This Week in James Bond: Ben Whishaw filming London Spy, the Queen’s brush with Bond, and Sam Neill on almost being 007

Welcome back to “This Week in James Bond”! It has been an exciting week to be a Bond fan, what with the release of the first featurette and still from SPECTRE. If you missed the thrilling special report on the new footage in which Tom talks to himself for eight minutes about it, you can listen to it on YouTube below. (I kid, Tom, I kid.)

Ben Whishaw filming “London Spy” on Vauxhall Bridge

One’s first thought when seeing photographs of Ben Whishaw in front of the SIS Headquarters in London is not that he may be filming a BBC miniseries named “London Spy”, but that’s exactly what he was doing on 15 February.

Many more photographs can be seen at the source, which incorrectly states that Whishaw is filming SPECTRE.

David Cameron persuaded the Queen to appear alongside Daniel Craig in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

Alastair Campbell, best known as Tony Blair’s Director of Communications and Strategy during the late 1990s and early 2000s, has written a new book entitled “Winners: And How They Succeed” (to be published in October 2015). Campbell reveals in “Winners” that Prime Minister David Cameron was the one who proposed having the Queen make a cameo appearance during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. This idea was the basis for the famous skit “Happy & Glorious” where James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) and the Queen parachute into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, a subtle homage to the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me. (Source: Daily Mail)

Sam Neill on James Bond: “I wouldn’t have done it anyway”

Hardcore Bond fans (and you probably are one, if you happen to be reading this) will know that in 1986, immediately following A View to a Kill and Roger Moore’s departure from the series, EON Productions invited several actors to Pinewood Studios to audition for the newly vacated and highly coveted role of James Bond. Among those actors were recognizable names such as Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean, both of whom were considered again for the role when it became available once more in 1994 (with Brosnan, of course, prevailing).

Another actor who was considered for the role of 007 in the 1980s was Sam Neill, born in Northern Ireland and raised in New Zealand. In a recent radio interview to promote his new telemovie The House of Hancock, airing on Australian television, Neill spoke briefly about his audition for the role of James Bond:

“In the early ’80s I had an agent (who subsequently I discovered was demented) who pushed me along to audition for James Bond, a job I didn’t want to do anyway … I wouldn’t want to be James Bond, that would be a terrible poison chalice. I had friends who wanted to be James Bond, I certainly didn’t want to … I went along and auditioned for that but that was under great sufferance and I wouldn’t have done it anyway.”

Included in the special features of various releases of The Living Daylights are brief clips from Neill’s screen test as Bond. Neill performs the famous seduction scene from From Russia With Love with someone who looks suspiciously like Fiona Fullerton (Pola Ivanova from A View to a Kill).

Other famous actors who have turned down the role of James Bond include Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, and Terence Stamp.

(Source: Daily Telegraph – Australia)

And finally, some sad news to report. Part of Pierce Brosnan’s Malibu home was destroyed in a fire on 12 February; luckily, no one was injured, but we at JBR are saddened by the event nonetheless. Brosnan was most recently spotted in Los Angeles at a “Rock Against Human Trafficking” party on the night of the Grammy Awards, where he briefly stopped to pose for photos with fans. (Source: Yahoo)

That’s all for “This Week in James Bond”. As always, don’t forget to tune in to the podcast and join the conversation on social media.

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About The Author

Linda Zhu

Linda is a biochemistry major at the University of British Columbia. When she’s not busy being a Bond fangirl, she enjoys listening to alternative rock music, backpacking and (trying to learn) foreign languages, and fiddling around with the innards of PCs and Android devices.

  • Jack Lugo

    Great job, Linda. That featurette did give us something to be excited about. Interesting info about how the Queen agreed to “Happy & Glorious.”

  • baldwin collins

    I’am still trying to imagine clint eastwood auditioning for the role of
    james bond with a English accent that would be a joke

  • David Jackson

    Very sad news about Louis Jordan today
    May watch Octopussy as a tribute tonight

    • Linda Zhu

      Unfortunately the news of his death was announced shortly after I wrote this, otherwise I would have mentioned it! Very sad, indeed, but I’m certain Jourdan lived a long and happy life nonetheless.