Amazing James Bond Trivia

james bond trivia
Terence Young discovered Ursula Andress in a pile of photographs on the desk of a producer.
In 1967, Daniela Bianchi starred in Operation Kid Brother (aka O.K. Connery), an Italian James Bond knock-off featuring Sean Connery's brother Neil. The film also featured Bond regulars Lois Maxwell and Bernard Lee. Neil Connery wasn't an actor and the film was roundly panned. Legend has it that an embarrassed Sean tried to buy all the prints.
The knife shoe used by Rosa Kleb was an actual weapon used by the KGB.
The brutal fight in the train compartment between James Bond and Red Grant lasts only a few minutes onscreen but took three weeks to film.
The producers were worried that the name 'Pussy Galore' was too risque and considered changing it to Kitty Galore.
A 24-hour guard was placed on the Goldfinger Fort Knox set at Pinewood Studios so that thieves would not steal the gold bar props.
Harold Sakata, unforgettable as the silent, menacing henchman with the steel brimmed hat in Goldfinger, won a silver medal for the United States in Light-Heavyweight wrestling in the 1948 London Olympics.
Honor Blackman was in her late thirties when she made Goldfinger - making her the oldest Bond 'girl' until Monica Bellucci.
Bond producer Cubby Broccoli had a spell making coffins and selling Christmas trees before he got into the film industry.
Jack Lord, later to become best known for Hawaii Five-O, became the first Felix Leiter in Dr No. According to screenwriter Richard Maibaum, Lord demanded co-star billing with Sean Connery, a bigger role and more money to return as Felix so they recast the part and dispensed with Lord.
Claudine Auger, who plays Dominique "Domino" Derval, was a former Miss France.
A sad story was Hervé Villechaize, who plays the diminutive sidekick to Christopher Lee's villain in The Man with the Golden Gun. He later starred in the TV series Fantasy Island. Villechaize suffered from 'dwarfism' and his health was failing just as he was going through a difficult time in his private life. He shot himself in 1993 at the age of 50. His suicide message included the following line - '3am I can't miss with a dum dum bullet - Ha! Ha!  Never one knew my pain - for 40 years - or more. Have to do it outside less mess.'
George Lazenby claimed that when he was cast as Bond a female prostitute was planted in his apartment by the studio to make sure that he wasn't gay. Lazenby claims that Diana Rigg was romantically interested in him but did not take it very far because he wouldn't leave the other actresses on the set alone. Lazenby also said that the director Peter Hunt barely uttered a word to him through the whole production of OHMSS. Hunt denied this.
When Lazenby left the part of 007 he assumed that he would be able to use his new found fame to become a successful and busy actor. The opposite happened and Lazenby disappeared into obscurity. A 1971 film called Universal Soldier, where Lazenby plays a mercenary in hippie London, couldn't even find a distributor. Lazenby had to forfeit his fee and put his own money into the film. It didn't make a penny. Lazenby claims that Bond producer Cubby Broccoli told his friends in the film industry to blackball Lazenby.
Steven Seagal, who was the fight choreographer on Never Say Never Again, broke Sean Connery's wrist while they were training.
Lois Maxwell's daughter Melinda Maxwell was among Drax's Master Race specimens in Moonraker.
Live and Let Die is the only Bond film with a supernatural atmosphere and some obvious horror elements.
Barbara Carrera claims she turned down Octopussy so she could appear in Never Say Never Again.
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Nancy Allen
We've all heard the story of how Pierce Brosnan had to pull out of playing Bond in The Living Daylights because Remington Steele was put back into production but did you know that this decision also had equally frustrating consequences for his co-star? Stephanie Zimbalist, who played Laura Holt in Remington Steele, had been cast as Officer Lewis in Paul Verhoeven's Robocop but had to abandon the film and go back to making Steele with Brosnan. She was replaced in Robocop by Nancy Allen.
It seems to be an open secret that Timothy Dalton and John Glen didn't always get on very well. Dalton is said to have requested a new director for his third (and never to happen) Bond film after Licence To Kill. John Glen had this to say: "Things [on LTK] ended in a bit of a sour atmosphere, unfortunately - I was feeling a little unwell and Tim wasn't in the best of moods either. The whole thing was a bit of an ordeal and Tim and I had a bit of a slanging match across the pool. I don't know whether to put it down to tiredness at the end of the schedule or the accumulated tension of what had been an unusually arduous shoot." A few years later Dalton left the production of Christopher Columbus: The Discovery after Glen came onboard as director.
Jack O'Halloran (Krypton's vilest mute in Superman II) turned down the part of Jaws. O'Halloran was a former boxer and once fought George Foreman.
Famke Janssen was cast in GoldenEye after Martin Campbell saw her in early rushes of the Clive Barker film Lord of Illusions.
When Die Another Day came out, Lee Tamahori commented - "To hell with North Korea. It's a basket-case country and the sooner its leaders all roll over and die, the better." This caused the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland to issue a statement calling for an end to the screenings and saying the film was a "dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander North Korea and insult the Korean nation". To make matters worse, even South Korea raised objections (with some in the country calling for a boycott) that Die Another Day falsely depicted South Korea as an American colony.
Christoph Waltz seemed to criticise his own performance as Blofeld in interviews. "I cannot claim that I’ve really nailed Blofeld. Overall, it held water and was okay. But it wasn’t what I’ve been looking for. I was searching for more inspiration."
Roger Michell was originally chosen to direct Quantum of Solace but he left the project before shooting began. "What I would have done with it would have been to get a really good script before I started shooting, that’s what I would have done with it! That’s why I pulled out of it. We had everything, but no script. We had a start date, but no script. I just found it too daunting, the prospect of doing something not very well because you didn’t have a foundation for it. It’s all about the script in this business, it really is. So when the Bond people, who I really liked I must say very much, started saying, ‘I know we don’t have a script but could you start storyboarding the action sequences?’, I just thought, ‘How the f**k do I do that?’ It made me miserable. It just made me feel it was the wrong thing."
Richard Maibaum's original screenplay for The Spy Who Loved Me opened with a group of terrorists, comprised of everyone from the Red Brigade to the Weathermen, breaking into an ultra-modern Spectre lair. "They level the place, kick Blofeld out, and take over," explained Maibaum. "They're a bunch of young idealists. In the end, Bond comes in and asks, 'All right, you're going to blow up the world. What do you want?' They reply 'We don't want anything. We just want to start over—the world is lousy. We want to wipe it away and begin again. So, there's no way we can be bribed.' Cubby Broccoli nixed the script as he thought it was too political.
At one point, film rushes from Never Say Never Again were delivered by accident to the Octopussy production base at Pinewood. John Glen arranged for them to be delivered back without being viewed.
Bruno Ganz was Marc Forster's choice for the villain in Quantum of Solace but the producers had already chosen Mathieu Almaric.
Ukranian model Olga Kurylenko beat 400 contenders for the part of Camille Montes.
John Woo turned down an offer to direct GoldenEye. Woo is said to have felt that his distinctive style would not be a good match for the somewhat restrictive conventions of a James Bond film. He was also still learning the ropes as far as big budgets and special effects went.
Bo Derek was considered for the part of Stacey Sutton.
Stuart Baird and Stephen Hopkins were considered for the Die Another Day director's chair. Brett Ratner claimed that Pierce Brosnan lobbied for him to direct this film.
Whitney Houston and Salma Hayek were names considered for the part of Jinx before Halle Berry was hired.
Rosamund Pike was so young when she made Die Another Die that she had to leave the production to attend her graduation ceremony. She read English literature at Oxford and graduated with an Upper Second-class honours degree in 2001.
Lynn-Holly Johnson, who plays Bibi Dahl, was an ice skater in real life. Johnson won the silver medal at the novice level of the 1974 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Tomorrow Never Dies was suppposed to have a spectacular mountain climbing PTS like Sly Stallone's Cliffhanger film. This planned opening was scrapped though because they didn't have enough time to prepare and shoot it.
Christopher Lee was chosen for the role of Scaramanga after Jack Palance turned the part down.
James Villiers (as Bill Tanner) gives Bond his briefing in For Your Eyes Only because of the illness and passing of Bernard Lee. Lee, before he died, had tried to shoot a scene for the film but was too weak to complete it. As a mark of respect it was decided not to recast M straight away. Villiers expected to be the new regular M but was dispensed with as Cubby Broccoli thought he looked too young. Villiers was said to be annoyed at being let go.
The North Korean beach scene in Die Another Day was shot in Holywell Bay near Newquay in Cornwall.
Peter Burton could have been Major Boothroyd/Q again after Dr No but declined for other work. He later said he regretted his decision.
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Shirley Anne Field
Shirley Anne Field declined the role of Jill Masterson.
Anya Amasova was supposed to cameo in A View To A Kill but Barbara Bach didn't want to appear.
Sean Connery didn't like Bond's Aston Martin DB5. He thought it was rather small and uncomfortable.
Pierce Brosnan has admitted that he didn't get on very well with Terri Hatcher when they made Tomorrow Never Dies. "I got very upset with her - she was always keeping me waiting for hours. I must admit I let slip a few words which weren't very nice." Brosnan confessed that he'd wanted Monica Bellucci to play Paris.
The original screenplay for Diamonds Are Forever was a revenge story featuring characters from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. When Lazenby left the series this concept was scrapped. Another early abandoned script treatment had Gert Fröbe returning as Auric Goldfinger's twin from Goldfinger and seeking revenge for the death of his brother.
Gayle Hunnicutt was signed to play Solitaire but had to pull out when she became pregnant. Diana Ross was also considered for the role. Jane Seymour was cast after the producers saw her in the TV series The Onedin line.
Roger Moore recieved racist hate mail for his love scenes with black actress Gloria Hendry (who plays Rosie) in Live and Let Die.
John Glen suggested Robert Davi as the villain for Licence To Kill after watching him a TV film. ‘I was looking for a villain who could be the physical equal of Tim’s Bond, in much the same way Robert Shaw had been the equal of Sean Connery in From Russia With Love. The balance between hero and villain fascinates me and Robert Davi played the villainous side of the equation perfectly’.
It has been suggested that the Felix Leiter actors became plainer after (the rather dashing) Jack Lord to make Bond look better.
Sharon Stone had discussions for the part of Pam Bouvier.
GoldenEye divided Siskel & Ebert. Ebert enjoyed it while Siskel hated it.
Roger Moore, if his memoirs are to be believed, didn't get on very well with Grace Jones. 'I'm afraid my diplomatic charm was stretched to the limit. Every day in her dressing room - which was adjacent to mine - she played very loud music. I was not a fan of heavy metal. One day I snapped. I marched into her room, pulled the plug and then went back to my room, picked up a chair and flung it at the wall.'
Renny Harlin claims he turned down the chance to direct (what would eventually become) GoldenEye. "Actually, to be honest, what happened at that point was I was interested in doing the Bond movie, but there was an actor in it that I didn't believe in. And I'm not going to say that his name is Timothy Dalton. I just didn't think that he made a good Bond. I said that you had to recast and come up with a new actor for it. And they refused and said 'he's great', and I was like 'he is not James Bond'. So that was why I walked away from that job."
German singer Ute Lemper declined the part of Xenia Onatopp.
Barbara Bach was the girlfriend of the head of United Artists UK. They decided to give her a leading role in The Spy Who Loved Me after liking a test they saw of her. Bach was very inexperienced and during one scene Lewis Gilbert had to do twenty takes.
Saffron Burrows and Alicia Silverstone were considered for the part of Miranda Frost before it went to Rosamund Pike.
Freida Pinto and Jessica Biel were looked at for the role of Strawberry Fields. Gemma Arterton, only 22 at the time, got the part. Gemma Arterton obviously wasn't much impressed by the film. In a 2017 interview she said if she had her time as a fresh from drama school actress again she'd turn down Quantum of Solace.
Daniel Craig was injured when shooting parts of Spectre. Notice how he can't run during the pre-title sequence.
In an early draft of the Spectre screenplay, M was going to be revealed to be a traitor. Ralph Fiennes complained about this and said he didn't want to play M as a villain so they changed it.
Spectre is the most expensive Bond. Hacked Sony emails reveal that the budget had reached an unprecedented $300 million for the franchise, and that MGM president Jonathan Glickman urged cutting it to $250 million. The budget led to casting changes. This directly resulted in the casting of Andrew Scott as new MI6 boss C, which saved $1 million rather than hiring Sam Mendes’ first choice, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Jill St John was originally cast as Plenty O'Toole but given the more leading part of Tiffany Case after she impressed Guy Hamilton in auditions. Plenty O'Toole was played by Lana Wood, sister of the doomed icon Natalie Wood. There's a strange connection between Lana Wood and St John now as Jill St John later married Robert Wagner - who Lana Wood believes may have been responsible for the mysterious drowning of (Wagner's former wife) Natalie Wood.
In an interview with Barry Norman to promote Never Say Never Again, Connery said they had flirted with the idea of him doing the film without a toupee. Connery also said that he felt he and Roger Moore (who made Octopussy at the same time) were too old to play Bond again and suggested Mel Gibson as the next 007. Despite the 'Battle of the Bonds' headlines, Roger Moore said that he and Sean Connery sometimes had dinner together while the rival films were in production and remained good friends.
Peter Morgan's early script for what became Skyfall was rejected for being too dark. It featured flashabacks to a younger M as a MI6 operative during the height of the Cold War.
Charlize Theron and Cécile de France were considered for the part of Vesper Lynd. Eva Green won the part in the end.
Sam Mendes says that they thought of Sean Connery for the Kincaid character played by Albert Finney but it was always highly unlikely he would do it. Connery retired from acting in 2003 after his awful experience on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
bond trivia facts
Mathilda May
Mathilda May, the nude space vampire from Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce, auditioned for the part of Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights. Maryam d'Abo, who was a former model, was cast as Kara. In 1984, d'Abo had attended auditions for the role of Pola Ivanova in A View to a Kill.
Bond's Jet Pack in Thunderball is the the Bell Pack, a prototype from the US Army and the only model in existence at the time.
The glossy opening to Thunderball was shot at Chateau d'Anet, 40 miles outside of Paris.
The title of Tomorrow Never Dies was a typo according to Roger Spottiswoode. "Well, the script revolves around a media mogul. The Tomorrow paper is really The European. And Carver is Rupert Murdoch. So, we had a list of 5 to 10 potential titles, amongst them “Tomorrow Never Lies.” It fit perfectly. A newspaper cannot tell lies… So we went for it and faxed MGM in Burbank, and on went with other things. But at the other end, the guy who received the script must have misread it because the next day we had a phone call from MGM, telling us “We love your title ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’! That’s going to be it.” Nobody dared to tell them the truth!"
The World Is Not Enough saw Q given a replacement (in the form of John Cleese) - who Bond suggests should be called "R". Cleese was expected to become the new regular Q but was discarded after only one more film when the series was rebooted in 2006. "I did two James Bond movies," said Cleese, "and then I believe that they decided that the tone they needed was that of the Bourne action movies, which are very gritty and humourless. Also the big money was coming from Asia, from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, where the audiences go to watch the action sequences, and that’s why in my opinion the action sequences go on for too long, and it’s a fundamental flaw. The audiences in Asia are not going for the subtle British humour or the class jokes."
Don McLaughlan, then head of public relations at Lotus Cars, heard that EON were shopping for a new Bond car to use in The Spy Who Loved Me. He took a prototype Lotus Esprit and parked it outside the EON offices at Pinewood Studios. His ruse worked like a charm. On seeing the car, EON asked Lotus if they could borrow the prototypes.
Noël Coward and Christopher Lee were suggested by Fleming to play Dr No but Coward declined and Wiseman had already been cast when Lee's name came up. Coward was Fleming's friend and neighbour in the West Indies while Lee was Fleming's cousin.
Kevin Spacey was an early contender for the villain in Skyfall but the part went to Javier Bardem in the end.
Despite saying he didn't want to come back, Sam Mendes was persuaded to direct Spectre. Mendes later grumbled in interviews that he didn't have enough time to develop Spectre in the same way that he had with Skyfall.
The "Day of the Dead" (from the Spanish: Día de los Muertos) festival seen in Spectre's opening sequence is a real life Mexican national holiday where all banks are closed.
David Yates and Nicolas Winding Refn were contenders to direct Spectre before Sam Mendes came back.
Sean Connery signed a deal for Goldfinger which gave him 5% of the profits of each Bond film he made. Connery never felt that the producers shared enough of the profits with him and would be very vocal about this in later years.
Danny Boyle says it was a script dispute that made him walk away from Bond 25. The Bond producers apparently wanted to bring in another writer to amend the screenplay that Boyle and John Hodge were working on. "I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up … We were working very, very well, but they didn’t want to go down that route with us. So we decided to part company. What John Hodge and I were doing, I thought, was really good. It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good … You have to believe in your process and part of that is the partnership I have with a writer."
For the scene in Moonraker involving the opening of the musical electronic laboratory door lock in Venice, Cubby Broccoli requested special permission from director Steven Spielberg to use the five-note melody from his film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In 1985, Broccoli would return the favour by fulfilling Spielberg's request to use the James Bond theme music for a scene in The Goonies.
It is sometimes reported that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a flop. This is not true. It made $82 million from a $7 million budget. It is fair to say though that critics seemed to miss Sean Connery.
The heavily armed WA-116 autogyro Little Nellie was included after Ken Adam heard a radio interview with its inventor, RAF Wing Commander Ken Wallis. Little Nellie was named after music hall star Nellie Wallace, who has a similar surname to its inventor. Wallis piloted his invention, which was equipped with various mock-up armaments by John Stears' special effects team, during production.
Madeline Smith says she found shooting the love scene (where Bond uses his magnetic LED watch to unzip her dress in his flat) that opens Live and Let Die uncomfortable because Roger Moore's wife was on the set watching.
Roger Moore quipped that he decided to end his run as James Bond when he realised that co-star Tanya Roberts's mother was younger than he was.
Ushi Bernelle, Elizabeth Counsell, and Justine Lord tested for the part of Patricia Fearing.
Jan Werich was originally cast by producer Harry Saltzman to play Blofeld in You Only Live Twice. Upon his arrival at the Pinewood set, both Cubby Broccoli and director Lewis Gilbert felt that he was a poor choice, resembling a "poor, benevolent Santa Claus". They replaced Werich with Donald Pleasance. A scar was added to Pleasance as it was felt he didn't look menacing enough.
The Bond team didn't endear themselves to the French film industry when they took over all the sound stages in Paris to make Moonraker.
Anita Ekberg and Julie Christie were considered for the role of Honey Ryder.
Milton Reid, who later played Sandor in The Spy Who Loved Me, was also up for Oddjob but didn't get the part. Reid suggested he and Sakata should have a wrestling match for the role!
There was a lot of speculation that Die Another Day would feature previous 'Bond girls' in cameos but this turned out to be nonsense.
A spin-off film featuring Halle Berry as Jinx was planned. A script was written and Stephen Frears was hired to direct. MGM pulled the plug on the project when the budget started to spiral. They wanted EON to focus on Bond films rather than Jinx.
Pierce Brosnan's invisible Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish was based on real technology. By reflecting the surroundings of a vehicle with mirror shields you can apparently make something appear invisible.
Guy Hamilton said he enjoyed Live and Let Die but regretted making The Man with The Golden Gun. 'When we were shooting Live and Let Die, you could notice that Roger was beginning to relax into the part gradually, no longer cautious that he was competing another Bond. He was beginning to feel Bond in the skin, and understood how he had to play it. Halfway through the picture, he was much more relaxed than in the first part of the picture, I think. So I don’t regret returning to Bond with Live and Let Die, what I do regret is doing one more Bond after that, The Man With the Golden Gun.'
Persis Khambatta
Persis Khambatta, of Star Trek: The Motion Picture fame, was considered as the title character in Octopussy but lost out to Maud Adams.
Because of the high tax rates in Britain the production of Moonraker switched from Pinewood to France to save money. One consequence of this was James Mason - originally chosen to play Drax - being replaced by Michael Lonsdale (a quota of actors had to be French to qualify Moonraker as an Anglo-French production).
Former Saved By the Bell kids TV star Tiffani Thiessen was considered for the role of Dr Christmas Jones. "I got very close to that once, one thing that I always wanted to do was be a Bond Girl. I tested but didn’t get it. It was also probably the hardest rejection, because I’m such a fan of the movies. It was between me and two other actresses at the time. Unfortunately, the actress who got the job went on to be voted as one of the worst Bond Girls as well."
Peter Jackson, Joe Dante, and Peter Medak were names that EON floated when they discussed who might direct The World Is Not Enough. Michael Apted got the job in the end. "When they asked me whether I'd like to do one, I thought it was a joke because why would they want me?" said Apted.
Legend has it that Barbara Broccoli went off Peter Jackson when The Frighteners was screened for her and she hated the film.
The line in Never Say Never Again where Bond says "from here?" when asked for a urine sample is a joke recycled by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. It was originally said by Ronnie Barker as Fletch during a medical scene in an episode of the prison comedy Porridge.
Roger Moore said in his Live and Let Die diary that co-producer Cubby Broccoli quipped that if the fastidious gourmet Harry Saltzman had been at the Last Supper he probably would have sent it back!
A real tarantula was used in the film Dr No. Bob Simmons was used as a skin double for the close-up of the spider walking on Bond’s arm. The shot of the spider crawling towards Connery’s face was achieved by putting the spider on glass over him.
Honor Blackman quit her role as Cathy Gale on The Avengers to appear in Goldfinger. "Before Bond, the parts I used to play in films were demure, sweet, antiseptic and antisex," Blackman said. "I wasn't even allowed to think like a woman. Pussy Galore and 007 worked wonders for me."
George Lazenby's bad luck continued after Bond when he signed a deal to star in some films with Hong Kong superstar Bruce Lee. Lee died before the films were made. Lazenby made a few kung fu pictures anyway, an Italian horror film, and then some Australian television films. Despite sporadic credits over the years, his acting career never amounted to much. Lazenby was fortunate to make money from real estate though and - of course - from interviews about his brief stint as James Bond.
Roger Moore said A View To A Kill was his least favourite out of the Bond films he made. "I was horrified on the last Bond I did. Whole slews of sequences where Christopher Walken was machine-gunning hundreds of people. I said 'That wasn't Bond, those weren't Bond films.' It stopped being what they were all about. You didn't dwell on the blood and the brains spewing all over the place.
- Greg Haugen

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