By George Lazemby
THE OTHER FELLA
Ironically, for someone who didn’t want to get typecast as James Bond, it’s the one thing I always get asked about. It always comes back to 007. Over the years I became the rogue Bond, the guy who turned his back on the most coveted role in cinema. To this day journalists remain fascinated how a male model, who had never stepped on a movie set in his life, convinced two of the most powerful producers in the business that he was the guy to fill Sean Connery’s shoes. I guess it is a fascinating tale.
I had no fear when I went up for the role. I nearly died as a kid, and coupled with growing up in a rough Australian suburb, I threw myself 100 per cent into life.When I was cast in 1968, people around me felt that 007 was out of vogue, not current – part of the Establishment. I wasn’t a dedicated actor – I just wanted to have a good time: make love, not war.
Discussing my recollections of making On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for this book stirred many memories; chiefly, what it was like to be at the centre of the James Bond storm. One minute I was standing in Harry Saltzman’s office being offered the biggest role in show business and then, eighteen months later, I was back in Australia where I started. I soon got back on my feet, however, and since then have lived so many lives and enjoyed and endured so many rich, life-changing experiences.
This year, I returned to Piz Gloria in Switzerland where I made the film, some forty- five years ago. I was warmed by the generations of people from all around the world who had come to celebrate my Bond film, which has aged like a vintage wine. It has gone on to become a firm favourite amongst 007 connoisseurs.
I’ve enjoyed contributing to Some Kind of Hero and I hope it both informs and entertains you. Matthew and Ajay have done a great job in telling my part of the remarkable story of the James Bond films.
George Lazenby Los Angeles,August 2015