The 84-year-old has long since put down the martinis and the guns and has now taken up the role of the grandfather for the Hallmark Channel’s original movie “A Princess for Christmas,” which airs tonight at 8.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q. After playing the handsome leading man for so much of your career, what was it like to transition to the grandfather role?
A. This (“A Princess for Christmas”) is the first time I’ve played a grandfather. (Laughs) It should have come easy to me because I am a grandfather. (The cast) were all very, very nice and all very talented. But I was only shooting for one week. Unfortunately, on the penultimate night of shooting, I tripped over a table in the house where we were shooting. Three rather large guys made a grab to hold me and fell on top of me. One of them crushed my ankle rather badly. I still suffer a bit with this swollen foot. So the last day of shooting I was in a wheelchair. I got out and stood up to do close-ups and sat down again. So I imagine I looked rather pained.
Q. Do any of the characteristics of the roles you have played stay with you when the role ends?
A. Well, whatever characteristics there were, it was me doing it. Looked like me, sounded like me and being 6-foot-1, blue-eyed and blond hair – when I had a lot of hair. That is where the acting came in, being the hero.
Q. Did you want to play the bad guy?
A. Oh, yes, they always have the best parts. Poor Jim Bond, all he gets to say is “My name is Bond.” The villains always have the wonderful long speeches about the end of the world and taking over mankind. Apart from that, they don’t have to come in every day as Bond does.
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