The TIMOTHY DALTON Appreciation thread - Discuss His Life, His Career, His Bond Films

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  • Posts: 207
    Greatest Bond ever!
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Haydock, England
    Posts: 253

    I’ll be snapping this up when I get a bit of moolah in my bank.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,094
    I’ll be snapping this up when I get a bit of moolah in my bank.

    Me too, though the author will be preaching to the converted!
  • edited August 2021 Posts: 2,879
    A couple of weeks ago @RichardTheBruce posted a Christian Science Monitor article from 1987 that included an interview with Timothy Dalton.

    I found Dalton's comments so insightful that I would like to repost them here.


    On preferring the early Connery films to the "technological extravaganzas'' of the Moore era :

    I like those films. To me they reflected the sense and spirit of Fleming's books, which are terrific adventure-romances.

    On preparing for Bond :

    You don't pluck a characterization out of thin air or do it in abstract, or make decisions that relate to your predecessors' work. You look at the script, and it imposes certain criteria upon you.

    Bond is a literary figure, albeit a popular literary figure. He was born in the pages of Ian Fleming's work. Fleming was his creator. Fleming can tell you all you need to know about him. So the first step is to go those books and read them all and study them. And use your imagination and perception and intelligence to draw out what Fleming was getting at. Then, through yourself, you bring that to the particular necessities of the script you're playing.

    On the essence of James Bond :

    He's a strange and fascinating paradox. Obviously he contains a lot of Ian Fleming himself. It's almost as if Fleming created a man he would have liked to be - a principled, brave, tenacious, almost chivalric adventurer - and filled him with his own sensitivities and ideals and thoughts. Bond is a paradox. He's described as a machine. But he's a sensitive, thoughtful, intelligent machine. That's a contradiction. Machines don't feel. But on every page Fleming is talking about how he feels.

    He's a man who, in the nature of his job, cannot possibly have an emotional involvement with somebody. On a mission, when you're living in a dangerous and tense world - when your life might end at any given moment - you can't afford that kind of involvement.

    But having pushed Bond to one extreme, Fleming creates in him its opposite: the deep need for love and affection. Two pages down the road of any story, he's met some lady in distress, or a victim or endangered person - and fallen in love with her. So he's got these wonderful contradictions and opposites, which make a very rich and complex man. That, to me, was a terrific discovery.

    On keeping the right balance between Bond as a heroic figure and realistic one :

    It strikes me that if you hope for audience involvement and identification, you've got to start with somebody who is human and complex and real. If you want to fly into fantasy, you've got to take off from the ground somewhere. The more you anchor the work in something that's real and human, the more [audiences] will believe the fantasy, the adventure, the excitement. And the more they'll get involved in the humor!
  • SuperintendentSuperintendent A separate pool. For sharks, no less.
    Posts: 870
    :-bd
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,833
    Must have been posted earlier, it's fresh in my mind having watched it this week.

    Dalton on Charlie's Angels looks fantastic, charms the hell out of everybody, on screen he seems ready for just about anything.



    Charlie's Angels Season 4, Episode 6 "Fallen Angel" (1979)
    Charlie: Mr. (Damien) Roth is a man of James Bondian tastes, means, and charms. Also known to be an extraordinary jewel thief.

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    tumblr_mznaxfOKRP1sgmooso1_r2_500.gif

    Charlies Angels s4e5 Fallen Angel
  • edited August 2021 Posts: 6,522
    That man knew his Bond. That's what Bond's all about. And this particular bit is what I've been yapping about endlessly in the "next bond" thread.

    "Bond is a literary figure, albeit a popular literary figure. He was born in the pages of Ian Fleming's work. Fleming was his creator. Fleming can tell you all you need to know about him. So the first step is to go those books and read them all and study them. And use your imagination and perception and intelligence to draw out what Fleming was getting at."

    At least Timothy Dalton knows the value of intelectual property.

    I remember him doing this sort of interview, with the cigarette hanging below his lip, killer eyes, good rhetoric, literary knowledge. He, for me, was Bond. Still is.
  • Posts: 207
    Univex wrote: »
    That man knew his Bond. That's what Bond's all about. And this particular bit is what I've been yapping about endlessly in the "next bond" thread.

    "Bond is a literary figure, albeit a popular literary figure. He was born in the pages of Ian Fleming's work. Fleming was his creator. Fleming can tell you all you need to know about him. So the first step is to go those books and read them all and study them. And use your imagination and perception and intelligence to draw out what Fleming was getting at."

    At least Timothy Dalton knows the value of intelectual property.

    I remember him doing this sort of interview, with the cigarette hanging below his lip, killer eyes, good rhetoric, literary knowledge. He, for me, was Bond. Still is.
    Well said!
  • Posts: 6,626
    Univex wrote: »
    That man knew his Bond. That's what Bond's all about. And this particular bit is what I've been yapping about endlessly in the "next bond" thread.

    "Bond is a literary figure, albeit a popular literary figure. He was born in the pages of Ian Fleming's work. Fleming was his creator. Fleming can tell you all you need to know about him. So the first step is to go those books and read them all and study them. And use your imagination and perception and intelligence to draw out what Fleming was getting at."

    At least Timothy Dalton knows the value of intelectual property.

    I remember him doing this sort of interview, with the cigarette hanging below his lip, killer eyes, good rhetoric, literary knowledge. He, for me, was Bond. Still is.

    Absolutely! Despite only making 2 movies, he contributed so much! As Univex quite rightly says, He is James Bond! Always will be for me too!
  • I would love Tim Dalton to be in a film with Dan Craig, the 2 best trained actors to have played Bond.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,642
    Just wanted to chime in and say the book mentioned above, The Best Bond, is a great read. It's not just a big gush about Tim, it's a very solid analysis of all the actors and how they each relate to Fleming. I didn't agree with every single thing in it, but is very well argued and gives the reader a lot to think about.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,833
    From last year. Film School Rejects assessment.

    logo.png
    A James Bond Under The Radar: Reflections on the Timothy Dalton Era

    What if Timothy Dalton is the best Bond, actually?

    https://filmschoolrejects.com/james-bond-timothy-dalton-era/
    By Meg Shields and Anna Swanson · Published on August 27th, 2020

    The name’s Bond. Bondathon. With twenty-four official James Bond films to conquer before No Time To Die hits theaters, Bond fan Anna Swanson and Bond newbie Meg Shields are diving deep on 007. Martinis shaken and beluga caviar in hand, the Double Take duo are making their way through the Bond corpus by era, so hang up your hats and pay attention. This entry explores the Timothy Dalton era.

    Bond Beginner and Bond Veteran address:
    • What did you expect? What surprised you?
    • Do these films hold up?
    • Are the villains effective?
    • Which film will you re-visit first?
    • Which of these films should a non-Bond fan see?
    • What element from these films would you like to see come back in future Bonds? What do you want to see left in the past?
    • What’s your favorite so far? Least favorite?

    Timothy-Dalton-The-Living-Daylights.jpg
    MGM/UA

    The-LIving-Daylights-passport.jpg

    Licence-to-Kill-cocaine-factory.jpg
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,642
    From last year. Film School Rejects assessment.

    logo.png
    A James Bond Under The Radar: Reflections on the Timothy Dalton Era

    What if Timothy Dalton is the best Bond, actually?

    https://filmschoolrejects.com/james-bond-timothy-dalton-era/
    By Meg Shields and Anna Swanson · Published on August 27th, 2020

    The name’s Bond. Bondathon. With twenty-four official James Bond films to conquer before No Time To Die hits theaters, Bond fan Anna Swanson and Bond newbie Meg Shields are diving deep on 007. Martinis shaken and beluga caviar in hand, the Double Take duo are making their way through the Bond corpus by era, so hang up your hats and pay attention. This entry explores the Timothy Dalton era.

    Bond Beginner and Bond Veteran address:
    • What did you expect? What surprised you?
    • Do these films hold up?
    • Are the villains effective?
    • Which film will you re-visit first?
    • Which of these films should a non-Bond fan see?
    • What element from these films would you like to see come back in future Bonds? What do you want to see left in the past?
    • What’s your favorite so far? Least favorite?

    Timothy-Dalton-The-Living-Daylights.jpg
    MGM/UA

    The-LIving-Daylights-passport.jpg

    Licence-to-Kill-cocaine-factory.jpg

    That was a great read! I obviously love the "Bond beginner" and her enthusiasm for Dalton--I really think someone who comes to Bond totally fresh would reach similar conclusions--but I also liked the attitude of the less excited "Bond veteran": basically that Dalton isn't exactly her bag, but she can appreciate what's great about him.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,567
    JoBlo Videos: James Bond Revisited: Timothy Dalton

  • Posts: 12,215
    The older I've gotten, the more upset I am Dalton didn't get a third and final movie. Big gripe I hold over the producers. We should have had his "The Property of a Lady," and three films is a much finer total than two.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited October 2021 Posts: 3,966
    FoxRox wrote: »
    The older I've gotten, the more upset I am Dalton didn't get a third and final movie. Big gripe I hold over the producers. We should have had his "The Property of a Lady," and three films is a much finer total than two.

    We all wish he had a third movie. He should have also have gotten a video game. The script was promising, and John Glen wouldn’t have directed it. Not to say Glen was bad, but Dalton truly needed a new director for his style.
  • edited November 2021 Posts: 2,879
    From the recent New York Times article "By the Book: John Banville":
    Until last year, you used the pseudonym Benjamin Black when you wrote crime novels, and reserved your real name for quote-unquote literary books. Did your reading life change as well when you were writing as Black?

    No, no. When I wrote my first crime novel, “Christine Falls” — first, if you don’t count “The Book of Evidence” — I used a pen-name just to let readers know I wasn’t playing an elaborate postmodernist joke. Lately I had to check back on some of the BB books in order to write a sequel to one of them, and since I can’t bear to read my own work I hit on the idea of listening to them in audio form. Timothy Dalton reads a couple of the early ones superbly, and since the voice was his more than mine, I was able to judge them with some objectivity. So much so that I thought, why the pseudonym? So I killed off my dark brother.

    Has anyone listened to those audiobooks? I'd be eager to hear if @Agent_99 has.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,094
    Revelator wrote: »

    Has anyone listened to those audiobooks? I'd be eager to hear if @Agent_99 has.

    I haven't, though they pop up occasionally on eBay. I wish he'd narrate some of the Bond novels!
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 538
    Samuel001 wrote: »
    Without Dalton's films would we have gone back to the tone of his films today?

    If anything, the Craig era happened in spite of it.

    Now we know Craig's films are successful, but looking at it from a pre-2006 POV: we know that TND/TWINE/DAD sold very well, while Dalton's films sold poorly. So a shift in direction like that was a big risk. And it was moreso inspired by early 2000's films that were successful.
  • Posts: 2,879
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    Now we know Craig's films are successful, but looking at it from a pre-2006 POV: we know that TND/TWINE/DAD sold very well, while Dalton's films sold poorly. So a shift in direction like that was a big risk.

    TLD did better than AVTAK. It's LTK that underperformed in the US. In any case, the direction shift was obvious after DAD, which had taken the Brosnan films to their conceptual limit. Nor was it that risky, since the Bourne films and Batman Begins had shown that dark, serious blockbusters could be profitable.
  • edited November 2021 Posts: 2,879
    I've been digging through old film magazines and thought this article was appropriate for this topic...

    Timothy Dalton – The Private Bond

    The British actor takes a very personal view of his role as a superspy with a “License to Kill”

    by Dan Yakir (Starlog No. 145, August 1989)

    Timothy Dalton is wearing a bathrobe over his tux, to protect himself from the chilly Mexican evening. He’s relaxing in the lobby of the grandiose Gran Hotel, which serves as the selling for a Central American casino and headquarters of drug czar Sanchez—the man he will pursue to the bitter end in License to Kill, the new chapter in the James Bond saga.

    In this $36 million production, directed by Bond veteran John Glen, the indomitable 007 embarks on a personal mission to avenge the maiming of his friend, ex-CIA agent Felix Leiter, and the brutal murder of Leiter’s wife-to-be during their wedding. Bond becomes so obsessed with punishing the culprit, Sanchez, that he is dismissed from Her Majesty’s Secret Service by “M,” and his license to kill is revoked.

    At 41, Dalton seems to have made his screen character very much his own, but he refuses to become complacent. This is one actor who takes his job very seriously.

    STARLOG: Let’s talk about Bond as he appears in this film; it seems he reveals a private side that he hasn’t shown before.

    TIMOTHY DALTON: Mmm…You surprise me. How does this happen?

    STARLOG: Well, maybe we’ve seen the public Bond before—the man on a mission—without dwelling on his inner motivation and the private pain.

    DALTON: I think the story is based on something personal. I mean, he’s still the same man, of course, and I would like to think that you saw quite a few glimpses of the man himself in the last film, for example, because I believe that’s important. I wouldn’t say the private Bond. It’s still the same man, only here he's driven less objectively and professionally than he might be if he was working on a mission or a job. It comes from a personal source, but of course he’s still Bond.

    STARLOG: What was the special challenge for you doing the character in this particular film, given the plot and motivation?

    DALTON: (Laughs) I don’t know that I could give a comprehensive answer to that. Almost every scene you do is difficult; every scene you do has a challenge, which is finding all the right bits of the jigsaw so that when you finish the movie, they will fit together and you’ll have a proper picture of the man that fits with the film.

    STARLOG: How different is License to Kill from The Living Daylights?

    DALTON: It’s a different kind of film—more straightforward in its motive. Daylights operated on quite a few levels of deception and intrigue, which I don’t think we’ve got in this story. There’s a fundamental course for aggression here and lots of blocks to the fulfillment of that. License to Kill is about vengeance, retribution, setting a wrong—a personal grievance—right, but it broadens and expands and takes on a larger perspective. Ultimately, as in all good Bond films, good does triumph over evil on a better basis than just one of personal revenge. I mean, one’s own scope, one’s own awareness of how he’s behaving is enlarged and is brought back to something that is much more calculating and striving for a good end.

    It’s very difficult for me to talk about it, because when you’re in the beginning of the film, it’s one thing to have broad strokes and outlines in your head, but day by day, through the process of work with your colleagues, influences change, colors change, textures change. It's difficult to judge until it’s finished.

    STARLOG: What kind of relationship does Bond have with Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell)? Is he still as monogamous as in The Living Daylights?

    DALTON: Yeah, I would pretty much say so. In general, it's faithful to the spirit of Ian Fleming’s books, as I think are most of the Bond films. It usually starts with a woman giving him some trouble or problem or he’s getting tangled with some woman he perhaps doesn’t want to be tangled up with, but through the story, getting to know her better and perhaps either endangering himself in order to protect her or finding that she sometimes protects him and through their [eventual] mutual knowledge of each other, coming much closer, which I think is classic Bond.

    STARLOG: In this case, what is the nature of the relationship?

    DALTON: She’s sort of a freelance out-of-jobber for either American government agencies and/or drug smugglers, whatever; at this moment in time, she happens to be on our side and we both end up together going for this man Sanchez, who’s our villain, a drug baron.

    STARLOG: Would you say Bond has more of a partnership with her than with the females in the previous movies?

    DALTON: I wouldn’t say there’s more of a partnership. no! I mean, I think there was quite a good partnership between Ursula Andress and Sean Connery in Dr. No or with Diana Rigg [and George Lazenby] in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Certainly, you could say in The Living Daylights, although the girl wasn’t innocent, they developed into being—however haphazardly—partners; she certainly helped him. I don’t want to give the story away; there are complexities to it that shouldn’t be revealed.

    STARLOG: How did you get along with Carey Lowell?

    DALTON: Carey is a lovely person. She's extremely bright, responsive, very believable, and very good to work with. I think she has all the potential to be right up there in the forefront of the Bond leading ladies. Also, Talisa Soto, who is—

    STARLOG: The “Bad Girl"?:

    DALTON: She’s not a bad girl, just a tangled girl, very attractive, very nice, something of a victim caught up in this affair.

    STARLOG: What kind of an opponent is Sanchez, as played by Robert Davi? What kind of a Bond villain is he?

    DALTON: Before I speak about Davi, I would like to mention that this movie will be a harder, grittier, darker, and perhaps more realistic film than we’ve seen before. Alec Mills, who’s lighting it, and the very texture of the story, both guarantee that. It’s certainly much together. And Davi as a villain is not among the “pantomime villains.” He’s an actor of a very deep and real power and the work that I've seen him do so far is filled with a sense of danger—it’s being played realistically. Much of the film looks very moody and strong and dirty, which I like. One of my three favorite villains anyway was Gert Frobe in Goldfinger. I thought his performance was magnificent in a very wonderful film. Davi, too, is moving towards something fairly unique in the Bond films, and I hope it works.

    STARLOG: He's a worthy opponent?

    DALTON: Oh hell, yes—and it goes beyond the nature of the character or the actor playing the character. I don’t want to give the impression that one is moving away from tradition. He is still quite a monster and a villain in a world scale—his operation is global and destructive (Laughs heartily). Well, sometimes one would prefer to be playing the villain!

    STARLOG: Since fans have responded favorably to your portrayal of Bond, do you feel a greater ease playing him?

    DALTON: No. I was gratified that so many people did enjoy The Living Daylights, but the response has not been 100 percent, because everybody has their preconceptions of how James Bond should be. But overall, there has been an overwhelming sense of pleasure at the direction the last movie took and how it was received by the audience. But it doesn’t give one greater ease at all!

    STARLOG: You don't see Bond as an old friend you can just slip on?

    DALTON: Not really, because it’s not quite as simple as that. One has to make it work again and again every day. I have to shoot new scenes and new plotlines and make every moment feel right. That’s the problem. It has nothing to do with whether you feel happy, content and relaxed. It has to do with what your imagination is telling you, what your responses are telling you. However good your previous work has been, the new one is always the new one—it has its own demands.

    STARLOG: Perhaps you face a bigger challenge than the previous Bonds, because they set the mold for themselves and then stayed with it. But you've already made a change from The Living Daylights to License to Kill.

    DALTON: Yes, definitely. But you can’t expect every story to be the same. When people talk to me about Roger Moore and Sean Connery, you can’t compare the two; you can only say which films you prefer.

    STARLOG: But they stayed as themselves within the movies that they made; there was no dramatic evolution.

    DALTON: I know, but the movies themselves had the evolution. You could see the evolution between Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. You could see development, but they were still within a similar area. But even Connery’s last film was completely different from, say, From Russia With Love. They were two different entities and therefore perhaps required different kinds of performances. The more the films developed into technological extravaganzas and light-hearted comedy spoofs, the more removed they became from the early Bonds. In License to Kill, too, I hope you see a different Bond.

    STARLOG: Do you feel you’re taking a risk that way?

    DALTON: I suppose so. But it would be boring to be the same all the time, to have the same story. I don’t wish to abuse the word, but there is a…formula, which has to do with Bond versus the villain, with good vs. evil also in Bond himself. That’s all formula. but within it, there’s scope for variety and the more the better.

    STARLOG: Arc the Bond movies moving toward a more classical, neater, cleaner structure? They seem to trim all the extras.

    DALTON: I think so. I would like to think that, because my favorite Bond movies were the early ones, and they did capture the spirit of the Bond books well. I can read those books today and still get totally involved and keep turning the pages and I can look all those early films and really enjoy them. I don 't know if you could ever call Ian Fleming’s works classics, but in the sense you intend, yes. I would like that.

    STARLOG: How bound are you to Bond?

    DALTON: No more than Harrison Ford is to Indiana Jones. One must remember that
    for all the pleasure and entertainment and success it can bring, and for all the hard work that goes into making it for 18 weeks, a Bond movie is only two hours every two years! That’s not much in the scale of things! There have to be other things in between. How could I be an actor, how could I be the actor I am, if I did nothing else?

    STARLOG: So, you make unusual choices, like Hawks?

    DALTON: It’s probably the most enjoyable experience I’ve had making a film. Hawks is about two men who are facing a premature death , since they have cancer—and that puts life into focus. It’s provocative, a serious comedy, a black comedy. It deals with ordinary people who are going slightly crazy because of the situation they’re in—it’s somewhat life-affirming, challenging, aggressive. And it says: Fight for your life; don’t give in!

    STARLOG: Has it affected you in any way?

    DALTON: It’s certainly the kind of film that can make you realize that survival can be up to you—up to a point. It certainly reminds us how we take life for granted, and how we shouldn’t, because it’s precious.

    STARLOG: What motivates you to act in the first place?

    DALTON: That’s something I think about constantly, because it has to be for a purpose, it’s not just self-indulgence. People often say, “Well, it’s just the way I express myself.” That’s no good, that’s narcissistic, juvenile. You work to express the piece, because you believe the piece has value and that it can be communicated to other people who will see something new of life because of it. You must believe that it will in some small or big way make a difference to their lives.

    Shakespeare, perhaps more than any playwright, explored the ultimate reaches of the human emotion. Eugene O’Neill is, to me, the greatest playwright of the 20th century, but when you enter the back of a dark theater in Sydney or London or New York and see the way people react to Bond, that counts, too. Perhaps it's not on the same scale of things, but it’s definitely worthwhile!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,094
    Thanks for posting that, @Revelator!
    Revelator wrote: »
    Well, sometimes one would prefer to be playing the villain!

    He certainly does revel in playing the villain when he gets the chance.
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,727
    https://entertainment-focus.com/2019/07/07/7-reasons-why-timothy-dalton-is-the-best-james-bond/

    - "When I saw Dalton in The Living Daylights I thought: “That’s him! That’s James Bond!” Dalton steeped himself in Fleming’s stories for his research for the part. It shows. I noticed it as a kid with no preconceptions. Dalton moves with great poise, and lets his narrow eyes do a lot of work. He’s like a hunter, the consummate silent killer."
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 538

    TLD did better than AVTAK. It's LTK that underperformed in the US.

    AVTAK underperformed. Also comparing those 2; meeting that standard isn't a huge accomplishment.

    The first film of a Bond actor will get some hype. People are curious about the new Bond, but unfortunately, that appeal didn't stick, so not as many people came back to the next film. LTK was darker than TLD. So, in context of that time period, one could interpret that as "going darker = worse sales".
    since the Bourne films and Batman Begins had shown that dark, serious blockbusters could be profitable.

    Which is my point. Craig's films were inspired by those. Not Dalton's films.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,848
    Inspired, is an understatement, especially in the case of QOS.
  • Posts: 2,879
    Bond box office had been undergoing a general downward slide after MR, so TLD outgrossing AVTAK was encouraging news. The fate of LTK in the US was probably less a referendum on the previous film than the natural consequence of a poor marketing campaign and unwise release date--LTK is the reason every subsequent Bond film has been released in the fall.

    It's definitely true that Bourne and Batman Begins were what encouraged the franchise to go dark and showed it the way. The Dalton films were a dry run for this but after Brosnan's entrance they were repudiated.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,966
    I find that Daniel Craig’s early Bond films are compared to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, when ironically, TD in LTK was compared to Michael Keaton’s Batman in 1989, in one critic’s review.
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Haydock, England
    Posts: 253
    Revelator wrote: »
    Bond box office had been undergoing a general downward slide after MR, so TLD outgrossing AVTAK was encouraging news. The fate of LTK in the US was probably less a referendum on the previous film than the natural consequence of a poor marketing campaign and unwise release date--LTK is the reason every subsequent Bond film has been released in the fall.

    It's definitely true that Bourne and Batman Begins were what encouraged the franchise to go dark and showed it the way. The Dalton films were a dry run for this but after Brosnan's entrance they were repudiated.

    Don’t forget that Dalton was meant to fulfil his contract and complete his trilogy, were it not for MGM being plunged into financial difficulties because of a greedy and fat Italian banker named Giancarlo Parretti.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 538
    if Dalton had Goldeneye, then Brosnan would have nothing; oof.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    Revelator wrote: »
    I've been digging through old film magazines and thought this article was appropriate for this topic...

    Timothy Dalton – The Private Bond

    The British actor takes a very personal view of his role as a superspy with a “License to Kill”

    by Dan Yakir (Starlog No. 145, August 1989)

    Timothy Dalton is wearing a bathrobe over his tux, to protect himself from the chilly Mexican evening. He’s relaxing in the lobby of the grandiose Gran Hotel, which serves as the selling for a Central American casino and headquarters of drug czar Sanchez—the man he will pursue to the bitter end in License to Kill, the new chapter in the James Bond saga.

    In this $36 million production, directed by Bond veteran John Glen, the indomitable 007 embarks on a personal mission to avenge the maiming of his friend, ex-CIA agent Felix Leiter, and the brutal murder of Leiter’s wife-to-be during their wedding. Bond becomes so obsessed with punishing the culprit, Sanchez, that he is dismissed from Her Majesty’s Secret Service by “M,” and his license to kill is revoked.

    At 41, Dalton seems to have made his screen character very much his own, but he refuses to become complacent. This is one actor who takes his job very seriously.

    STARLOG: Let’s talk about Bond as he appears in this film; it seems he reveals a private side that he hasn’t shown before.

    TIMOTHY DALTON: Mmm…You surprise me. How does this happen?

    STARLOG: Well, maybe we’ve seen the public Bond before—the man on a mission—without dwelling on his inner motivation and the private pain.

    DALTON: I think the story is based on something personal. I mean, he’s still the same man, of course, and I would like to think that you saw quite a few glimpses of the man himself in the last film, for example, because I believe that’s important. I wouldn’t say the private Bond. It’s still the same man, only here he's driven less objectively and professionally than he might be if he was working on a mission or a job. It comes from a personal source, but of course he’s still Bond.

    STARLOG: What was the special challenge for you doing the character in this particular film, given the plot and motivation?

    DALTON: (Laughs) I don’t know that I could give a comprehensive answer to that. Almost every scene you do is difficult; every scene you do has a challenge, which is finding all the right bits of the jigsaw so that when you finish the movie, they will fit together and you’ll have a proper picture of the man that fits with the film.

    STARLOG: How different is License to Kill from The Living Daylights?

    DALTON: It’s a different kind of film—more straightforward in its motive. Daylights operated on quite a few levels of deception and intrigue, which I don’t think we’ve got in this story. There’s a fundamental course for aggression here and lots of blocks to the fulfillment of that. License to Kill is about vengeance, retribution, setting a wrong—a personal grievance—right, but it broadens and expands and takes on a larger perspective. Ultimately, as in all good Bond films, good does triumph over evil on a better basis than just one of personal revenge. I mean, one’s own scope, one’s own awareness of how he’s behaving is enlarged and is brought back to something that is much more calculating and striving for a good end.

    It’s very difficult for me to talk about it, because when you’re in the beginning of the film, it’s one thing to have broad strokes and outlines in your head, but day by day, through the process of work with your colleagues, influences change, colors change, textures change. It's difficult to judge until it’s finished.

    STARLOG: What kind of relationship does Bond have with Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell)? Is he still as monogamous as in The Living Daylights?

    DALTON: Yeah, I would pretty much say so. In general, it's faithful to the spirit of Ian Fleming’s books, as I think are most of the Bond films. It usually starts with a woman giving him some trouble or problem or he’s getting tangled with some woman he perhaps doesn’t want to be tangled up with, but through the story, getting to know her better and perhaps either endangering himself in order to protect her or finding that she sometimes protects him and through their [eventual] mutual knowledge of each other, coming much closer, which I think is classic Bond.

    STARLOG: In this case, what is the nature of the relationship?

    DALTON: She’s sort of a freelance out-of-jobber for either American government agencies and/or drug smugglers, whatever; at this moment in time, she happens to be on our side and we both end up together going for this man Sanchez, who’s our villain, a drug baron.

    STARLOG: Would you say Bond has more of a partnership with her than with the females in the previous movies?

    DALTON: I wouldn’t say there’s more of a partnership. no! I mean, I think there was quite a good partnership between Ursula Andress and Sean Connery in Dr. No or with Diana Rigg [and George Lazenby] in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Certainly, you could say in The Living Daylights, although the girl wasn’t innocent, they developed into being—however haphazardly—partners; she certainly helped him. I don’t want to give the story away; there are complexities to it that shouldn’t be revealed.

    STARLOG: How did you get along with Carey Lowell?

    DALTON: Carey is a lovely person. She's extremely bright, responsive, very believable, and very good to work with. I think she has all the potential to be right up there in the forefront of the Bond leading ladies. Also, Talisa Soto, who is—

    STARLOG: The “Bad Girl"?:

    DALTON: She’s not a bad girl, just a tangled girl, very attractive, very nice, something of a victim caught up in this affair.

    STARLOG: What kind of an opponent is Sanchez, as played by Robert Davi? What kind of a Bond villain is he?

    DALTON: Before I speak about Davi, I would like to mention that this movie will be a harder, grittier, darker, and perhaps more realistic film than we’ve seen before. Alec Mills, who’s lighting it, and the very texture of the story, both guarantee that. It’s certainly much together. And Davi as a villain is not among the “pantomime villains.” He’s an actor of a very deep and real power and the work that I've seen him do so far is filled with a sense of danger—it’s being played realistically. Much of the film looks very moody and strong and dirty, which I like. One of my three favorite villains anyway was Gert Frobe in Goldfinger. I thought his performance was magnificent in a very wonderful film. Davi, too, is moving towards something fairly unique in the Bond films, and I hope it works.

    STARLOG: He's a worthy opponent?

    DALTON: Oh hell, yes—and it goes beyond the nature of the character or the actor playing the character. I don’t want to give the impression that one is moving away from tradition. He is still quite a monster and a villain in a world scale—his operation is global and destructive (Laughs heartily). Well, sometimes one would prefer to be playing the villain!

    STARLOG: Since fans have responded favorably to your portrayal of Bond, do you feel a greater ease playing him?

    DALTON: No. I was gratified that so many people did enjoy The Living Daylights, but the response has not been 100 percent, because everybody has their preconceptions of how James Bond should be. But overall, there has been an overwhelming sense of pleasure at the direction the last movie took and how it was received by the audience. But it doesn’t give one greater ease at all!

    STARLOG: You don't see Bond as an old friend you can just slip on?

    DALTON: Not really, because it’s not quite as simple as that. One has to make it work again and again every day. I have to shoot new scenes and new plotlines and make every moment feel right. That’s the problem. It has nothing to do with whether you feel happy, content and relaxed. It has to do with what your imagination is telling you, what your responses are telling you. However good your previous work has been, the new one is always the new one—it has its own demands.

    STARLOG: Perhaps you face a bigger challenge than the previous Bonds, because they set the mold for themselves and then stayed with it. But you've already made a change from The Living Daylights to License to Kill.

    DALTON: Yes, definitely. But you can’t expect every story to be the same. When people talk to me about Roger Moore and Sean Connery, you can’t compare the two; you can only say which films you prefer.

    STARLOG: But they stayed as themselves within the movies that they made; there was no dramatic evolution.

    DALTON: I know, but the movies themselves had the evolution. You could see the evolution between Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. You could see development, but they were still within a similar area. But even Connery’s last film was completely different from, say, From Russia With Love. They were two different entities and therefore perhaps required different kinds of performances. The more the films developed into technological extravaganzas and light-hearted comedy spoofs, the more removed they became from the early Bonds. In License to Kill, too, I hope you see a different Bond.

    STARLOG: Do you feel you’re taking a risk that way?

    DALTON: I suppose so. But it would be boring to be the same all the time, to have the same story. I don’t wish to abuse the word, but there is a…formula, which has to do with Bond versus the villain, with good vs. evil also in Bond himself. That’s all formula. but within it, there’s scope for variety and the more the better.

    STARLOG: Arc the Bond movies moving toward a more classical, neater, cleaner structure? They seem to trim all the extras.

    DALTON: I think so. I would like to think that, because my favorite Bond movies were the early ones, and they did capture the spirit of the Bond books well. I can read those books today and still get totally involved and keep turning the pages and I can look all those early films and really enjoy them. I don 't know if you could ever call Ian Fleming’s works classics, but in the sense you intend, yes. I would like that.

    STARLOG: How bound are you to Bond?

    DALTON: No more than Harrison Ford is to Indiana Jones. One must remember that
    for all the pleasure and entertainment and success it can bring, and for all the hard work that goes into making it for 18 weeks, a Bond movie is only two hours every two years! That’s not much in the scale of things! There have to be other things in between. How could I be an actor, how could I be the actor I am, if I did nothing else?

    STARLOG: So, you make unusual choices, like Hawks?

    DALTON: It’s probably the most enjoyable experience I’ve had making a film. Hawks is about two men who are facing a premature death , since they have cancer—and that puts life into focus. It’s provocative, a serious comedy, a black comedy. It deals with ordinary people who are going slightly crazy because of the situation they’re in—it’s somewhat life-affirming, challenging, aggressive. And it says: Fight for your life; don’t give in!

    STARLOG: Has it affected you in any way?

    DALTON: It’s certainly the kind of film that can make you realize that survival can be up to you—up to a point. It certainly reminds us how we take life for granted, and how we shouldn’t, because it’s precious.

    STARLOG: What motivates you to act in the first place?

    DALTON: That’s something I think about constantly, because it has to be for a purpose, it’s not just self-indulgence. People often say, “Well, it’s just the way I express myself.” That’s no good, that’s narcissistic, juvenile. You work to express the piece, because you believe the piece has value and that it can be communicated to other people who will see something new of life because of it. You must believe that it will in some small or big way make a difference to their lives.

    Shakespeare, perhaps more than any playwright, explored the ultimate reaches of the human emotion. Eugene O’Neill is, to me, the greatest playwright of the 20th century, but when you enter the back of a dark theater in Sydney or London or New York and see the way people react to Bond, that counts, too. Perhaps it's not on the same scale of things, but it’s definitely worthwhile!

    Awesome, thanks R!
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