Sir Roger Moore, the man who has played James Bond more than any other actor, says it’s hard for the Bond filmmakers to inject humour into the new films because they’re just so action-packed.
"I don’t think there’s time for humour in the ones that I’ve seen with Daniel Craig. He moves so fast and the action is so good, there’s been no time for jokes,” he told Yahoo Movies.
"I’ve heard that they possibly are inserting a few throwaway lines [into ‘Bond 24’] but I don’t think it matters because he’s just so damned good."
Moore, 86, whose seven-film tenure as 007 is revered for its snappy one-liners, says he has all but retired from making movies now, occasionally making cameo appearances in little seen European films.
“I’ve become so lazy. Just getting up and moving around is ‘heavy action’ for me now,” he explained, but with nearly 70 years of acting under his belt, we think he’s earned his rest.
We spoke to Moore while promoting his new book ‘Last Man Standing’, a bumper collection of Hollywood anecdotes, which only helps to add to the great man’s legend. Perhaps due to his longevity (hence the name of the book), it’s become hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to his life story, so we wanted to verify some of the many stories that have grown around him over the years.
Did he, as IMDB Trivia suggests, have an unlimited supply of Montecristo Cuban Cigars written into his Bond contract? “No, of course it’s not true. That’s like insuring your legs or your breasts for £10m, it’s always a load of nonsense. I wish I had [insured my eyebrows]. They’re falling out!”
Or did he really have a scrap with Lee Marvin on the set of ‘Shout At The Devil’? “No, I never got into a ruck with him. We had fights in the film, but I’d never have a battle with Lee – he’d win! He was a tough guy, an ex-marine.“
One story however, that does bear up to scrutiny, is that Roger would insist on a stunt double for any scenes that showed him running on screen.
“Yes [that’s true]. I always felt I couldn’t run and that stemmed from when I was five years old and my mother entered me in a sports day. I ran in the first race, then they ran the second and third race, but I was still running the first. I still hadn’t arrived at the winning post.
"But when I got there after the third race and I stood in front of the judge’s stand throughout all the rest of the races, and the medal presentations, until they looked at me and gave me a bag of toffees.
"I always say now, that you don’t have to win the race to get the bag of toffees.”
Moore landed the biggest bag of toffees in Hollywood when he signed up to play Ian Fleming’s James Bond in 1973, “I never auditioned,” he quips, “They just looked around, they knew I worked cheap and that was it.”
He stayed on for seven films, retiring from the part in 1985 after ‘A View To A Kill’, but it’s his 1970 film ‘The Man Who Haunted Himself’ that he reveres most in his back catalogue. Is this the film he wants to be remembered by, we ask?
“Well, I don’t want to be remembered, because I’m not planning on going. I’m staying!”
‘Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown’ by Sir Roger Moore, is out now on Michael O’Mara Books.
Image credit: Press Association/MGM