Interviewed for the latest issue of ‘Empire’, the popular UK movie magazine, the fourth actor to play James Bond said he was first approached by producer Cubby Broccoli about the role of 007 after his acclaimed breakthrough role in ‘The Lion in Winter’ (1968). Dalton said: ‘Let’s be clear: I was not offered it. But I was asked if I wanted to do it at the end of the meeting. And I said no, because it would be ridiculous to take over from Sean Connery. How could I? How could anyone?’
When the opportunity to play Bond re-emerged in 1986, Dalton was more open to the idea, especially when it was made clear that EON were planning to take the character in a whole new direction after the Roger Moore years. And Dalton made it plain in the new interview that he remains very proud of both of his Bond movies, ‘The Living Daylights’ (1987) and ‘Licence to Kill’ (1989).
Dalton argued that the new approach in his two movies ’pushed Bond in a way that we’re seeing coming back now’. He also revealed that, while Sean Connery’s first three Bond movies remain his favourites, he nevertheless loved Daniel Craig’s ‘Casino Royale’. Dalton commented: ‘I thought the opening 20 minutes were fantastic, because they reprised that great fight with Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love. A brutal, nasty, head-banging, horrible scrap. Exactly the kind of thing I dreamed of doing with the character’.
Interestingly, regarding his own tenure as Bond, Dalton confirmed that: ‘There was a third script; I remember feeling quite enthusiastic. I’d have loved to make a real scorcher of a film, one that harnessed the best of Living Daylights and Licence to Kill…’. Towards the end of the interview, Dalton also revealed that, just as he did in the 1960s, he still heads to the local cinema every time a new Bond film opens, so he can enjoy the latest instalment.
The June, 2012, issue of ‘Empire’ magazine is currently on sale in the UK, priced £3.99.