Bond Off-Duty

In Pictures

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When Terry O’Neill shot Daniel Craig for this month’s Esquire, it wasn’t the first time he’d trained his lens on James Bond. 

As his brilliant new book proves, the legendary photographer was on set from the start, capturing 007 at his most unguarded.

1 Above, “On the set of Goldfinger in 1963, everyone had fun. These were the early days when Bond was still a very British kind of film, loads of humour and Sean goofing around and nowhere near the global franchise it has become.”

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2 “I had a great day shooting Honor Blackman for Goldfinger and it just seemed like a good idea to write her character’s name in the sand. I don’t think either of us understood the connotation back in 1963 when it was filmed. I know the Broccolis were worried, though, because they were going to change her name to Kitty for the film’s release in 1964 — which would have rather spoiled my photograph.”

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3 “In 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, Sean [Connery] had this wonderful scene at the Slumber Inc crematorium where he escapes a roasting. Sean was always up for a gag so I grabbed him and an urn full of ashes which should have been James Bond’s.”

 

4 “Connery taking a nap between takes, with an appropriate sign on the building in the background.”

 

5 “We were on the set of Diamonds Are Forever in Los Angeles and Alan Shepard, the astronaut, had just taken his six iron and fired off two balls into space. It was front page news all over the world.

"Since we were on the back lot and there was a moonscape sound stage, Sean and I grabbed his golf clubs — he took them everywhere — and we crept in during the lunch break, and persuaded an extra to dress up as his caddy.

"I got off three or four shots before we were thrown out. I lost these pictures for 40 years, but a good pal found them just a couple of months ago buried in a library that I must have sent them to.”

 

5 “I’ve never known anyone more relaxed on a film set than Sean Connery — except perhaps Michael Caine. Both of them can catnap in a thunderstorm. Sean just lay down and went to sleep while he waited for the call to do the big fight scene in the swimming pool in Diamonds Are Forever.”

 

6 “Film sets can be short bursts of activity and long periods of boredom. Filming Diamonds Are Forever in Vegas, Sean liked to slip away and play the slots. And pose with the girls, of course.

"At [notorious hotel/casino] Circus Circus — they all wanted to be photographed with Bond. And on the set of a Bond movie, there was only room for one ladies’ man. Sean liked to be the girls’ main focus.”

 


7 “The chuck wagons on Bond shoots were often given nicknames — such as Brasserie Broccoli — and ‘Cubby’ [Broccoli, Bond producer] would often dish up his own pasta recipes for the crew and cast. A Bond film really was a very big extended family in those days.”

Terry O’Neill's new book of photographs, All About Bond, is out in October (Evans Mitchell Books)

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