mercredi 31 mars 2010

Terence Cooper , the perfect Bond ?


The call was so secret even the phone bell sounded muffled. “Ya wanna meet the new 007? And be first in the world to interview him?”

Sure! When, where? “Call ya soon.”

That’s how I met Terence Cooper, one of the caboodle of Bonds in the four-ringed circus of the first Casino Royale.

He’d been waiting in the SIS corridors for ten years to be 007.

“When producer Kevin McClory tried to get Bond on the screen,” he told me in Gerry’s Bar (where else?), “he had a contract with... guess who’s name on it? No, not Sean’s. Mine.
In 1957 ! Five years before Dr. No. Sean doesn’t play the part right.
Me? Just hope I get across OK without tripping over the flaming carpet.”

Very Bondian - a falling black comma of hair; sent down from Oxford for “various irregular activities” - Cooper called himself the greatest con-man. (Or second, after McClory).

He almost punched out Casino producer Charles Feldman when they met at the Pickwick Club. “Thought he was making a pass at my girlfriends.”

No, he gave Cooper a seven-year contract, rising from £250 to £1,000 a week.

“Why? I don’t know. I was always very rude to him, so he didn’t know what to make of me. But, as all the other people who treated him like that happened to have great talent, Charlie probably mistook me for being a tremendous actor.”
Charlie wuz wrong!

Girls, ( Golden ) Gun & Gizmos : The James Bond London Science Museum Exhibition Press Day ! - Oct.2002

Or...How I got the cold shoulder from Honor Blackman ( and I'm still wondering why to this day ! )

Back in Autumn 2002 , the usual Bond craziness engulfed the World Medias .
I was hired by a TV production company to cover the Press day of the 007 London Science Museum exhibition - the very first of its kind in Europe , where Eon graciously displayed props, sketches , vehicles and various gadgets used in the James Bond films since 1962...

Add to this a string of super guests stars ( Sir Christopher Lee, various Bond girls ) and the -rare- presence of both Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson together and you'll probably understand why I was drooling like Tex Avery's proverbial wolf ...

Being ' French TV ' , we were given the red carpet treatment and I joyously passed from one Celebrity guest to another , followed by my faifhfull cameraman , to get the most of the unique day .
We were lucky enough to get sweet Caroline Munro , the producer himself - Mickey G - who even called his half-sister to join us ( she declined as usual , being notoriously shy of the medias . Damnit...) , Sir Christopher Lee ,etc.,etc...

But there was someone I had never met so far in the assembly .
A Bond girl of legend , former P.A of a certain Mr Goldfinger ...
So , with my usual French charm , I decided to ask Mrs Honor Blackman a quick interview .
Haven't figured out to this day what happened then, but the lady quickly shot back a stern ' no ' and then headed straight to the toilets ( overdose of petits fours ? ) .

We were really flabbergasted by her behaviour - and even more so when learning later a James Bond Fan friend of mine had managed that very morning to get her pic taken right besides Mrs Pussy Galore ( hated when this happen...To others ! ) .

Incidentally , this kind of ' thank you , but no thank you ' behaviour also occured to me with ...George Lazenby , when trying to interview him at the 2002 Ian Fleming Foundation Stoke Park Anniversary Golf course ...The guy politely told us ' please wait for me here ...' and we never saw him again of the whole day ...
Sometimes you asked yourself questions like ' what the hell do those people think they are ? '

dimanche 7 mars 2010

Smelling a rat ?

According to Ian Lancaster Fleming , civil servant James Bond buys his eau de Toilettte and perfume at Floris .
I keep on wondering how the heck the guy has enough money to buy those ( and his tailored-made shirts , and his own brand of cigarettes , and , etc., etc... )
Perhaps the salaries at MI6 were astronomically high in the 50's ?
Thanks to Julien Vialon for bringing back those samples from his latest London trip ...
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