Sean ConneryPosted: September 18, 2012
PLAYBOY: This brings up a point raised by many of Fleming’s critics: While conceding that Bond’s adventures are entertaining, they denounce him as a caricature of sex appeal, and his erotic exploits as impossibly farfetched. Do you feel that’s valid?
CONNERY: No, I don’t. The main concern for an actor or a writer is not believability but the removal of time, as I see it. Because I really think the only occasions you really are enjoying yourself, being happy, swinging, as they say, are when you don’t know what time it is–when you’re totally absorbed in a play, a film or a party and you don’t know what time it is or how long it has been going on; then you’ll usually find there is contentment and happiness. When an artist can suspend time like that for an audience, he has succeeded. It doesn’t really matter, I think, whether it is “believable” or not. The believability comes afterward; or it doesn’t. If you want to question it afterward, that’s up to you. But the writer’s and the actor’s job is to remove time–while you’re still in the book or the theater. That’s exactly what Fleming achieved for millions of readers; and that’s what I’ve tried to achieve in the Bond films.
on Ian Fleming:
CONNERY: He had great energy and curiosity and he was a marvelous man to talk to and have a drink with because of the many wide interests he had. What made him a success and caused all the controversy was that his writing was such good journalism. He always contrived extraordinary situations and arranged extravagant meetings for his characters, and he always knew his facts. He was always madly accurate, and this derived from his curiosity. When he was discussing anything, like how a truck worked or a machine or a permutation at bridge, there was a brain at work and an enormous amount of research involved; it wasn’t just a lot of drivel he was talking. That’s what I admired most about him–his energy and his curiosity.
possibly Romney-esque in politics?:
CONNERY: … This sort of motivation is the great thing that’s lacking in present-day society. Everything is so smooth-running, so attainable, that one is deprived of initiative, lured into a false sense of security. In the days before the War, with high unemployment, many people simply put in an appearance every morning at the factory although they knew there was no chance of work. Sheeplike, they felt they just had to go. Today everything’s handed to them on a platter: They know they can get work and enough food, and socialized medicine has taken the worry out of being ill. If there is a malnutrition of any kind in this country–and I think there is–it’s self-inflicted. The only competition you’ll find today is the conflict between those few who try to correct a wrong, and the majority who hope it will just cure itself in the end.
a controversial view:
PLAYBOY: How do you feel about roughing up a woman, as Bond sometimes has to do?
CONNERY: I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman–although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man. An openhanded slap is justified–if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it. I think a man has to be slightly advanced, ahead of the woman. I really do–by virtue of the way a man is built, if nothing else. But I wouldn’t call myself sadistic. I think one of the appeals that Bond has for women, however, is that he is decisive, cruel even. By their nature women aren’t decisive–“Shall I wear this? Shall I wear that?”–and along comes a man who is absolutely sure of everything and he’s a godsend. And, of course, Bond is never in love with a girl and that helps. He always does what he wants, and women like that. It explains why so many women are crazy about men who don’t give a rap for them.
CONNERY: Well, for three or four people with some left over, I take a pound of the best beef and do it in olive oil and garlic for half an hour in a pot with a lid on it, so that all the juice is drained away from it, and while that’s going on I finely chop onions and carrots and have fresh tomatoes and tinned tomatoes all ready. Then I fry the carrots and the onions in butter, and once the steak has been cooking for about half an hour in the pot, I take it out and dice it up into squares–one- or two-inch squares–and then roll it in flour, salt, pepper and seasoning, and line the bottom of the bowl or stone dish. Then I cover all the meat with the onions and the carrots and the tomato–fresh and tinned–and the oil that’s left over in the juice that’s been taken from the meat I pour over the top. I then add a tube of Italian tomato purèe, and top it all off with either good stock or boiled water, and bake it in the oven for three hours and medium heat. It’s superb.
All these are from an interview in the Nov. 1965 issue of Playboy.