Bond girl on how she helped Sean Connery deliver his most memorable line – Daily News


  They are cinematic icons who have become as beloved as the suave superspy they star alongside   And while Bond Girls have changed dramatically over the years, from the glamorous objects of 007’s affections to kick-ass action stars in their own right, they all have one lady to thank   Eunice Gayson was Bond’s first lady, debuting in 1962’s Dr No and starring in From Russia With Love a year later   It was a role that Eunice, born in 1938 and raised in Streatham, South London, was fiercely proud of till her death on June 8, age 90 She leaves behind a daughter, Kate, 47.   In this extract from her autobiography, The First Lady of Bond, Eunice describes how she helped a very nervous Sean Connery to deliver what would become 007’s most iconic line  On a typical rainy day in London, I was at home when the phone rang. It was Terence Young and he explained he’d been lined up to direct the first James Bond film  I was his “good luck charm”, and had to be involved. He had me in mind for one of two characters, with his old friend Lois Maxwell playing the other  However, Lois was rather conservative in her values and upon realising the requirement of some semi-nudity with one of the two characters on offer, she made it clear she was only interested in the other – Moneypenny  “You’ll be playing a girl called Sylvia Trench, James Bond’s love interest,” Terence told me  These days, an actress appearing wearing a shirt and a pair of knickers wouldn’t cause anyone to flinch, but then it was considered rather daring, and Lois Maxwell just didn’t care for it  Little did I know that a few days filming back in 1962 would change my life; in fact, that one film sparked a phenomenon that’s still going strong  I remember to this day Sean being announced as the actor chosen to play James Bond He wasn’t the first choice of producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, far from it Other names that had been mentioned included Patrick McGoohan, Richard Johnson, James Mason, Rex Harrison, David Niven, Trevor Howard and even Cary Grant  And when I met him for dinner, he couldn’t honestly believe he’d got the Bond role He thought the producers were out of their minds casting him in such a suave and debonair part; he was nothing like James Bond, just a normal casual guy who wore jeans and a donkey jacket  Terence was himself an ex-agent, so he knew the spy game. He always arrived on set dressed immaculately and I used to joke that he could have easily played the role himself  Prior to shooting, Terence took Sean under his wing and introduced him to the finest tailors where all his clothes were handmade He ate the finest foods and drank the finest wines at the best restaurants in town  He wanted Sean to be familiar with the life of the suave, worldly wise spy he was about to portray, and comfortable in his new outfits My first scene with Sean was inside the casino at the baccarat table, and to say he was nervous would be an understatement  All I had to do was look up to see this gorgeous guy and deliver the line, “I admire your luck, Mr ?”. To which Sean should have replied, “Bond, James Bond”.  Simple, or so you might think  Nine takes later, Sean had gone through every permutation of “Bond, James Bond” you could think of, from “Bond, Sean Bond” to “Sean, Bond James” to “James, I mean Bond James”, and so on Now, you have to remember that this was the big scene which introduced Sean Connery to world audiences, and he had to convince them he was a cool, suave and intelligent superspy  Cubby and Harry went from looking excited and hopeful to worried about whether they’d made the right choice Of course, their frustration only added to and compounded Sean’s nerves.  Terence was silently pulling his hair out in frustration It was now approaching lunchtime and it seemed like a good idea to break. Terence took me to one side and said, “Eunice, please take Sean down to the restaurant and give him a couple of drinks Calm him down and then we’ll go again”.  In those days, Sean didn’t really drink and one of my golden rules has always been never to drink when I’m working, as for one thing it just makes me feel sleepy I grabbed Sean’s arm and said, “Come on, Sean, let’s go for a drink. I need something to calm my nerves”  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You. drinking! I don’t believe it! I need the drink, I’m the one who’s nervous,” he said  We went down to the Pinewood restaurant and ordered a couple of vodkas.  I knew what would happen if I drank it all back, so I sipped mine slowly; Sean, meanwhile, grabbed his and gulped it down in one “How about we have another?” “No thanks,” I replied. “You’re drinking far too fast for me ”  Regardless, Sean ordered two more and again downed his in one. When he wasn’t looking, I secretly tipped the contents of mine into a plant pot behind us  Just as he was about to order a third, I realised he was drinking on an empty stomach and suggested we had some lunch He said he wasn’t hungry and would just have another drink.  Mercifully, I managed to convince him to force a little food down, after which he got up and walked back to the stage as straight as a die Sean was now pretty relaxed and was even cracking jokes with the crew.  It seemed a drop (or three) of alcohol had done the trick and he was ready for anything Terence called for silence, we re-set and the call of ‘“Action!” went up.  I delivered the first part of the line, and Sean nailed it in one – “The name’s Bond James Bond.” Terence shouted “Cut!” and was absolutely thrilled. He whispered to me, “See, I told you You’re lucky for me”.  Sylvia then sneaked into Bond’s hotel room and cheekily dressed in one of his shirts, and little else, and that’s where we next meet her on film, pitching golf balls into a hat – time after time I thought it was ridiculous as not only had I never played golf in my life but I didn’t even know how to hold the club  On the first take, I hit the ball and it rolled straight into the hat.  Sean couldn’t believe his eyes and doubled over laughing Terence was furious because he’d ruined the shot, but he too saw the funny side and ended up screaming with laughter  We went for a second take and Terence said, “If by a fluke she does it again and anybody laughs, they’re fired”  I didn’t really think too much about it, swung the club back slightly and just hoped I’d hit the ball Surprise, surprise!  I did it again and the ball shot straight into the hat. The crew dared not laugh, but Sean fell about laughing again, knowing full well that Terence couldn’t possibly fire the leading man  It’s funny how things in life have a habit of repeating themselves, and there was no exception in our family My daughter Kate followed in my footsteps and became an actress. Her agent offered her an audition for a part in a new film – a new James Bond film! It was GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan  And in 1998, I was absolutely thrilled to hear that what at the time had seemed like the most difficult line in film history, “The name’s Bond James Bond,” had been voted the most famous line in film history, and I felt proud to have helped Sean deliver it! Extracted from The First Lady of Bond, by Eunice Gayson, published in 2012 by Signum Books RRP £19.99, available from amazon.co.uk and all good bookshops.

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