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Roger Moore question and answer interview

Kindly given by Roger Moore specifically to this web site.
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Video clip of Roger Moore about UNICEF and Bond - a chat on BBC

An interview with Roger Moore from the Australian TV week - Feb 2001

On an TV interview show recently, you were asked to explain, as described in your own words how your “posh” persona was developed, which attributed to your early success in both the army and then acting career, as in reality you were born in Stockwell South London from working class roots. On the programme you did not get the opportunity to reply fully, could you elaborate?

What I was alluding to I have sometimes spoken about before,subsequently I have heard a few others discuss it too. The fact of the matter is that most actors are shy people. Creating a character on or off the stage is an escape.

Maybe come to think about it, that is the sign of an extrovert, in any event I have always from the earliest of ages found it difficult to wander into a restaurant on my own. I seem over the years to have developed this person “Roger Moore” who gave the outward appearance of being urbane and moderately sophisticated, he was someone different to the me inside, which I suppose could have been the reason for my developing a duodenal ulcer on arrival in Hollywood in my mid twenties.

 We like the series "The Persuaders", and many think the chemistry between you and Tony Curtis sparked an on screen success lifting impact of the series, do you feel your on screen partnership was a good one. Also did you form to any degree an off screen friendship with Tony, and have you met Tony since the Persuaders?

The Persuaders was a vehicle for two men with the same goal going about achieving their objective in different modes. This in itself is not a new idea, certainly not in film and television, it works equally as well in comedy as drama.

It also I might add works for a man or woman or two women ` Cagney and Lacey` being an example of the latter, ours I hope was comedy, the “come up the hard way” brash American and the “laid back English Lord”.

Tony and I had a good on and off screen relationship, we are two very different people, but we did share a sense of humor, we now live in different parts of the world but when we find ourselves in the same place it is more or less as if there had been no years in between.

Tony is a very talented actor and has a great sense of comedy and I would love to revive Wilde and Sinclair for just for one more appearance.   

Any particular interesting or amusing memories whilst filming The Persuaders?

Its amusing looking back at the bits and pieces of old re-runs to see how the clothes seem to become a little more outrageous with every episode and that the waistlines become a little tighter, we were living the good life, when champagne was called for it was no longer the old ginger ale variety, oh no, not for us, the real stuff, Moët et Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cliquot, Bollinger.

To our mind one of the most interesting interviews we read recently focused mostly on your reflections that you regretted your Bond days, but obviously the money and status was extremely good, and you can now use this to promote UNICEF. So taken in balance do you maintain this statement?

Of course I do not regret the Bond days, I regret that sadly heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth I have always hated guns and what they represent. There is nothing glamorous about death. The saddest sight these days is the image of hundreds of thousands of children kidnapped and lured into being child soldiers from the age of eight. Bond was escapism, but not meant to be imitated in real life.

We have read about Audrey Hepburn and UNICEF but could you elaborate on when you first became interested in UNICEF and how it  evolved initially?

I have spoken about this many times, Either in 1990 or 1991 Audrey asked me to co-host the Danny Kaye international Children’s Awards from Amsterdam. She suggested that I arrived early the day before transmission in order to take part in a press conference. I said I did not know enough about UNICEF to handle a press conference and she said they would not want to talk about it they would only want to talk about films. She was right but she would not let them, she only wanted to talk about the plight of the Worlds Children. It was her sincerity, her passion, her persuasiveness that aroused my curiosity, above all it was her eloquence and knowledge of the subject that that lead me to attending a couple of seminars in Geneva and New York and to listening to other UNICEF Ambassadors talk with equal passion, I had to learn more, first hand and so I signed the dotted line to become a Special representative and thus changed my life to a certain extent.

Over the nine-year period of your active involvement as a UNICEF Ambassador, what have been the most impacting emotionally and satisfying projects you have been involved with?

I find it almost impossible to pick out one moment more than another, images of children suffering are all painful, be it, dying from malnutrition, dehydration, or suffering with horrendous burns, accidental or as a result of war, children with missing limbs, the result of the most disgusting aftermath of war, be it civil or otherwise, I refer to the landmines, sometimes looking like children’s toys, is there anything worse? The children blind through lack of vitamin A. Villages where the entire population have suffered from a lack of one of the essential micro-nutrients, Iodine, IDD, Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Street Children, those poor unfortunate young people who live and sleep on the streets, begging stealing and selling their young no longer innocent bodies. Emotional? Yes. Then on the other side to see smiling faces of people on witnessing the turning on of a tap, something we all take for granted in the developed world. To given cash and cheques after making an appeal and telling of the suffering. The sometimes-overwhelming generosity of human beings. To meet with the hundreds of thousands of volunteers, who give of their time so freely, who receive no recognition whatsoever. The workers in the field, the NGOs Save the Children, Medicine San Frontieres, Oxfam, The Red Cross…… The Salvation Army…… the list is endless. Yes there is satisfaction from seeing organisations such as the Kiwanis, who are trying to help stamp out the Iodine Deficiency Disorders, The Rotarians who are bringing the world nearer to eliminating Polio……

Are you not frustrated with regard to the extreme poverty, the deep injustices and the non-sense of this world? and if so have you seen any positive and affective moves to change the balance?

Of course I am frustrated with regard to extreme poverty, to violence that never seems to cease. Greed is the key. It’s easy to sit in relative luxury and peace and pontificate on the subject of the Third World debts. Not many of us are willing to give up everything we have. We can however give some, and millions of people do, governments do, but there is so much more to be done. I have to be an optimist and say that it might get better. I am a mixture of idealist and realist. Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents. Lets face it; the children who do that are the hope of tomorrow.

You are an excellent actor. Are there any roles you would have liked to play? I refer to the 1970 " The Man Who Haunted Himself " I think it is one of your favorites?

I have no one role that I want to play, I would just like to stay healthy long enough to take any of the work that appeals to me, it is important for my UNICEF appearances to keep `the name` alive.

Is there any advice you could give people reading this on the web site how they could become more involved with UNICEF?

Contact the numbers that I am sure you will receive from UNICEF regarding their local committees. Always buy UNICEF Greeting Cards. In those countries where the Drop Of Water campaigns exist, buy from the children selling the Drops of Water. Look at UNICEF websites.

The saying goes, “hindsight is a wonderful thing”, but on reflection on your life to date, what do you most regret, and the opposite, what has given you the most fulfillment?

ROGDRAWL.jpg (23854 bytes)I do not have time to sit down and regret anything although sometimes I wish I had been able to see more of my parents while they were alive and have done more for them.

 

We have read that your mother’s favorite saying was “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet” do you have a favorite saying?

My mother summed it all up, also often quoted was “Children should be seen and not heard” they should be heard, they should ask questions, they have their own opinions, they also have the right though to be educated so that their questions will be intelligent, and they also have the right to be taught manners. Respect your elders, as I am one it is easy to say!  

Kind regards and many thanks to  Roger Moore

Roger Moore
 
 
 


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