For anyone who has been following us nerds over the past 18 months or so they will know that Sir Roger Moore is, for me, the best James Bond EVER!
Yes, I know Sean Connery is the most popular choice, having been the first, but for a franchise as ridiculous as 007 (a spy who drives exotic cars, wields over-the-top gadgets etc etc) it needs someone who doesn’t take himself or the role seriously, can play with the audience and, most of all, has screen presence galore.
In step Sir Roger Moore. Much has been written about the British actor over the years but Friday nights interview in the UK on ITV1 by former tabloid editor Piers Morgan looked set to be very interesting.
Here is a journalist who has interviewed some big stars and politicians in recent years, including hard nosed former UK deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and brought them to tears. Would Sir Roger follow suit?
The interview itself had some interesting video clips with friends (Michael Caine), family (his two sons and daughter) and fans (Ewan McGregor). Caine plainly thought that his friend has never been fully credited with being a great actor (“people think because an actor makes it look easy then they must be playing themself, but it’s not, it’s hard”, he said).
However, Morgan started the interview by asking the London-born star about his role as James Bond, what it was like to play such an iconic role over the years and how he felt waking up every morning knowing he was going to work with some beautiful actresses. As I thought, it enabled Sir Roger to playfully quid one liners – something he has been adept in doing over the years to deflect, it seems, from more personal probing by interviewees.
Gradually Morgan, who I’m not a fan off, impressively started lightly asking about his four marriages, his role as a father and why he continues to play down his talents by making self-depricating jokes about himself.
It was during this line of questioning that I felt we saw the real Sir Roger. He fidgeted with his hands, gave one or two word answers and while he tried to brush them aside with the aforementioned wise cracks, Morgan was having none of it.
Neither agressive or holding back, the British host probed further, helped by warm tributes and anecdotes from the likes of Moore’s daughter Deborah, his close friend Caine and former co-stars including Bond beauty Maud Adams and actress Joan Collins.
In fact, it was clips from his children that were the most affecting. Here were three children who had seen their father walk out on their mother for another woman, yet they showed no anger. It was clear how much they loved and respected him. It was at this point that Sir Roger, the real person, showed himself to be nothing but a genuinely wonderful human being.
“What is it like to hear those comments from your children,” asked Morgan
“They are wonderful children,” was all that Moore could say, his eyes, while not filling up, showing genuine emotion.
Ofcourse, as mentioned, Sir Roger’s anecdotes on previous friends and adventures were wonderful.
How he hasn’t been able to watch any movies starring his good friend David Niven since he died. How he dislikes guns and explosions. That Daniel Craig is probably the “hardest” James Bond.
All in all, this was a wonderful interview were Sir Roger was able to talk freely without any interruption (take note Jonathan Ross!) and was shown to be the living legend that he is.
At nearly 85 years of age here is a man who deserves more praise than he has been given down the years. A true movie icon!
4 out of 5 nerds