Ekland and Moore in The Man with the Golden Gun
Sept. 25: Bond girl Britt Ekland has revealed that she considers Roger Moore to be the best 007 because he was the most sophisticated and most true to Ian Fleming’s vision for 007.
The Bond girl, who appeared opposite Moore in The Man with the Golden Gun, said Moore captured the spy’s “sophisticated” manner better than any other actor. “I think Roger is the best Bond, of course — not just because of being my Bond, but because if you read the early Ian Fleming books describing him, that’s how he was,” said Ekland, who played Mary Goodnight in the 1974 film.
“He was a bachelor, unattached, he was luxurious, sophisticated, and he was not available for females so no long term relationships there. I think Roger really portrayed that.” Ekland said she considered current Bond actor Daniel Craig to be a “very, very good Bond, because he is modern Bond”.
Craig “is an action hero, what the young people want. They would just laugh at me and Roger today”.
Ekland, 69, and Moore, 84, remain good friends. She said: “He’s so ‘un-actorish’. What you see on the screen is the Roger Moore you see if you have lunch with him. He doesn’t put on that character and read it.”
Ekland revealed that she was nervous ahead of filming with the Bond star. “When you meet new people, especially when they are movie stars, you can get a bit nervy. But he made it very easy, made sure we were well looked after, included us and joked with us, me and Maud Adams.”
Ekland was speaking at an event in London marking the release of all 22 Bond films on Blu-Ray. They are being issued as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
She told The Daily Telegraph that Ursula Andress, who played Honey Ryder in Dr No, is the best Bond girl of all time. “I think Mary Goodnight pales in comparison to Ursula Andress. I don’t think anybody ever made that impact on the screen, ever. We were all good at what we did, but she was just absolutely magnificent.”
She added: “There were Bond girls that were prettier than her, maybe had even better figures than her, but she made the biggest impact.”
The Swedish actress attributes the long-lasting success of Bond to its British theme. “It’s a thoroughly British thing. It has always retained its Britishness.
“I think that’s very important because foreigners, particularly Americans, think that British people are very quaint and strange and speak with a very strange accent, and they played on that.
“I’ve been in it, and a lot of the villains have been foreigners, but the key to it is the Britishness.”
The new Bond adventure, Skyfall, sees 007 swap his Martinis for Heineken as part of a product placement deal with the filmmakers. Ekland said switching to beer was “part of an evolution” for the brand.
“Being Swedish and being brought up in a beer drinking society, I don’t find it very exclusive,” she said. “I’d rather he was drinking champagne or [Martini] shaken not stirred, but that’s just a generational thing. I guess you have to go to Heineken.” Producer Albert Broccoli had put Britt Ekland on double rations on the set of Golden Gun to give her a fuller figure.
The filmmaker first spotted the Swedish beauty in 1973’s The Wicker Man and was so impressed with her curves he immediately hired her as his next Bond girl.