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Honor Blackman: 'Sean is my favourite Bond!'

Honor Blackman: 'Sean is my favourite Bond!'
Honor Blackman: 'Sean is my favourite Bond!' (Image credit: EMPICS Entertainment)

Ultimate Bond girl Honor Blackman talks to TV Times magazine about the role that defined her career... What do you think about the latest Bond films? “Sorry to whomever I’m offending, but the original films were better. For some God forsaken reason progress has insisted that Bond girls become more empowered and Bond himself should have feelings, that he should fall in love and do all the things that Bond never gave a damn about.” What do you think was so special about the originals? "They were fascinating, but the character is changing tremendously and for my money it’s not Ian Fleming any more. Daniel Craig is terrific, his Bond is a great character, but he’s much more like any hero of film or television – it’s becoming like The Bourne Identity.” Did you expect Bond to be so successful when you got the part of Pussy Galore in Goldfinger? “Never in a million years! I might have run a mile if I’d known!” Did you know much about the films when you went for the part? “I had seen From Russia with Love which I thought was extremely good, so I knew I would be associated with quality, but I had no idea it would last this long. I don’t know how many films have been made now but it’s quite fantastic.” How did you getting the part happen? “I know it sounds awfully conceited to say, but I was so dead-ringer right for the part. I had a history of doing judo, with any luck I was a good actress and I looked right. Why would they complicate that by trying to find anybody else?” You seemed to have sizzling chemistry with your on-screen partner, Sean Connery… “Sean is my favourite Bond of course! I found it very dangerous working with him. He is the most attractive of men. At that point in time he’d just been in the Mr Universe competition so physically he was a great specimen of a fellow, but he was also fun and very sexy with fantastic charisma. To say we had chemistry is the understatement of the year, but I was a married woman!” Why do you think Sean was one of the most popular Bonds of all time? “People always say that the role was suited to him, which is so strange – how you can say that James Bond was suited to a Scottish milkman! It just shows that he played it terribly well – it’s probably the best performance of his career. He was absolutely right for it and he was aware of the power he had and the fascination that surrounded him.” Why do you think the Bond films have captured our imagination for so long? "Bond takes its time. This is what’s so extraordinary, people still love all the films, going right back to the beginning and it’s because they’re not rushed like everything else is today. They take their time to establish characters and situations, which makes them much more interesting.” One of the most iconic scenes is the ‘roll in the hay’ moment between Bond and Pussy Galore. What are your memories of filming this? “It was quite extraordinary because I had spent three years doing judo on the cement floors of The Avengers studio and when it came to the Goldfinger scene they piled up stacks of hay and God knows what for me to land on. They kept saying, 'Is that all right Honor, will be that safe?' To me it was absolute heaven to have something reasonably soft to land on! It was fun and, of course, it was very sexy.” Watch the James Bond movies on demand on Sky Movies 007

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.