The new edition of British GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) magazine for November, 2015, which has just been published in the UK, is a SPECTRE special, with coverage of the visual side of the new 007 movie, together with an interview with Monica Bellucci, and an article on the ‘secret history’ of the Bond films.
The glossy magazine, which has an eye-catching photo of Monica Bellucci posing with Bond star Daniel Craig on its front cover, begins its exclusive coverage with ‘Shooting Bond’, written by Jonathan Heaf. This draws heavily on the excellent new official companion book Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre, curated by Rankin, which will be published on October 27th, the day after the British World Premiere.
Among the gems within the article, there is some background explaining how Rankin got the job: ‘I got the call around last November’, revealed the 48-year old creative expert and veteran photographer, who has been delivering all the photographic imagery associated with the production of SPECTRE. When quizzed by GQ about how this task was approached, Rankin said he was determined to offer a ‘new take on the legacy’ of Bond. He added that shooting Bond is something special: ‘Nothing is like Bond. No other project even comes close to the scrutiny that your work receives or the number of people who are going to see it. The audience is huge and the expectation is huge’.
Rankin also commented on his experiences capturing key images from the making of the movie: ‘There’s no doubt Daniel Craig really is James Bond. Looking through that viewfinder, snapping away, and then that music starts up in your head once again… As a fan, you can’t help but grin’.
In the Monica Bellucci interview, entitled ‘Black Widow’, the Italian beauty gave some background on her role: ‘My character is an Italian widow with a secret. Her mafioso husband has been killed, and she risks the same thing happening to her’. Monica also confirmed that she had been asked to be in a 007 movie once before: ‘Yes, a long time ago I did a screen test for James Bond, more than 20 years ago, but I was not ready!’ She added that Pierce Brosnan was an amazing Bond: ‘Violent, but in a very nice way’.
The ‘secret history of Bond’ article consists of a fascinating compilation of comments about the Bond movies over the years, all taken from people who have been intimately associated with the production of the franchise.
Interestingly, SPECTRE director Sam Mendes, reflecting on his approach to the character of Bond, said: ‘There’s a short story that Fleming wrote called The Hildebrand Rarity, which I thought about when I was making the two films. It’s about a very rich, very horrible guy called Hildebrand who collects tropical fish. He’s after this one particular fish and because he can’t catch it he sets a depth charge in the Caribbean to kill all the fish so he can find the one he wants. Bond’s outraged. He’s more in love with the fish than he is with human beings and the human being he likes least of all is himself. That’s what Fleming talked about and that had got lost: the darkness to him’.
Mendes also revealed: ‘I would not have done Skyfall had it not been for Casino Royale. Daniel was my way in. Martin Campbell also deserves unbelievable credit because he jettisoned pastiche from the franchise… to regenerate in a more serious form’.
The new edition of British GQ magazine (November, 2015) is on sale now in the UK, priced £3.99.