Sir Roger’s Q and A January 2011

Question 1

Dear Sir Roger,

Your recent message on UNICEF television is a most powerful one!

I like it because it is about handicapped children, I believe they – like handicapped adults – are often discriminated (sometimes quietly discriminated), especially if they suffer from handicaps which are not immediately visible, like for example a missing limb. Well, of course a missing limb is equally bad…

I would like to ask you about your opinion about MOVIES dealing with people’s handicaps. I remember years ago there was a good film about Helen Keller who was deaf-blind, then there was “Rainman” which brought attention to people who suffer from autism and now I read that a movie called “The King’s Speech” which focuses on speech impediments is about to be released soon. The main character is your former King George VI.

Such films are very different from what often comes out of Hollywood nowadays – no guns, no violence, no brutality. Instead the plots are about human problems and people’s handicaps. Do you favour such films? Perhaps they too raise awareness….

Thank you very much and the very best wishes

Martin

Thank you Martin. I am hopeful of attending a big conference (with UNICEF) in Azerbijan in March which is focussing on children with disabilities and the ‘stigma’ which is attached. Consequently I am reading the latest UN fact and figures, and it is sadly something which needs tackling through education and enlightenment. Many disabled children are sadly refused by the families, and by their states. There are not cared for as they should be, and often hidden away as though in shame.

This is something we must change. All children all precious, and all need our love and understanding – only in some cases, a little more.

Anything, and any film,which reflects people dealing, overcoming and working with handicaps is inspiring. I applaud them.


Question 2

Hello Sir Roger, thank you for answering my question about Morecombe and Wise back in June – A case of No-Moore-Tea-Ern!! (oh please ya selves)!!

It is always nice to read about your friends over the years. I wonder if you could share your fond memories of the Scottsh actor Michael Sheard. We all remember him has Mr Bronson in Grange Hill but he appeared (usually has a baddie) in some of your films.

A snippet I once read some time ago; Michael said he was always amazed at your ability to pack a suitcase – not a crease in sight!!! was this a skill gained in your army days r just raw talent. Maybe one day you could give masterclass on tv for us Brits (I for one am lousy at the task).

Hello there

Dear Michael Sheard. He was always larger than life and full of life.

He was my side-kick in Escape To Athena, playing a rather likeable Nazi. I know he’d played many villains and in particular Hitler a few times but he was the most gentle of men.

I’ve packed a great many suitcases over the years, and picked up many tips on how to best do it to ensure the minimum of creasing – maybe I’ll write a book on it? The main secret is, upon unpacking, to hang shirts and trousers in the bathroom, turn on the shower and let the steam flow. Any minor creases will just fall out.

Question 3

Hi Sir Roger,

Happy New Year and all the best for 2011! I read that you like to play the odd practical joke (such as making some minor adjustments to Desmond Llewelyn scripts!) With my work we used to play jokes on each other while travelling to keep us all on our toes. I remember one individual who always made us late for the airport, so I helped them by adjusting the clocks in their hotel room, they were actually down in the lobby two hours early! I think I ended up taking a dip fully clothed for that one!

Just wondered if you have a favourite practical joke of your own that you have done, or someone has done to you?

Best wishes,

Steph

Hello Steph

Oh, they are nearly all far too rude for me to repeat in writing!

In the days of fax machines, I used to fax my son Christian in LA but would tipp ex out a few words here and there so the message was absolute rubbish when read. I blamed his fax machine!

I phoned up my mate Johnny Goodman on his honeymoon night. His wife answered and I asked for Sid. She was quite polite, despite her mind being on other things. I did this a further twice within an hour or so, each time she grew a little more annoyed. On the third time, Johnny grabbed the phone and shouted “there is no Sid here”. I said, “I know. I’m Sid. I just wondered if there’d been any calls for me?”


Question 4

Dear Sir Roger,

As an avid fan of yours for many years I would like to say what a pleasure it is to see someone who enjoys celebrity status, supports a very worthy cause and goes to so much trouble to reply to his fans. Enough flattery.

My question is this, I have been successful in my first ever audition and got a lead part, it is for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ showing at the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering (no plug intended). However, as this is my first major part in a stage show I was wondering if you could give me some advise. As an experienced actor I was wondering if you can recall how you dealt with your first acting job? Stage fright and remembering lines? Any advise would be very welcome indeed!

Best wishes,

Tris

Dear Tris

Please feel free to flatter away.

Are you playing Beauty … or the other part?

My advice to any aspiring young thespian is, “Hit yourlines and say your marks” – as said to be by Lee Marvin. I think he’d had a drink by then.

The main thing is, nerves aside, to really enjoy it. Every actor feels nervous, it’s natural, but when you step onto the stage and the light is on you, just try think it is you and one person – focus on one person – in the audience, and do it. Enjoy it and forget about all the other eyes peering at you. It makes it a little easier to concentrate. The lines will then just flow.

Question 5

Dear Sir Roger Moore:

First I would like to thank you for all of the wonderful, thrilling, and thought-provoking work you have done over your fantastic career. Obviously, I wouldn’t be here if I were not a fan, but i would like to say that for me, and for many others of my generation, you will always be the quintessential 007….and the quintessential English Gentleman.

My question hails back to one of my favorite films of all time, “The Cannonball Run.” (As you may have guessed from my log-in name.

In the scene where your mother confronts you about your delusion that you are Roger Moore, just before you “shoot” her with your toy pistol, you say “Zika Zin, Mama.” (sp?)

I (and many of my friends) have been wondering for 30 years what this phrase means….perhaps you could enlighten us? I have searched high and low for an answer….to no avail.

And if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to know if you had any favorite memories (or not-so-fond memories) of working on the film…(or the movie “The Fly Who Bugged Me!) )

Thanks so much for your time, and again, for providing a role model for millions of young men around the globe.

Best regards,
Matthew Miller, NYC

Hi Matthew

Oh I think it was just a bit of “Jewish sounding” script, for my lovely Jewish character Seymour Goldfarb Jr. I’m not well versed in Yiddish I’m afraid, so don’t know if the phrase meant anything or not. Perhaps someone else reading does? So alas, I cannot answer.

The film itself was huge fun, and a great laugh. Fortunately I wasn’t in every scene, and didn’t have huge chunks of dialogue to learn – so the perfect part for me!

They were all great guys, and I used to ride in to the studio with Dean Martin every morning as we lived near each other in LA. What’s more, they paid me too!

Question 6

Dear Sir Roger,
My name is Ilya Strekalov, I’m from Russia. I’m 17 and I study in the 11th form. Thank you for answering to my letter! When I presented my research work about British cinema many people were surprised that you answered to me. I decided to continue analyzing cinematography and now, I’ve already written another research work about links of Russian character and heroes of European films. I suppose that Russians like cinema heroes, that have something in common with them. For example, we like watching films with James Bond because we see some interesting moments in his character, that are very close to ours. Bond is “an ideal man” and Russians are full of eagerness to be ideal – so, that’s why Russians adore watching films with agent 007. And there are very many similarities!
So, I would be very pleased if you can say some words about links of national character and characters of European’s cinema heroes? Thank you for your attention, Sir Roger! I’m waiting for your answer because I can tell people about your point of view on this topic.
King regards and best wishes,
Ilya Strekalov,
From Russia with love

Dear Ilya

I’m glad you are still fascinated by British cinema, and may I say how brilliant your English is too.

There aren’t many heroes like Bond. Most British spies are like Harry Palmer or George Smiley – unassuming people who could lose themselves in a room of people very easily. They are unknown, unassuming ordinary people.I don’t know many European cinema heroes I’m afraid, only really British and American ones, but I suspect they too would be very unassuming.

Bond is different because he is glamorous, surrounds himself with pretty girls and has all the latest gadgets. People want to be Bond, they don’t want to be Harry Palmer living in a grotty London flat. It’s all about escapism and glamour. People love it.