unique. I got a few cars, I've got a 450 SL C Mercedes, I've got a Bentley Continental GT. I like cars that are pretty and have a certain personality, as all those cars have, and I think the BMW is actually matching them quite well.

Some people didn't care much for the BMW's, mainly because they weren't British.
Yes. All that sort of talk went on, but the sales of BMW quadrupled, I think, after "GoldenEye" (1995). It went through the roof.

And Bond barely used the car in the film.
I know! Did nothing with it, just drove it along. But it quadrupled the sales.

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Exclusive interview: George Lazenby discusses his film career, part 2 (2016)

James Bond•O•Rama.dk got an exclusive one-on-one interview with George Lazenby, when the 76-year old former 007 star visited Oslo in Norway on Thursday 1 September 2016.

Read part one of the George Lazenby career interview (the 1970's)

George Lazenby i David Mason-smoking på The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - foto © Brian Iskov
George Lazenby in a Mason & Sons tuxedo at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov

While in Oslo, George Lazenby was the guest of honor at a 4K gala screening of his only performance as James Bond 007, ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service”. This marked the first time since the film's world premiere in 1969 that George Lazenby sat through the film from beginning to end. When he was asked afterwards what it felt like watching his 29-year old self playing James Bond on the cinema screen, Lazenby promptly responded:

”I wish I had done it better!”


INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE LAZENBY

PART TWO: THE 1980'S AND BEYOND

By Brian Iskov, Oslo 01.09.2016

Bond•O•Rama (Brian Iskov): ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” is my favorite James Bond film.
George Lazenby: Well, you have good taste.
Bond•O•Rama: But you have 60 other credits in your filmography that people rarely talk about.
George Lazenby: Oh yeah. They never talk about 'em.
Bond•O•Rama: So I thought that's what we're gonna do.
George Lazenby: Oh, if I remember them.

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Exclusive interview: George Lazenby discusses his film career, part 1 (2016)

James Bond•O•Rama.dk got an exclusive one-on-one interview with George Lazenby, when the 76-year old former 007 star visited Oslo in Norway on Thursday 1 September 2016.

George Lazenby in a David Mason tux at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov
George Lazenby in a David Mason tux at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov

In most of his interviews and public appearances, George Lazenby happily reels off the same 10-15 anecdotes about his brief tenure as James Bond 007. The idea behind this conversation was to take a Random Roles-style approach and dig deeper into his filmography, which after all counts 60 credited film and TV roles and spans almost half a century from 1969 to today.

Bond•O•Rama (Brian Iskov): ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” is my favorite James Bond film.
George Lazenby: Well, you have good taste.
Bond•O•Rama: But you have 60 other credits in your filmography that people rarely talk about.
George Lazenby: Oh yeah. They never talk about 'em.
Bond•O•Rama: So I thought that's what we're gonna do.
George Lazenby: Oh, if I remember them.

The short time frame – 13 minutes – allotted to our one-on-one with George Lazenby obviously curbed the level of detail in both questions and answers. As it is, Lazenby tends to go off on tangents (more often than not about his manliness and/or sexual prowess), which is why some of his comments only bear a tenuous relation to the question or the film referred to.

A few extra insights have been added from the Q&A that George Lazenby did prior to the screening of ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” in the Vika cinema later that same evening.

Maryam d'Abo and George Lazenby at Vika Kino 01.09.16 - photo © Brian Iskov
Maryam d'Abo and George Lazenby at Vika Kino 01.09.16 - photo © Brian Iskov

P.S.: George Lazenby's memoirs have been in the offing for quite some time now, but there is still no publishing date as such. At his press conference in Oslo, Lazenby explained that he had hired an American ghost writer for the job, but that the writer had difficulty capturing Lazenby's particular brand of Australian humor.

On the other hand, a documentary on George Lazenby's life and career, ”This Never Happened to the Other Fella”, is currently in post-production. Directed by Andrew Lumley, the show will air as part of the Limelight Documentary Series on the US streaming platform Hulu.

Morten Steingrimsen, the head organizer of the ”James Bond in Oslo” event, has seen a rough cut of ”This Never Happened to the Other Fella”. He confirms that quite a few of George Lazenby's non-Bond films will be covered in the documentary.

Go here for part two of our exclusive George Lazenby interview!

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“Love is All You Need”: Interview with Pierce Brosnan (2012)

Today, 16 May 2016, is Pierce Brendan Brosnan's 63rd birthday.

The fifth man to portray James Bond 007 in the EON Productions film franchise (from 1995 to 2004), the Irish actor has also appeared in a Danish feature film. He played the co-lead opposite Trine Dyrholm in Susanne Bier's romantic dramedy "Love is All You Need" from 2012. And by the way, the original Danish title, "Den skaldede frisør", translates as "The Bald-headed Hairdresser".

"Love is All You Need" premiered at the Venice Film Festival that same year. I seized the opportunity to interview Pierce Brosnan – twice, in fact. An intimate two-to-one conversation was followed by a larger session with an international group of journalists. And yes, I shook his hand, which in James Bond terms makes three for six (I've also met Daniel Craig and George Lazenby).

Sadly, the year after this interview was conducted, Pierce Brosnan and Cassandra Harris' daughter, Charlotte Brosnan, died from cancer at the age of 42.


INTERVIEW WITH PIERCE BROSNAN, "LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED"

From Bond to Bier

Brian Iskov for Dagbladenes Bureau, September 2012

Working with Susanne Bier and her Danish ensemble of actors became a happy release for Pierce Brosnan after the straightjacket that was James Bond 007. Playing a cancer widower in Bier's romantic comedy ”Love is All You Need”, the Irish movie star drew on his own life experience

VENICE, ITALY – ”Tak” [thanks]. "Tusind tak" [thanks a lot]. And "du er smuk" [you are beautiful].

During his tenure as Agent 007 James Bond, Pierce Brosnan killed [Danish actor, ed.] Ulrich Thomsen and took private lessons in "Scandinavian tongues" with Danish model Cecilie Thomsen. But when we meet Brosnan during the Venice Film Festival in 2012, the Irish-born gent freely admits to a Danish vocabulary limited to the three phrases mentioned above.

brosnan_venice 2012
Pierce Brosnan (right) meets the Danish press in Venice 2012. Photo © Brian Iskov

No wonder that the then 59-year-old actor felt apprehensive when he ventured to Copenhagen in 2011 to prepare for his first lead ever in a Danish motion picture: ”Love is All You Need” (Den skaldede frisør) directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier.

– I was worried about my participation in it, am I gonna rock the boat? I was very nervous that I would take people out of the movie. Also, the actors all had such close proximity to each other. They've grown up together and been friends, lovers, whatever, Pierce Brosnan says.

– Someone like Kim Bodnia has powerful force. You look across the table at the dude, and he's gonna come at you. But he's funny!

Brosnan needn't have worried. From day one, everyone on the Danish film crew welcomed their colleague from abroad with open arms.

– I came into a tribe where I was cared for, nurtured, and laughed at in the best possible way for trying to speak the language, Pierce Brosnan says in his soft-spoken brogue.

– Luckily, the character [a British businessman living in Denmark, ed.] lent himself to this. I believed that [my character] could run this fruit company and never really got the hang of this Danish, always asking my secretary, "what are they saying?". The conceit, I think, was well founded.

Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Trine Dyrholm og Molly Blixt Egelind i "Den skaldede frisør" | pr-foto: Duane Gregory
Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Trine Dyrholm and Molly Blixt Egelind in "Love is All You Need" | Film still by Duane Gregory

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