George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan's War of Words

edited January 2014 in Actors Posts: 1,778
This isn't another Bond vs. Bond article but rather one highlighting the brief but interesting war of words between the then new 007 Pierce Brosnan and former one-and-done Bond George Lazenby.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, during the 1994 press conference for Goldeneye when Pierce Brosnan was announced as the fifth actor to play James Bond, a reporter asked him what he'd like to do during his tenure. Brosnan, buying into his own hype, stated that he'd like to possibly remake OHMSS as the script and story were excellent but the film starring George Lazenby was "just sad" as he put it. Also, when asked about the possibility of failure, he said "no one wants to be the next George Lazenby". Obviously Lazenby didn't take kindly to these words and bit back with,

"That wimp Brosnan's no match for my 007", says OldenEye George Lazenby
From The Sun [London], Nov. 10, 1995

Failed Bond star George Lazenby has made a stinging attack on new 007 Pierce Brosnan. The Aussie actor starred in the 1969 flop On Her Majesty's Secret Service -- which Brosnan described recently as "just sad."

Now, in an exclusive interview, Lazenby has hit back, saying "I can tell you I was more of a fitting Bond than Brosnan. Bond is supposed to be a nice b******. Brosnan is just nice. Bond is supposed to walk in a room and be able to fight 3 guys at once. If Brosnan walked into a room, I doubt anyone would look up. But this is the 90s and women want a different man, a man who shows his feminine side. Pierce definitely has that."

The 55-year-old former heart-throb had a difficult task when he became Bond 26 years ago -- filling Sean Connery's shoes. And Lazenby admits his decision to sign up for just one Bond movie was "a big mistake".

"Producer Cubby Broccoli will tell you that I was a failure and difficult to work with. Unfortunately, he told a lot of people that and it meant that it was impossible to get employment."

As he tries to rebuild his acting career, Lazenby has one last piece of advice for Brosnan. "He should do 3 films and get out. Fame is short-lived and you're the last to know when you are no longer hot. I used to be able to stroll into London clubs like Tramp. But one day I turned up and the doorman blocked my way. Suddenly I was no longer Bond, I was just plain old George Lazenby, and that didn't even give me license to get into a club."



I'm sorry I don't have a link to the interview as it was in a magazine but you can find various websites that reported this same story. Brosnan had some response at the time along the lines of Lazenby is just "jealous" or "upset" or something to that effect.

Brosnan would offer another more in-depth retort some 10 years later basically calling Lazenby a bitter old man and saying he was never really an actor.
http://www.spotlightingnews.com/article.php?news=982

It's sad to see fighting amongst such a small fraternity of men. The Bond club is an exclusive one but if any two actors were going to have an issue with one another it'd be it's two most opinionated ones. Still you have to take notice of Lazenby's prophetic words to Brosnan about fame being a cruel mistress. Obviously Brosnan never sunk to the same levels of obscurity as Lazenby but it's hard to argue that Brosnan's star hasn't fallen since being given the boot in 2004. Sure he did The Ghost Writer but really that's it (Mama Mia was an ensemble piece and didn't really star Brosnan). It just goes to show you that it's always best to be humble. Brosnan would have his own falling out with EON a decade later and the bad blood he has with them isn't too dissimilar to Lazenby's. The two might actually have a bit in common.
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Comments

  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    edited January 2014 Posts: 5,080
    As soon as the Sun called OHMSS a "flop", I stopped reading. Surely we must think not to trust the sun after a certain article on Bond 24 being called Devil May Care?
  • Posts: 820
    Well I never liked them 2. Brosnan & Lazenby. But we all know George Lazenby said something nasty about Daniel Craig Last year. We said something about him back. But knowing George Lazenby he doesn't like Sean Connery or any of his successors. I should say he shouldn't been Bond at all. Sean Connery should had done On Her Majesty Secret Service So what else is new???
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    There's some obvious tension between the two. Skip to 4.20



    Ferguson shouldn't have brought it up. Brosnsan seems on edge and somewhat smug during most of the interview.

    Shame really about this falling out. I think both men have also had some rather sad losses in their personal lives too.

    Love is All You Need is excellent by the way.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 1,778
    As soon as the Sun called OHMSS a "flop", I stopped reading. Surely we must think not to trust the sun after a certain article on Bond 24 being called Devil May Care?

    I agree. No Bond movie was ever a "flop". Adjusted for inflation OHMSS would have grossed $430 million in 2013 dollars. While definately a disappointment compared to Connery's grosses but in no way, shape, or form a flop. It made the studio a very healthy profit and was the second highest grossing film of 1969.

    It's just in 1994 I'm not sure OHMSS had it's rediscovery. Ironically now it's regarded by many, myself included, as better than anything Brosnan did. If you want a Bond movie that's "just sad" watch DAD.
    BAIN123 wrote:
    There's some obvious tension between the two. Skip to 4.20



    Ferguson shouldn't have brought it up. Brosnsan seems on edge and somewhat smug during most of the interview.

    Shame really about this falling out. I think both men have also had some rather sad losses in their personal lives too.

    Love is All You Need is excellent by the way.

    He seems a little more smug in general since his departure from the role in 2004. Especially when the topic of James Bond is brought up. He's clearly still very bitter. Ironically very much like a certain Aussie when he was also in his 50s.

    I wonder if there are any sour grapes on Brosnan's part that his successor Daniel Craig pretty much got what Bronsan himself wanted. A deeper analysis of the character and box office grosses that are rivaling Sean Connery's.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    I think Broz can be funny at times (his interview in the Everything or Nothing doc is a good watch) but I agree. He's 60 now btw ;)

    I suspect Broz is envious of Craig's work but now I doubt he gives it a lot of thought. I'd like to think he's got more important things in his personal life to worry about. I think it's good he showed up for the 50th anniversary though (more than can be said for a certain Mr Connery).
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 1,778
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I think Broz can be funny at times (his interview in the Everything or Nothing doc is a good watch) but I agree. He's 60 now btw ;)

    I suspect Broz is envious of Craig's work but now I doubt he gives it a lot of thought. I'd like to think he's got more important things in his personal life to worry about. I think it's good he showed up for the 50th anniversary though (more than can be said for a certain Mr Connery).

    I know he's 60 but he did all his bad-mouthing in his 50s.

    Brosnan like many people with hurt pride try to play it off like they don't care and they've moved on but anytime Bond is brought up he proves he has certainly not moved on. But you're right it was nice of him to show up at Bond 50. How I would've loved to have seen all 6 Bond's together in one spot. Sir Sean why did you have to rain on everyone's parade?

    I have to admit the "I'm sure his mother loves him" line cracked me up a bit.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    I have a feeling Brosnan knows deep down most of his films weren't all that good and I suspect he's more proud of the work he's done since.

    You're right that that sore point is still there, I just wonder whether it may have healed a bit over time...enough at least to appear on a Bond related programme.
  • Posts: 14,859
    Brosnan's words were mean, but to be fair OHMSS did not have the status it has now. I don't think it was any criticism towards Lazenby personally. And I also think Lazenby was and has been unfairly harsh regarding Bond and other Bond actors.

    As for Brosnan's attitude after he lost the role... Well, he did not have the wisdom to let it go and understand his time had passed. Bond was the best thing that ever happened to him. As I said in other threads, he even based his pre Bond career on the role he didn't have yet.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 1,778
    Ludovico wrote:
    Brosnan's words were mean, but to be fair OHMSS did not have the status it has now. I don't think it was any criticism towards Lazenby personally. And I also think Lazenby was and has been unfairly harsh regarding Bond and other Bond actors.

    As for Brosnan's attitude after he lost the role... Well, he did not have the wisdom to let it go and understand his time had passed. Bond was the best thing that ever happened to him. As I said in other threads, he even based his pre Bond career on the role he didn't have yet.

    I'll take it a step further and say the Bond series saved his career. Did you see his filmography between Remington Steele and Goldeneye? Not pretty. It was basically flop after flop. By the time 1993 rolled around he was considered a TV has-been from the 80s who was "the guy who almost became Bond". And I highly doubt he would've gotten films like The Ghost Writer or The Matador had he never became Bond.

    Yes both men acted immaturely but Brosnan had no right to insult Lazenby like that at the Goldeneye press conference. I doubt the two had even met prior to that.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    Ludovico wrote:
    Brosnan's words were mean, but to be fair OHMSS did not have the status it has now. I don't think it was any criticism towards Lazenby personally. And I also think Lazenby was and has been unfairly harsh regarding Bond and other Bond actors.

    As for Brosnan's attitude after he lost the role... Well, he did not have the wisdom to let it go and understand his time had passed. Bond was the best thing that ever happened to him. As I said in other threads, he even based his pre Bond career on the role he didn't have yet.

    I'll take it a step further and say the Bond series saved his career. Did you see his filmography between Remington Steele and Goldeneye? Not pretty. It was basically flop after flop. By the time 1993 rolled around he was considered a TV has-been from the 80s who was "the guy who almost became Bond". And I highly doubt he would've gotten films like The Ghost Writer or The Matador had he never became Bond.

    Yes both men acted immaturely but Brosnan had no right to insult Lazenby like that at the Goldeneye press conference. I doubt the two had even met prior to that.

    Yep, I agree. I'm quite sure he knows that too.

    Having seen Live Wire, Death Train and Taffin I can safely say his films pre-Bond weren't exactly classics.

    "Quit cheating on your husband...put on some underwear" :))

  • BAIN123 wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Brosnan's words were mean, but to be fair OHMSS did not have the status it has now. I don't think it was any criticism towards Lazenby personally. And I also think Lazenby was and has been unfairly harsh regarding Bond and other Bond actors.

    As for Brosnan's attitude after he lost the role... Well, he did not have the wisdom to let it go and understand his time had passed. Bond was the best thing that ever happened to him. As I said in other threads, he even based his pre Bond career on the role he didn't have yet.

    I'll take it a step further and say the Bond series saved his career. Did you see his filmography between Remington Steele and Goldeneye? Not pretty. It was basically flop after flop. By the time 1993 rolled around he was considered a TV has-been from the 80s who was "the guy who almost became Bond". And I highly doubt he would've gotten films like The Ghost Writer or The Matador had he never became Bond.

    Yes both men acted immaturely but Brosnan had no right to insult Lazenby like that at the Goldeneye press conference. I doubt the two had even met prior to that.

    Yep, I agree. I'm quite sure he knows that too.

    Having seen Live Wire, Death Train and Taffin I can safely say his films pre-Bond weren't exactly classics.

    "Quit cheating on your husband...put on some underwear" :))


    If he knows that than I think he should be a bit more grateful to EON for pulling him out of that massive slump.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    Same could be said for Connery, who hardly had the levels of fame he did before Bond.

    I agree though Broz should have acted in a more dignified way after he left. It can't have been easy for him but moaning didn't help his case.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 1,778
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Same could be said for Connery, who hardly had the levels of fame he did after Bond.

    Agreed but then he had a career resurgance or flat-out resurrection (a certain someone's favorite hobby) around 1987 with The Untouchables. After that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, The Rock, etc. Connery has had byfar the most successful post-Bond career.

    And just for fun,
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    Damn, that was meant to say 'before' Bond (i.e. Bond surged Connery's career).

    Agreed that Connery easily had the best post Bond career.
  • BAIN123 wrote:
    Damn, that was meant to say 'before' Bond (i.e. Bond surged Connery's career).

    Agreed that Connery easily had the best post Bond career.

    Yeah but remember Connery was alot younger than Brosnan. 31 when he was cast as opposed to Brosnan being 42.

    But yes Connery has acted immaturely aswell. He owed alot to Bond and EON.

  • Posts: 11,189
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Damn, that was meant to say 'before' Bond (i.e. Bond surged Connery's career).

    Agreed that Connery easily had the best post Bond career.

    Yeah but remember Connery was alot younger than Brosnan. 31 when he was cast as opposed to Brosnan being 42.


    But yes Connery has acted immaturely aswell. He owed alot to Bond and EON.

    Good point.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Assuming Brosnan was quoted correctly, he had it coming after that stupid remark. Agree with everything Lazenby said, childish as it is.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    Assuming Brosnan was quoted correctly, he had it coming after that stupid remark. Agree with everything Lazenby said, childish as it is.

    Agreed, as much as I like Broz it wasn't a particularly wise thing to say. Has it actually been proved he said that though as I've never seen a clip of that bit from the press conference?


    "That wimp Brosnan's no match for my 007", says OldenEye George Lazenby
    From The Sun [London], Nov. 10, 1995


    Hmm...this sounds like tacky tabloid journalism. Oldeneye is kind of funny though.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 1,778
    I've seen a few sources backing up the quotes. And I saw a video clip years ago of Brosnan saying "No one wants to be the next Lazenby" during the Goldeneye press conference. I can't find it anymore (this was at about 5 or 6 years ago) but I can verify that Brosnan did in fact at least say that. Which isn't cool. Lazenby did nothing to provoke that cheap shot. If I were George Lazenby and some young punk (young by his standards) was taking unwarranted and uncalled for shots at something I consider a sensitive subject and the biggest missed opportunity of my life I'd be pi**ed off too.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 11,189
    Fair enough. It does seem in that case that Brosnan was the one who started it.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    I've seen a few sources backing up the quotes. And I saw a video clip years ago of Brosnan saying "No one wants to be the next Lazenby" during the Goldeneye press conference. I can't find it anymore (this was at about 5 or 6 years ago) but I can verify that Brosnan did in fact at least say that. Which isn't cool. Lazenby did nothing to provoke that. If I were George Lazenby and some young punk (young by his standards) was taking unwarranted and uncalled for shots at something I consider a sensitive subject and the biggest missed opportunity of my life I'd be pi**ed off too.

    Lazenby had it coming. He treated the role with utter disregard and defined his own legacy the moment he walked away. He was/is his own worst enemy. Brosnan was right, he's not an actor, if he was he'd have forged some semblance of a career.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,314
    Brosnan should have kept his feelings to himself. It was a bold statement for him to make considering he had only one Bond film under his belt at the time. However, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli never seem to have many positive things to say about Lazenby so I'm sure he wasn't chastised for it.
  • Posts: 11,189
    I remember MGW saying that Laz did a "reasonable job" in OHMSS. I get the feeling most of the stories Cubby told them about Laz weren't positive. Broz may have been right that no actor who plays Bond wants to be known as "the bloke who only made one film and was then forgotten" (as he was for a long time).

    That said I don't think it was really Brosnan's position to say it.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    edited January 2014 Posts: 45,489
    What a missed opportunity! Just imagine a Tamahori version of OHMSS starring Brosnan. I would certainly pay to not see that. Halle Berry as Tracy.
  • Posts: 14,859
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I remember MGW saying that Laz did a "reasonable job" in OHMSS. I get the feeling most of the stories Cubby told them about Laz weren't positive. Broz may have been right that no actor who plays Bond wants to be known as "the bloke who only made one film and was then forgotten" (as he was for a long time).

    That said I don't think it was really Brosnan's position to say it.

    True. It was a cheap shot, no matter what truth there was in it.
  • Posts: 14,859
    Ludovico wrote:
    Brosnan's words were mean, but to be fair OHMSS did not have the status it has now. I don't think it was any criticism towards Lazenby personally. And I also think Lazenby was and has been unfairly harsh regarding Bond and other Bond actors.

    As for Brosnan's attitude after he lost the role... Well, he did not have the wisdom to let it go and understand his time had passed. Bond was the best thing that ever happened to him. As I said in other threads, he even based his pre Bond career on the role he didn't have yet.

    I'll take it a step further and say the Bond series saved his career. Did you see his filmography between Remington Steele and Goldeneye? Not pretty. It was basically flop after flop. By the time 1993 rolled around he was considered a TV has-been from the 80s who was "the guy who almost became Bond". And I highly doubt he would've gotten films like The Ghost Writer or The Matador had he never became Bond.

    Yes both men acted immaturely but Brosnan had no right to insult Lazenby like that at the Goldeneye press conference. I doubt the two had even met prior to that.

    Brosnan was and is at the core a tv actor in the old school way. Not exactly bad but limited. He can be carried by a good script but cannot carry a script. I find more irritating his comments post Bond than what he said out of hubris when he became Bond. But nevertheless, it was a cheap shot, and an unnecessary one.

    On a side note, I rather enjoyed Death Train. It has a b movie charm. And a pretty good cast.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,139
    To be honest, if I was ever in a situation to be cast as Bond, I'd rather be known for doing one Bond movie like OHMSS than 4 movies in which 3 of them were definitively average to abysmal. I think it's fair to say that technically and this is just my opinion of course, Lazenby's Bond legacy in terms of the quality of creative output is superior to that if Brosnan who ironically did more for the series than Lazenby did.

    Anyway, I like Brosnan, the guy's only human and may not have the grace and wisdom of that of Sir Roger Moore or even Daniel Craig for that matter but he was an entertaining Bond and understandably him having to retire from the role was crushing for him and likely still is but at least he's getting on with his life.
  • edited January 2014 Posts: 12,837
    Lazenby also had a go at Craig. I think he's just a bit jealous, seeing the success the other actors had after they stayed on while he stupidly left after one film.
    Still you have to take notice of Lazenby's prophetic words to Brosnan about fame being a cruel mistress. Obviously Brosnan never sunk to the same levels of obscurity as Lazenby but it's hard to argue that Brosnan's star hasn't fallen since being given the boot in 2004. Sure he did The Ghost Writer but really that's it (Mama Mia was an ensemble piece and didn't really star Brosnan).

    I'd argue that Brosnan's best work has come after Bond. He's made some very good films and given some very good performances. I think that's what he wanted, to do some smaller films after years of blockbusters.
  • O6GO6G
    Posts: 80
    RC7 wrote:
    I've seen a few sources backing up the quotes. And I saw a video clip years ago of Brosnan saying "No one wants to be the next Lazenby" during the Goldeneye press conference. I can't find it anymore (this was at about 5 or 6 years ago) but I can verify that Brosnan did in fact at least say that. Which isn't cool. Lazenby did nothing to provoke that. If I were George Lazenby and some young punk (young by his standards) was taking unwarranted and uncalled for shots at something I consider a sensitive subject and the biggest missed opportunity of my life I'd be pi**ed off too.

    Lazenby had it coming. He treated the role with utter disregard and defined his own legacy the moment he walked away. He was/is his own worst enemy. Brosnan was right, he's not an actor, if he was he'd have forged some semblance of a career.
    First of all; You don't know either of them personally, there's 2 sides to every story.
    Second of all; How dare you talk shit about George Lazenby? In my opinion, his acting is fine in OHMSS... "He's not an actor, if he was he'd have forged some semblance of a career." That's a terrible thing to say.

  • O6GO6G
    Posts: 80
    doubleoego wrote:
    To be honest, if I was ever in a situation to be cast as Bond, I'd rather be known for doing one Bond movie like OHMSS than 4 movies in which 3 of them were definitively average to abysmal. I think it's fair to say that technically and this is just my opinion of course, Lazenby's Bond legacy in terms of the quality of creative output is superior to that if Brosnan who ironically did more for the series than Lazenby did.

    Anyway, I like Brosnan, the guy's only human and may not have the grace and wisdom of that of Sir Roger Moore or even Daniel Craig for that matter but he was an entertaining Bond and understandably him having to retire from the role was crushing for him and likely still is but at least he's getting on with his life.
    Brosnan seems like an extremely insecure man.
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