George Lazenby has revealed the real reason why he only ever had one outing as James Bond.
The Australian actor played 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, now considered to be one of the strongest of the series, which included a fourth wall-breaking opening as Lazenby says: “This never happened to the other fella.”
He was the only actor to land the role of Bond without any prior experience and the only one to date to have only played the agent once.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service remains Lazenby’s most notable role, with him claiming that he was blacklisted in the movie industry after refusing a contract to sign on for six more Bond films.
“I had advice that James Bond was over anyway,” he told The Guardian. “It was Sean Connery’s gig and, being in the ’60s, it was love, not war. You know, hippy time. And I bought into that.
“They also said there’s a guy called Clint Eastwood doing movies in Italy, getting 500 grand a month, for doing a western. They said, you could do that. So I didn’t feel like I was losing the million dollars.”
Lazenby is speaking for the first time in a while about his brief time as 007 for new documentary Becoming Bond in order to set the record straight.
“I haven’t talked about it much lately – in the last, say, 20 years – but I did want the truth to be out there,” he explained. “Word got around that I was difficult to handle. They said that was the reason I didn’t do another Bond, but that wasn’t the truth.”
And the documentary doesn’t just explore Lazenby’s Bond decision, but also sees the actor get rather frank about his sex life.
“In the ’60s alone there was sometimes three, four, five a day. For years. They had the pill. It was on script,” he recalls.
“It was ridiculous. It really was. If you were handsome, and you had the balls to ask them – I mean, how many times you could get it up was how many times you could do it.”
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