BOND. JAMES BOND

 "Roger can climb out of a pocket aeroplane and give a glib remark, I can't." (Timothy Dalton)

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"It's very important to make the man believable, whether people will like this kind of Bond is another question." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I knew if it ("The Living Daylights") was a failure, I'd be a world-famous failure. You think about it very hard in a way you would not think about any other project." (Timothy Dalton, "Premiere", January, 1989)

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"We're going back to the origins. Ian Fleming wrote books about a dangerous, violent, extreme world and the early movies were about that world. What we've done is force the Bond movies back into that world of the first movies under Fleming. I hope the majority of the people will like that. I know obviously some people won't. Some people will prefer a comedic style, but to me this is right. I'm all for humor, but the humor shouldn't be jokey, or tongue-in-cheek, it's got to have a morbid or a darker edge because it's a darker world, a world of violence and danger." (Timothy Dalton)

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"My approach is to humanize the man much more. Bond is not a superman, he is an ordinary man. He's a lapsed idealist who is rediscovering what is right or wrong, what is the truth." (Timothy Dalton, "Newsweek", July 27, 1987)

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"You can't relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle. Real courage is knowing what faces you and knowing how to face it." (Timothy Dalton. "The Making of Licence to Kill" by Sally Hibbin. 1989)

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"Last year (1996), I went up to the frozen north of Canada to do a documentary on wolves. I stepped off the plane and all these wonderful Inuit people in parkas started chanting James Bond." (Timothy Dalton)

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Any negative effects from Bond on the kind of roles offered: "I've not found it to be a problem. If anything it's been an advantage. Quite simply, if you're in a huge commercial success, which both of the Bonds have been, it helps you get other offers for other work. And as there are very few other movies like James Bond, it means all the offers you get are very different, so I've got more choice." (Timothy Dalton)

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"It would be idiotic to say that this is necessarily going to be like Fleming. But it is the foundation for all these films, you know. Therefore, for me, anyway, it has to be the foundation of what I do." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I find it fascinating. It obviously works for audiences worldwide. I think that Fleming obviously found something that satisfied a great deal of fantasies. He found adventure, excitement, and a character that I guess a lot of men would like to identify with, and perhaps a lot of women might like to conquer." (Timothy Dalton)

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When asked about the censors regarding License to Kill: "Well, yes, but that's ridiculous. It's the only place in the world where a full audience can't go and see it. It is unique to England. The rest of the world, everybody can go and see the movie. It's a peculiar quality of our censors and I don't think it's deserved. It's classic, isn't it? You know, people get eaten by sharks and blown up and set on fire…it's everything you'd expect from a Bond movie. I suggested violence. It is tense and exciting. But look, the rest of the country says it's fine for everybody. We're the only country that says not. And of course the tragedy is that it applies to other movies...movies with serious social content. The responsibility of choice that the parents used to have to decide what their children went to see has been taken away from them, and that's wrong."(Timothy Dalton)

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Asked about learning to scuba diving for the stunts: "I did indeed. I never thought I'd like it. I learned in the West Indies. I was thrilled that I did. Great fun." (Timothy Dalton)

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"Well, it's a terrific part. It's the first time I've ever been offered a film that s a modern contemporary action role." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I think comparison is not necessary. My predecessors have made great successes of these films…done extremely well. I've tried to capture the spirit and the essence of the Ian Fleming books and if I've succeeded I'll be very happy." (Timothy Dalton)

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"It is true that Cubby's very kindly asked me in the past if I'd be interested in doing it, and up until this time.… The first time was a long, long time ago. It was when Sean Connery relinquished the part. Then I had a very good career in films as a young man and was very flattered to be asked. But, you know, I mean, Connery was so good. I mean, Connery was terrific. And I was, I don't know, 24 or 25. I didn't think it possible that I could take over from him. So I said, 'Thank you. Terrific, terrific thanks for the interest, but no." (Timothy Dalton)

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When asked about doing his own stunts: "This is the sort of question that you should not be asking. Cinema is magic. When people pay their money and go sit inside a cinema, they must believe. And programs like this, I mean, betray all our tricks. You wouldn't expect a conjurer or a magician to give his tricks away. Now the truth of the matter is that audiences are very sophisticated now and there's been too many questions like this asked of very many films, and we know there're stuntmen and we've got a terrific team of stuntmen on this movie. Very, very highly skilled professionals led by Paul Weston. Stuntmen do stunts, and I do as much action as I can. But you must believe it's me. If you believe it's me, it's me. Otherwise and audience would be….would feel betrayed." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I think this film, The Living Daylights, it's not just an action adventure film. It's the first time we've seen what could be called a romantic mystery film. There's an honest and good relationship with the leading lady. You see Bond with a lot more I think, I hope, harder edges and also softer edges." (Timothy Dalton)

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"Fleming's Bond is a man who often is extremely vulnerable. You read passage after passage after passage throughout the books where his insides were taut and wrenching with nerves, where, you know, you have to have a drink or a pill just to stay calm in order to do the job he had to do. You see, in our films these days people talk about heroes and superheroes and supermen and all that. I don't think they're heroes. Anyone that is bound to win, anyone that's inhuman, not human, ain't a hero. Heroes are the survivors. Heroes are the people that have that extra tenacity and resolve to deal with what life throws at them." (Timothy Dalton)

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"He was a sucker…Bond. I mean, he'd get out on some dangerous mission and have no time at all for ladies, for pleasure, for women. In some of the books he'd make it absolutely clear, no you can't have any women when you're working…they get in the way, they're excess baggage, you put yourself at risk. Within two pages, you know, he's met some woman in distress…a damsel in distress…and fallen in love with her. It is a very romantic way, and it's one of the things we try to do in our film." (Timothy Dalton)

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"Cinema is magic. It's tremendous magic. You go in there and the screen opens and you've got to believe. No one wants to spend their five pounds or their twenty-five pounds if they're taking the family, and be sitting watching what could be the most terrifically exciting moment and with the clear knowledge of he did that or he didn't do that Oh that was a trick, you know what, they really didn't…they hung a this, there was blue…and it was all fake. They must believe, and it's our job as professionals to make them believe. So one shouldn't expose the tricks, but I thought it was important to do as much of the action as I could." (Timothy Dalton)

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Every time some men look into the mirror in the morning when they're going to shave, they imagine that they're James Bond. What happens to you when you look in the mirror in the morning? "That's a rotten question (deep laughter). I just think, 'Oh God!'"(Timothy Dalton)

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What do your mum and dad think now that you're Bond: "I honestly don't really, I mean I know that they're very proud and very happy and very pleased. That I know. I don't think that's the crucial question. I think the crucial question for them would be, or would have been twenty-odd years ago, could the kid make a living? Well, he has done."(Timothy Dalton)

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"I think the great problem has been often our own publicity. The way our publicity and the media represent the films, you see lots of ladies in bathing costumes surrounding James Bond. The truth is you hardly ever see these ladies in the movies. The ladies you see in the movies are good leading actresses."(Timothy Dalton)

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"I was asked if I'd be interested twice, which isn't quite the same thing as having an offer. The first time was many years ago when Sean gave up the part. I thought he was terrific, he was splendid. I'd seen Sean Connery in my local cinema back home as a kid. I'd sneaked in, I was underage. There were sixteen-year-old films then. I thought he was great. (Dr. No) That's my favorite."(Timothy Dalton)

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"I said if I was to do it, I'd love to try and take the movies back to being action adventure thrillers for adults that kids could enjoy, but nevertheless something like those early movies, and the Ian Fleming books, and Cubby was wholeheartedly behind that."(Timothy Dalton)

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Asked if playing Bond was counterproductive to his classical theater training: "Last year in between the two Bond movies I did a play in the West End of London, a Eugene O'Neill play, called A Touch of the Poet with Vanessa (Redgrave) who you've interviewed here. In fact you interviewed her when we were doing The Taming of the Shrew together. We always got people at the stage door who came and said, 'I've never been to the theater before. I only came because you were James Bond.' They didn't expect to see this little gray-haired, paunchy drunkard on the stage. And said they loved it and they were going to come to the theater again, so it helps to fill the theater, it brings people, it's no hindrance whatsoever." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I think you should perhaps know that I believe our business is magic, this is magic. We all pretend, right, as directors, actors? It is pretence, but we've got to pretend so well that everybody believes. One doesn't go into the stunts. I've tried to do as much action as I possibly can because I think it's very important. An audience had got to identify with the character playing Bond because action is part of the story, part of the man's nature. And I was guided and helped by a terrific team of professional stuntmen, and by a splendid effects team who carried my health in their hands. But apart from that I'm not going to say anything more." (Timothy Dalton)

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"I wake up one Tuesday morning as a sex symbol. Well, I don’t think I'm going to feel any different. It's not really realistic, is it? I mean you can't take one seriously. If anybody responds in that way they're responding to an image on the screen. They're responding to that particular kind of man, who can do those particular kind of things. You know, it's not me." (Timothy Dalton)

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"The differences between James Bond and myself are extreme. It's strange, because, as an actor, I must look for common identities in order to express Bond through me - but it isn't easy. Obviously, I don't know what it's like to be a secret agent, and I'm certainly not licensed to kill. And I don't know if I would want to be licensed to kill. Well, you never know, do you? There are odd times when it has flashed across my mind." (Timothy Dalton: "The Living Daylights: The Official Poster Magazine")

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"Timothy Dalton has Shakespearean training, but he underestimated the role. The character has to be graceful and move well and have a certain measure of charm as well as be dangerous." (Sean Connery, "Entertainment Weekly," 1995)

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"The women flipped for him - and I remember he gave a good performance." (Albert Broccoli, "Newsweek", July 27, 1987)

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"I'm amazed at how fit Timothy Dalton is. His big sport is ... fishing!" (Marian D'Abo, Cannes, 1987)

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RB: How has playing James Bond changed your life, positively and negatively?

TD: Hardly at all negatively - I'm very happy to say that. Positively - professionally, of course, because the nature of our world is a commercial world and if you can have a commercial success you'll get a lot more offers.

RB: What about the legions of fans that will hound you for autographs for the rest of your life?

TD: Well, that's all bullshit, isn't it? It's all bullshit. That is not true. You get all that when you're in a publicity situation. There might be a few people outside the hotel, but those are the professional autograph bounty hunters, or the paparazzi. But you and I could walk down the street here or in London, and people would certainly recognize me, but nobody is going to bother me. Most people on the street are healthy, decent people with their own sense of self-respect and integrity and they'll treat you regularly if you behave regularly. If on the other hand you behave like an asshole, and go around with battalions of bodyguards and limousines and press and photographers and all that, and make an issue out of it, then it's a different story. The majority of people who go and see a movie or play, if they like it, they come out and say that was a bloody good film or play, and so on, but they're not going to go around to the stage door, they're not going to write and ask for an autograph. Only a tiny percentage of them will. And the bulk of that percentage are people who just realy want to say it was great and would you mind if I had an autograph. The kind of thing you're talking about is the tiiniest minority and it's a bit odd anyway.

RB: The Bond world has that group, you know, like "Star Trek" and "Batman" - it's got its legion of fans. It's going to last.

TD: Frankly, I love it from some. Someone in the airport the other day just said, "I saw the film - terrific - thanks", and walked on. That felt great. That's how I would react, that's how you would react, if you see a performance you love, and if you ever met the guy, maybe - but even if you did, even if you were in a restaurant you might not want to disturb him having his dinner, you'd just think, "Oh, there's..." But some people make a profession of being a fan. It's on the edge of abnormality in a lot of ways. It's gone beyond genuine care and respect. And there's not many of them. The press tend to build up all the screaming hoards. Sure, if you go to a premiere it's par for the course, it's everybody's game. New rules are set. But just going down to the street and going to a pub, the real world is not problem.

RB: So you don't get much of that.

TD: And I'm very pleased. As an actor you can't cut yourself off from your roots; you can't cut yourself off from the foundations of your work, and they are people - it's people who you act, it's people you take parts in stories life is about people.

An interview done during a break in filming on the set of 'The Living Daylights' at Pinewood Studio's. Timothy said:

"I find it fascinating, it obviously works for audiences world wide. Fleming obviously found something that satisfied a great deal of fantasies. He found adventure and excitement and a character I guess a lot of men would like to identify with and a lot of women might like to conquer".

"I don't make those comparisons, I have a script called 'The Living Daylights' and a character called James Bond. I did my best to make it as well as I can. I can't think of copying or being different too, I've tried to be original. I mean it will be different, I shall make it my own, I start from the books".

 

Excerpts from an interview with Timothy Dalton on 2.11.98 by Bob Thomas

Bob: Were the Bond movies hard work or a walk in the park?

Dalton: It's neither. Well, it's both. No, it's hard work. Sorry, I'm kind of jumping around. It's a certain kind of movie. All movies are hard work because you're trying to get them right and do your work well. Most movies - and certainly the Bonds - are simply hard physically because you're often working 14 to 15 hours a day on very long schedules.

Bob: Did you do your own stunts on the Bond films?

Dalton: I was involved in them. I didn't do anything that is going to break my neck. In those days there was never a stunt or a moment in a Bond movie that hadn't been done for real. Nowadays we're so used to what you can achieve with computer graphics.

Bob: Do you drink martinis, and if so, how prepared?

Dalton: No, I don't. I've always found martinis knock me sideways. I don't think I've drunk one since I left the Bond movies. Every bar, every restaurant you go in, there's always some wisecrack, 'Oh, yours will be a martini, shaken, not stirred.' You get sick and tired of that.

 

"The New-York Times"

July 14, 1989 page 8

...But Mr. Dalton glowering presence adds a darker tone.

...Mr.Dalton is perfectly at home as an angry Bond and as a romantic lead and as an action hero, but he never seems to blend any two of those qualities at once. He does not seem at ease with all of Bond's lines and to the actor's immense credit he seems least comfortable when M. meets him at Hemingway's house, a Key West tourist attraction and tells him to turn over his gun "I guess it's a farewell to arms" says Mr. Dalton not quite cringing.They have to stop writing lines like that for the Dalton Bond or he'll really be full of angst. Meanwhile he is beginning to hold his own with the shadows of his former self...

 

"The New-York Times"

July 9, 1989 page H11

"The best James Bond will always be Sean Connery, but Timothy is the best actor of the four of them"- says Richard Maibaum."Timothy's Bond is a real man with a real sense of destiny; and real people are in jeopardy".

"Tim is a more gritty, down-to-earth Bond who can have ruthlessness and vulnerability"- says Mr. Wilson.

"I tried to bring some dimension to James Bond,to make him a human being" - says Mr. Dalton. "He is determined, often very ruthless, by no means a white knight. If you're going to deal with villains, you have to be villainous to beat them. I take my cue from the novels and the very early Bond movies. "Dr. No" caused a great scandal. A man walks into Bond's bedroom and pumps bullets into a figure on the bed. He empties his gun. Then Sean Connery, who is sitting behing the door says: "You had your six" and kills an unarmed, defenseless man. Bond murders his own murderer. A hero is not supposed to behave that way.

When Mr. Wilson watched the daily rushes on "Licence" he was often startled to find Mr. Dalton doing his own action sequences instead of relying on stunt men.The actor wanted "to make it believable"- says Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Dalton who says he was asked to take on the role of James Bond when Mr. Connery quit "That would have been the most suicidal move I could make and, besides, I was too young,"- agreed to replace Mr. Moore only if he could play " a James Bond I could believe in," a James Bond who in "Licence to Kill" has "a moral justification for killing, if not necessarily a legal one". 

 

  

BOND FAULTS

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