James Bond star Britt Ekland said it was “tough” working in the film industry as a woman in the early ’70s before intimacy coaches were introduced on set and the #MeToo movement.
But the 80-year-old actress, who starred as Mary Goodnight opposite Sir Roger Moore in 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun, said today’s Bond girls do not have as much fun in a world of political correctness.
She told the PA news agency: “There are no more Bond girls, they are Bond women today. They have it with the political correctness and the #MeToo, they have a much better time than we had.
“But I don’t think that the end product is as fun as ours were, because we were pretty and we had good bodies and we didn’t try to look sexy, we just were.
“Today, everything is so, ‘Don’t do that because that will upset that side’. We didn’t have any of that.
“We just went out there, we were always in a bikini and all these people are fully dressed, very typical, but it was a job and we did it.
“So I think today the Bond women have it – from a political correctness point of view – in a much better position. But I think we had more fun.”
Ekland, who was speaking around the 50th anniversary of her and the late Christopher Lee’s film The Wicker Man, recalled filming scenes for the horror in Scotland – where she discovered she was pregnant with her second child.
She said: “It was very tough. This was the early ’70s and we didn’t have the kind of facilities that we have today, catering and people taking care of you.
“We certainly didn’t have what they have today, at least in America, an intimacy coach, and that is someone who I think is in the room when you do scenes of a sexual nature.
“We had nothing, we just had to make do and it was not filmed in a studio, it was filmed in actual rooms and buildings. There were no regulations in those days.
“That’s why the #MeToo movement took everyone by such a surprise… this has been going on since a long time.
“Maybe today it’s over regulated, I don’t know because I haven’t done a movie for a long time. But it was tough.”
When asked about the changes in Hollywood following the #MeToo movement, Ekland clarified: “Put it this way, it has changed a little bit but not that much.”
Ekland reminisced about filming The Man With The Golden Gun, becoming “great friends” with Maud Adams, who played Andrea Anders, Bond filmmaker Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, as well as Bond himself, Sir Roger.
“He was a fabulous person. He was a real people person and I’m a people person,” she said.
“All of us got along really well. Cubby Broccoli was very friendly and funny and insisted that we all had to have a meal together – spaghetti, Italian meal every weekend.
“He invited the cast and the crew and he wanted me to eat a lot because he felt that I was a little bit too thin. Of course he had seen The Wicker Man and he’d say, ‘Oh, nice boobies, we’ll take her’, and then I arrive on set with the baby and no boobies so he said, ‘You’ve got to eat more’.
“I’m trying to not eat because I had to be in a bikini all the time so we were two forces.”
Ekland – who also appeared in British films Get Carter alongside Sir Michael Caine in 1971 and Scandal with Sir John Hurt in 1989 – admitted she has avoided watching her own films.
“I never really saw my films. I was too shy. I thought it was too scary,” she said.
“Even today I don’t think I would want to watch my movies. It’s just the way I am. Anyone that has to look at themselves larger than my normal self on a big screen like that, it’s very terrifying, kind of emotionally I don’t want to see that and you feel embarrassed.
“I’m a perfectionist. I could just pick myself apart so that’s why I don’t.”
The Wicker Man 50th Anniversary restoration will be in cinemas on June 21.