I have been collecting all things Bond for many years now. Time to share it all with the world. Today's post comes from The "Best of Starlog Vol 4" (1983). "After his sixth superspy saga, this saintly hero may be eying a new direction beyond 1983, the biggest Bond year of them all. Roger Moore has reached a major crossroads in his career. During the production of his sixth James Bond film, 'Octopussy'., he has repeatedly declared that this latest movie mission will "absolutely be his last outing as Agent 007..."
Roger Moore is Agent 007... (and don't you forget it) in "Octopussy"
After His sixth superspy saga, this saintly hero may be eyeing a new direction beyond1983, the biggest Bond year of them all.
BY CHARLES BOGLE
Photo: James Bond with part of Octopussy's harem. Opposite: Moore and Maud (“Octopussy”) Adams
Roger Moore has reached a major Crossroads in his career. During the production of his sixth James Bond film. Octopussy, he has repeatedly declared that this latest movie mission will absolutely be his last outing as Agent 007. To be sure he has said the same thing before. In the past, it has been his most effective gambit in the congenial but hotly contested bouts he has had with series producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli over the number of zeros to be added to each new contract. They compromised on the last one for Octopussy and had a big lunch together to celebrate. But this time around, many people in the industry think Roger Moore really means it.
"These films are hard work," he says. "You should have seen me charging through the jungle in India pursued by a horde of villains on elephants, swinging on a vine across bottomless gorges and running into giant spider webs. And that 's just one scene in Octopussy. "In order to make the best picture we can, they keep making changes right up to the last minute. You can say I know what's in the script before I sign on to do it. But it seems the production period keeps getting longer with every film."
It will be a sad day for Bond fans if Moore decides not to do From A View To A Kill, recently announced as the next 007 adventure scheduled to be made in 1984. The title, like Octopussy and For Your Eyes
Only, comes from another minor lan Fleming short story and perhaps no more than a few names from the yarn will eventually be used in the polished screenplay that will be crafted into a typical Bond entertainment around the title. Roger Moore will be difficult to replace. He has brought his good looks and witty urbanity to a characterization of James Bond that has been responsible for attracting at least half of the one billion moviegoers who have paid admissions to see Agent 007 in action on the big screen. And with his good humor, Moore has made working on his six Bond films a pleasure for both cast and crew. He hasn't announced his future plans just yet. But he has made no secret of his desire to do a big adventure film with his friend and fellow Bondsman, Sean Connery (now starring in Never Say Never Again, see page 13), and that other escapee from spy work, Michael (The Ipcress File) Caine. They would make a charming and unholy trinity if they can find a screen story large enough to hold them all. But more likely to happen is the proposed feature film to be made, based on Moore's long-running TV series, The Saint, which is still playing in syndication in many countries around the world. Trade rumors have it that he has been offered a seven-figure salary plus a substantial profit participation in the project and, at 55, he may find that looking up at the halo again is far less strenuous than — and just as profitable as — doing another 007 escapade with its long foreign location shooting schedule.
Moore certainly doesn't have to worry about his future. He is ranked in the top 10 list of box office
stars in most major motion picture markets. In April, the American Film Festival in Dallas honored him with a special award and a three-day retrospective showing of his films, including two Bonds of his choice. More importantly, word from the advance screenings of Octopussy (STARLOG #68, 71) is simply that it is Moore's best Bond adventure since The Spy Who Loved Me. "Roger looks better than ever," a MGM/UA executive reported back to Hollywood. "And his action scenes are sensational."
His action scenes? Surely, everyone knows by now that Moore has the greatest troupe of stunt specialists in the movie business to execute all of those wild and breathtaking action sequences. But still, during the making of every film, at least three or four neophyte journalists ask Moore if he does his own stunts. He has a stock answer that works: , "Of course I do! I also do my own lying." He has never pretended to be an acrobatic flyer, deep-sea diver, karate expert, swords' man, hang-glider, crack shot, mountain g climber, ski jumper or any of the other things . the script has asked Bond to accomplish. But ," the number of strenuous deeds he personally o performs is rather amazing. When asked the :, stock question about his most difficult scenes, Moore keeps it light and gay, replying "The love scenes, of course." James Bond is the most persistent legend of the entertainment world, a fictional creation who has endured for more than 20 years, spanning three generations of moviegoers. Surprisingly, too, the press interest in Ian Fleming's suave hero has continued unabated through the careers of three different Bonds. As was the case with the first 007, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, at times, feels that the ongoing publicity never ends. And more often than not, the press is more interested in the activities of James Bond than in the actor who portrays him.
Particularly in England, which is Bond's homeland, his daily activities on the set are noted in the popular press with the detailed devotion of Pepys' Diary. "During the filming of Octopussy, I gave more than 150 interviews to newspaper reporters, magazine journalists and the major television interviewers of five different countries," Moore explains. "Normally, I don't mind talking to the press because it is part of my job. I'm very aware of the interest in James Bond but, finally, there is just so much you can say about him and the film you' re doing. And it doesn't stop when the filming does. There are photo gallery sessions, film festivals, movie premieres, publicity trips to the major foreign film markets. It begins to get to you when you hear yourself saying the same things, over and over, without meaning to do so."
And it's not easy for an actor to walk away from guaranteed box office success to take a chance on a project whose fate is far less certain. Box office appeal has a great deal to do with putting those big numbers into an actor's movie contracts, and Roger Moore has hit the jackpot playing Bond. That might be the critical factor, in the final analysis, with his decision of whether to continue On Her Majesty's Secret Service, playing James Bond once more — or not.
[Source: Starlog #72, July 1983, P.26-27, 83 / BEST OF STARLOG Vol. IV, 1983, P.97-98.]
You can read more about Roger Moore's recollections as James Bond 007 in his books: