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Gary Mack Hi Sir Roger, since you became a UNICEF ambassador do you think your “film star” status has helped you and the charity or do you sometimes feel it gets in the way of your objective? I’ve been a fan of your work the ‘saint’ days onto the wonderful Persuaders series and 007 to Gold and North Sea Highjack… Thanks for so many wonderful memories. Best Gary Mack
Whatever “star” status I might have achieved has undeniably helped enormously with my UNICEF work in so much as Presidents and Prime Ministers have wives, husbands and children who all want to meet James Bond. That gets me through the door and I can then bring conversations around from movies to the more pressing matters of the day.
Hi Roger Did you prefer the more serious approach to Bond, as seen in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and OCTOPUSSY, or the light hearted tone of films like MOONRAKER and A VIEW TO A KILL? How would you have approached a script like LICENSE TO KILL or even SKYFALL?
Oh I could never take Jimmy too seriously and enjoyed the more light-hearted tone, though I enjoyed them ALL equally I must admit.
I don’t think I could have handled anything like SKYFALL as I certainly couldn’t throw myself around like Daniel does! The physicality of the role has changed dramatically with him, and he’d put my Bond to shame in a race.
Brenton Chomel Hello again Sir Roger. When I wasn’t going out on a Saturday night in my youth, I looked forward to watching “The Persuaders” (back in the days of black and white in Australia), but now I can watch the programs on DVD any time I want (and in colour). My two favorite episodes are “Greensleeves” (sneaky is best) and “A Death in the family.” I notice that Brett Sinclair often used to tease Danny Wilde about his use of strong after shave lotion and made other jokes about his Americanisms. I wondered if this was in the script or if you and Tony Curtis had similar little moments off camera, that somehow found their way onto the set and into the character dialogues?
I don’t think Tony was aware we had a script!
No, I jest, but Tony didn’t like to be confined by a scene – he liked to ad lib, add his own ideas into it. So a lot of what you see is Tony embellishing the script and as part of that he’d throw in a tease, and so I’d throw one back. It was all gentle banter, but I was conscious other actors in the scene might be thrown, because they learned the script, so would always try and turn it around to get back to the dialogue they were expecting and indeed the storyline we needed to deliver.
Jason Allen Hello Sir Roger, I hope you are well. I understand you were friends with the legend Frank Sinatra and can still listen to his music morning noon and night. As a singer of that genre of music, I would love to know, what is your favourite Sinatra song?
‘One For My Baby’ is my favourite. Frank’s songs really did tell a story – there was always a start, middle and end to the ‘tale’. I love his music.
Ulf Johansson Hello Sir Roger I was wondering about how it is being a star and how you have handled pressure from fans, directors, producers and so on? I guess it can be stressful knowing that you are fronting a giant project that has a lot of money invested in it?
Oh it’s terribly hard being a star, having people telling me how terrific I am and how lovely I look. I know all that of course.
No, it’s actually a huge privilege having any sort of “stardom” because when you’re a jobbing actor you just dream of being able to pay the rent and buy the groceries. When you have a huge bit of luck and find yourself being able to live a more ‘comfortable’ lifestyle, then it’s something very special. I know everything in my life has been down to luck, and I also know it can be taken away just as quickly as it arrived – so I am very grateful.
Working on films is (usually) great fun and although there are time and budget pressures, with a good director and producer then it’s a joy. It’s when there is bad preparation or a bad producer who doesn’t know his job that it becomes a nightmare. Fortunately I’ve not had too many of them.
Saleb Artesana Sandra, from Argentina.
Dear Sir Roger:
I was watching “The Saint”, again, now like an adult (enjoying it more than when I was a child). It surprised me, when in a chapter, “Simon Templar” helps a group of homeless children, and in another one, He donates a lot of money (stolen from a pair of bad guys, of course) to UNISEF… ¡¡¡Amazing!!! Well, my question is: In those days, did you already, have that concern? (I mean… about: childhood, poverty, etc.) There was something “doing noise” in your mind, or in your soul, about these problems? Did it ever cross your mind you could make it come true?
Thank you so much for your time, and your kindness.
Wish for you all the good in the world.
I was involved in a number of children’s charities at the time, and was aware of some of the problems facing children. However, I never really thought deeply and passionately about issues such as child poverty until Audrey Hepburn introduced me to UNICEF and I saw it first-hand. I only wish there were more heroes like Simon Templar in real life who could do things like that for children on a regular basis.