How did you get the job?
I’d been doing a series of posters for Lamb’s Navy Rum and the image was of a strong girl in a wetsuit with a knife. Cubby Broccoli had seen the posters and more or less said on the spot, “How would you like to be in a James Bond film?”
What’s your fondest Bond memory?
Just the way I was treated by Cubby: like a princess. Everyone was treated with great respect, from Lewis Gilbert, the director, and Roger through to smaller people like me, to the grips, to the people making the tea. Cubby treated everyone equally.
How was the shoot itself?
I had two weeks in Sardinia on the Costa Esmeralda then another 10 days on the 007 stage and flying the helicopter.
Did you get to go up in the chopper, or was it all blue-screen work?
What do you think? [laughs]
Have you kept in touch with any other cast members?
Well, I see Richard Kiel quite a lot. His biography is out now, and at the launch for his book, Roger did a wonderful introduction before Richard came on stage. That was really nice. I hadn’t seen Roger for a long time.
Who do you think would make a good Bond after Pierce Brosnan?
They need to be in their late 30s, early 40s. What about Dougray Scott? Still a little young now, but maybe in four years’ time...
VIC ARMSTRONG - Stuntman, Bond double, the helmer of Bond’s great action scenes... Nobody’s done it better than Vic.
What was your first Bond?
You Only Live Twice in 1967. I’d only been in the game a couple of years and I walked into Pinewood to see this huge volcano with a sliding roof all made out of scaffolding. It was a massive, massive set. They asked me if I could slide down from the top on a rope with one hand, holding a gun in the other. I said, “Oh yes, of course I can.” Since then I’ve doubled Lazenby, Roger... I doubled Sean on the rogue one, Never Say Never Again, which you’re never supposed to speak about [laughs]. They ragged me over that for ages!
You’ve certainly come a long way...
I’m really proud of where I came from. From being just one of 120 ninjas to what I do now. I bought my first car for £90 out of my first paycheque, now I’m spending millions and millions on converting and crashing cars for Bond, so it’s a lovely progression.
Do you have a fondest memory?
Not really, no. I’m just proud to be a part of the franchise. It’s like a golden key: you could never have gone into London and shot on that river like we did on The World Is Not Enough, without it being Bond. If it had been another film they would have said, “Ooh, no. Shoot on the Thames? Are you mad?”