Roger Moore named favourite Bond girl but she helped another star try to replace him
Roger Moore only ever named one Bond girl as his favourite and she is unique in more ways than one. She was also instrumental in helping a US star almost take over as 007. He was actually cast and offered a contract before it was all, devastatingly, ripped away from him.
People may have their favourite Bonds, whether the public or critics, but none have been so highly spoken of by their co-stars as Roger Moore. He was indeed the perfect gentleman, on and off-screen. The suave Brit with the dancing eyebrow starred with a stunning array of actresses during his tenure as the British superspy from Jane Seymour in 1973’s Live And Let Die, and Britt Ekland and Maud Adams in 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun to Tanya Roberts and Grace Jones in 1985’s A View To A Kill. Uniquely, Adams actually returned in a different and considerably larger leading role in 1983’s Octopussy. When he was asked who his favourite all-time Bond Girl was, Moore at first tried to demure, but then couldn’t resist singling one out, who actually celebrates her 78th birthday today,
Appearing on Clive Anderson’s All Talk in 1996 he was put on the spot by an audience member and said: “It’s always unfair to play favourites, because the others always say, ‘Why didn’t you mention me…?'”
But then he raised that classic eyebrow and simply said: “Maud Adams.”
The Swedish actress played Scaramanga’s mistress Andrea in The Man With The Golden Gun, who pays for her betrayal of the villain with her life. She was extremely well-liked by the producers who brought her back in the leading title role in Octopussy. Her character was a breakthrough for female actors in the Bond franchise.
However, just before Octopussy, the producer also asked Adams to help prepare their first choice actor to replace Roger Moore – a star who was even offered the role.
We’re all currently waiting to hear who will be the next James Bond after Daniel Craig’s spectacular (some might say ‘explosive’) exit in No Time To Die. It’s nothing new.
In fact, both Sean Connery and Roger Moore constantly threatened to quit the role as their tenures came to a close. The stars used the uncertain bargaining period to increase their paydays and more than one actor thought he had secured the role before the incumbent veteran decided he was prepared to return one more time.
After filming was completed on Moore’s fifth outing as 007, For Your Eyes Only, the producers had begun to look for a new star to take over the franchise. Alongside British hopefuls like Timothy Dalton (who would have to wait another four years before he made his debut in The Living Daylights), an American was the frontrunner.
Adams was asked to fly into London to take part in James Brolin’s final round of tests because she was highly regarded and trusted by the Bond producers. In a surprise twist, it would end up being the Swedish actress, not Brolin, who would star in Octopussy.
She said of her role as the smuggler and cult leader: “I really didn’t expect they would cast me again, and I was asked to come to London to screen test with James Brolin, who they were considering for a new Bond. I thought it would be a wonderful time to catch up with all my old friends. I didn’t realise until afterward that they were serious about me as well.”
Moore had only signed an original three-picture deal and now negotiated each subsequent Bond film individually.
He had expressed his wish to leave the role after his fifth film, For Your Eyes Only, and the Bond producers were preparing to introduce a new actor when news broke that a rival 007 film, Never Say Never Again, was going into production with Sean Connery.
Nervous that the return of the original Bond would completely overshadow a new actor in the role, they approached Moore with a pay rise and larger profit-share. Brolin was released and Moore returned. Incidentally, he publicly declared “Six is enough”, although he would go on to also make a seventh.
Octopussy was the first Bond film to be named for its female protagonist and one of the few ever to not have a theme song named after it. Rita Coolidge’s All Time High was used because, understandably, nobody could find a rhyme for the film’s name.
Adams said: “It was such a treat to be able to once again work with Roger Moore, the producer Cubby Broccoli and the crew I had come to like so much. Being offered the title role of Octopussy also was a real honour.
“I was lucky to have Roger Moore as “my” Bond… He was always very supportive, a real team player and kept everybody in good spirits during the filming.”
PROC. BY MOVIES