It was 1965 and, just as he was completing his work on the fourth 007 spectacle Thunderball
, a reluctant Sean Connery sat down with the American magazine Playboy to give an interview that was surprisingly revealing of the man behind the image of 007. Commonly a reticent man on many things, Connery opened up on the character he so dreaded giving airtime towards in an interview of the exploitative and widely publicized sort he had derided since his fame had become too broad for comfort.
In this interview completed on the set of the fourth Bond blockbuster, Connery provides Playboy-and us by association-with what may be his most disarming, honest and uninhibited interview in the entirety of his career, given at the height of his popularity as the character he had a love and hate relationship with. We learn of his background as a working class Scot, how his upbringing made him into the man he is, what his feelings on Bond were at that place and time, where he saw the series going and what the ultimate impact and relevancy of the character was for audiences in the 60s, amongst scores of other things. It's conclusive, eye-opening and shows Sean to be a well-read and well-spoken man who had no delusions about anything, especially when it came to being Bond and all the pains and pleasures in equal measures that accompany the ownership of such a role, especially when he was the first out of the gate.
Reading this interview for the first time I could hear hints of Dan's personality in Sean's words. Both are private men and outspoken ones at that who view fame as a complex system, sometimes symbiotic in the roles Bond allowed them to get while also parasitic at the same time for how the character and his cultural relevancy robbed both of them of anything resembling a normal life while under the spotlight and microscope of the media and paparazzi alike. While I think Dan is on the whole far more positive about Bond than Sean, who understandably grew to bore of him and the impact he had on his life, the first 007 actor provides strong arguments for why the glitz and glam of Bond can sometimes wear false faces here.
As Bond fans we all dream in some way of being a part of the Bond series, maybe even cast as Bond himself, but I think the truth that none of us want to see is how draining and uncomfortable such a position would ultimately be, not at all worthy of being glorified. Watching Bond at a distance on a film screen, removed from the production's stressors as we take in the adventure is one thing, but being the sole set of shoulders all the media and public hysteria weighs on is another thing entirely. In the 60s Sean Connery's shoulders were those that carried the most weight in heaps of tons, and out of that his complex and fascinating relationship with James Bond was birthed.
To read this interview, click the link below, and discuss any thoughts you may have on its contents in this thread: