In celebration of James Bond’s 50th anniversary, October 5th has been declared, “World Bond Day,” and what a day it is. In addition to a charity auction of props at Christies, EPIX will not only be holding a 27 movie marathon, but debuting the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. But for two of the documentaries participants, Hilary Saltzman (daughter of Bond Producer Harry Saltzman) and Barbara Broccoli (daughter of legendary Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli), James Bond is more than a pop culture icon, he’s family.
Barbara and Hilary have James Bond in their blood. He’s been a part of their lives since before they were born. “From Russia with Love has my mother and grandmother in it,” Hilary Saltzman told reporters during a roundtable yesterday about her unknown cameo in the classic film. “She was pregnant with me during the train scene.” Hilary said she didn’t think Bond was “anything extraordinary” other then her father’s job. “These were my parent’s friends and co-workers. We were a big family.” It was during her eleventh birthday when she “saw how extraordinary my life was because I saw the reactions of the other girls in the class.” Of their father’s, Barbara Broccoli said, “Both men had known hardship and for both of them this was the biggest thing in their lives along with their families,” and that they ate, slept, and drank James Bond.
When asked why James Bond has such longevity Barbara said, “He is a classical hero. He is conflicted. He is an interesting, dynamic, character.”
“It is a formula,” according to Hilary. “There’s something for everybody. You’ve got the cars, the thrill, the beautiful women, and the very handsome man, there’s always something for somebody to see on that screen. And it’s exciting and new every time.”
When asked about the franchise’s change in direction both agreed 9/11 was a major factor. “We didn’t feel we could have Bond out there in a frivolous, fun, way in a world where something as serious as 9/11 had changed the course of things,” Barbara Broccoli said. “At that point we decided we wanted to go toward a more realistic depiction of Bond and his world.” When asked why they kept Judi Dench as M in the current incarnation, Barbara said, “She’s the lynchpin between the past and present” and reinvented the role. “We couldn’t bear the thought of recasting her.”
In terms of their favorite Bond movies, Hilary said, “Goldfinger is a great film. I always loved Thunderball because of the underwater scenes… But From Russia with Love is a personal favorite because a lot of us were in it.”
“It’s really hard for me to answer that,” Barbara said in regards to her favorite. “The way I do it is I say I have a favorite film for each actor. For Sean: From Russia with Love. For George: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Roger: The Spy Who Loved Me. For Tim: The Living Daylights. Pierce: Golden Eye. As for Daniel I kind of think Sky Fall but I also really love Casino Royale.”
Questions about Sky Fall were asked but both women remained coy but praised Adele’s performance of the theme song, saying she wanted to read the film’s script so she could perfect the song.
Finally, when asked about casting James Bond, Barbara said, “It’s like choosing a husband. Very difficult because you’re making a decision that you’re going to have to live with for a long time. It’s your wish list you have to tick all the boxes. He has to be all things to all people. As Pierce says in the documentary, ‘more people have walked on the moon then have played James Bond.’”
“An actor is an actor,” Hilary said. “The color of the hair doesn’t matter. It’s the image of the character they’re bringing across that matters.”
Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 will debut at 8:00 PM tomorrow night on EPIX.