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Breakfast with Frost
Maryam D'Abo, actress
Maryam D'Abo, actress
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: MICHAEL WILSON and MARYAM d'ABO OCTOBER 13TH, 2002

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: It's 40 years this week since the, Ian Flemming's iconic, no better word for it, secret agent was brought to life by Sean Connery. 007 hit the big screen 40 years ago this weekend in 1962 and the suave, sexy character survived the Cold War, saw off Smersch and went on to become a little less politically incorrect even, changed a bit along the way, we'll find out about that. But like the spy himself the films live to fight another day. In a moment I'll be talking to former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo lovely to have you here, she starred of course in the Living Daylights. And Michael Wilson the man who's produced more than a dozen Bond movies including the latest which is released next month, welcome Michael lovely to see you. But first let's have a sneak preview, a lightening preview of the action from the new movie featuring hero Pierce Brosnan of course is back supported back Oscar winner Halle Berry and indeed our old friend John Cleese.

[FILM CLIP]

DAVID FROST: There he is, J Cleese momentarily on the screen. We should start always ladies first but let just have a word with Mike first, is that, is that acceptable, you sure it is, I just want to get the etiquette right here. Mike you've been involved, I know we met 10 or 12 Bond movies ago as you were moving in to take over as producer from... and so on, how much has Bond changed over the years as well as not changed?

MIKE WILSON: Well I think at the heart of Bond is something that doesn't change, he's loyal, he works for Her Majesty's secret government agency and he's totally uncorruptible. But he does change, I think, every time we have an actor he undergoes a change, he changes with the times so over 40 years you do see a, a change in the character.

DAVID FROST: And with the consistent thing of special effects and all of that, at the same time I noticed you said somewhere that there's a problem, you started off showing exotic locations that nobody could get to or afford to get to and those were ones, the Bahamas or where more and more people travel, so you've got a more and more difficult search to find new locations presumably?

MIKE WILSON: Well the exotic locations for Dr No were down in Jamaica, well now people can travel for a week's holiday down there quite easily so I think we've had to find more and more exotic locations David, so places like an ice palace in Iceland, the kind of one off place or maybe go to Cuba or North Korea or places that you really don't see in your everyday life. So that's how we keep it exotic.

DAVID FROST: And one other problem of course over this period of 40 years is, you lost your main villain, I mean which was obviously the Communists or the Soviet Union or whatever, and you've had to find new villains really...

MIKE WILSON: Well I don't think in this world there's much trouble doing that, if anything it seems to be more dangerous than ever.

DAVID FROST: So that works alright. Now do you think James Bond, Maryam has changed in the sense of being more politically correct?

MARYAM D'ABO: Well I think the relationship between the Bond girls and Bond has completely changed since the 60s, I mean now the Bond girls have become like emancipated women and they really challenge James Bond, so the roles have become bigger, they're self-sufficient, independent and I, I see the change since, from Michelle Yeoh, from the moment she arrived, you know she did all her own stunts and she actually says in the film I don't need you, you know I can do my own work without you. And she rescues him, I think a couple of times doesn't she. So and I think Bond has become much more modern because I think what's wonderful, the producer, the writers together, every time they have a new actor who plays Bond they keep with the times and they've always got to be ahead of the times, right?

DAVID FROST: But I mean, what about your own role, did you feel that you were an independent woman at that stage or that you were, still in the more passive vein?

MARYAM D'ABO: I felt I was much more realistic at that stage when I did it because she was more human, she had heart and there was move of a relationship going on with Bond but now when I look at the role and I see myself then in 86, 87, I'm like Oh my God, I'm so dated. And like she's so naive, and when I look at the girls now, the roles they have.

DAVID FROST: And what about, do you recommend it as a, is it good for careers to be a Bond girl?

MARYAM D'ABO: I think what's wonderful today that you can cross over as an actor, you can do pure entertainment, light entertainment, pure you know art movies, it doesn't matter anymore, you do television to film or from Bond to, you know, to a political movies or to the film that Halle Berry did before the art movie that gave her the Oscar...Monster's Ball, you know. So I think there's been a, you know the door has opened, certainly, for actors with that change. But in the 60s you couldn't.

DAVID FROST: No they were two different worlds then.

MARYAM D'ABO: Two different worlds.

DAVID FROST: And how much as the, is the new film costing Mike?

MIKE WILSON: Well we're not supposed to say but last one cost around $120 million and this one's going to cost more, so it's a, it's right up there with all the other big budget and action adventure films.

DAVID FROST: And do you have a private favourite out of the 20 or so?

MIKE WILSON: Well it's always the one I'm making right now...

DAVID FROST: Always the next one, that's the safest thing.

MIKE WILSON: You know you spend a year on the film, preparing it you spend, you know a year of making it and you just hope it turns out as well as you hope.

DAVID FROST: And what about you...apart from the one you were in, which is your favourite?

MARYAM D'ABO: I think I love Thunderball, From Russia with Love and Tomorrow Never Dies with Michelle Yeoh.

DAVID FROST: From Russia with Love number, number two wasn't it. Well it's very good to have you both here, good luck with the new movies, it doesn't come out until next month, is it, November?

MIKE WILSON: Comes out on November 22nd, we also have a show opening at the Science Museum.

DAVID FROST: Oh where you've got all the gadgets and all the inventions.

MIKE WILSON: All that stuff, that opens next Wednesday, so there's a lot going on, the 40th anniversary and the new film, everything.

DAVID FROST: Well happy birthday anyway. And here we conclude with another exclusive sneak preview of Die Another Day, that's the new one.

[FILM CLIP]

DAVID FROST: Scenes there from Eastenders of course.

END

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