Steven Soderbergh’s Paean to ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’

Steven Soderbergh:

So what’s wrong with it? George Lazenby, but not for the reasons you might think. I actually like him — a lot — and think he could have made a terrific Bond had he continued (allegedly he decided before the shoot was over he would only play the part once). What seems obvious to me, though, is no one was helping him during the shoot or the edit (they won’t even let him finish a fucking sentence onscreen). It feels like everyone was so focused on what he wasn’t (Sean Connery) that they didn’t take the time to figure out what he was (a cool-looking dude with genuine presence and great physicality). For instance, they should have known that a lot of the one-liners that would have worked with Connery don’t work with Lazenby. This isn’t because he’s bad, it’s because his entire affect is different, less glib. This, to me, is a lack of sensitivity and understanding on the part of the filmmakers and not a shortcoming of the lead actor, because Lazenby has one thing you can’t fake, which is a certain kind of gravitas.

Makes me want to watch it again. Also makes me want to see a Soderbergh-directed Bond movie.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013