Amazing James Bond Trivia
Terence Young discovered Ursula Andress in a pile of photographs on the desk of a producer.
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
The knife shoe used by Rosa Kleb was an actual weapon used by the KGB.
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.
24-hour guard was placed on the Goldfinger Fort Knox set at Pinewood
Studios so that thieves would not steal the gold bar props.
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.
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
Claudine Auger, who plays Dominique "Domino" Derval, was a former Miss France.
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.'
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Burton could have been Major Boothroyd/Q again after Dr No but declined
for other work. He later said he regretted his decision.
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.
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.
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.
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
Roger Moore recieved
racist hate mail for his love scenes with black actress Gloria Hendry
(who plays Rosie) in Live and Let Die.
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’.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
was a lot of speculation that Die Another Day would feature previous
'Bond girls' in cameos but this turned out to be nonsense.
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.
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.
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.'
Khambatta, of Star Trek: The Motion Picture fame, was considered as the
title character in Octopussy but lost out to Maud Adams.
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).
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."
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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