Meet Matthew Chernov, JBR’s Los Angeles 007 Correspondent

Say hello to Matthew Chernov. He’s joining the JBR crew as our Los Angeles Correspondent.
Matt’s a professional journalist and screenwriter whose films have premiered on NBC, the SyFy
Channel, the Lifetime Network, Spike TV, and the Hallmark Channel. He writes for publications
like Variety, United Airlines, NewsCred, Robot’s Voice, The DISH Network, Literary 007, and of
course James Bond Radio.

1. Favourite Bond Film?

Even if they continue making James Bond movies for the next 100 years, no future entry in the
series will ever top On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Epic in scope, yet profoundly intimate at
times, it’s the perfect combination of action, style, and emotion. George Lazenby’s physical
combat skills are top notch, turning every violent encounter into a lethal ballet, but it’s the
surprising vulnerability that he brings to the role that makes his Bond so memorable. Though the
film is loaded with larger-than-life characters and riveting set-pieces, it never loses track of the
story’s essential human drama. Thanks to Peter Hunt’s muscular direction, Diana Rigg’s
nuanced performance, and Fleming’s brilliant source material, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
is the high-water mark in the Bond franchise.

2. Favorite Bond Book?

Published in 1955, Moonraker is Ian Fleming’s literary masterpiece. It’s a dark and gleaming
techno-thriller filled with striking visual imagery and breathless pacing. I love the undercurrent of
post-war paranoia that informs much of the action, and the apocalyptic sequence set on the
White Cliffs of Dover represents some of Fleming’s finest writing. The novel’s heroine, Gala
Brand, is one of the great untapped characters in the 007 literary canon, and her final scene
with Bond ranks high among the most bittersweet moments in the series.

3. Favorite Bond Girl?

Maud Adams in Octopussy is the ultimate Bond Girl. Her romantic chemistry with Sir Roger
Moore is off the charts, and the character she plays is one of the most mysterious and
physically capable women in the franchise. It takes a special kind of actress to portray an exotic

jewelry smuggler who commands a private army of female acrobats without appearing goofy,
but the eternally elegant and supremely sophisticated Adams is more than up to the challenge.

4. Favorite Bond Actor?

Sir Roger Moore, all the way. I’m hard-pressed to think of another actor who combined humor,
charm, and an innate sense of self-confidence quite like this legendary British star. To me, he’s
the Fred Astaire of the 007 franchise. His Bond films were the ones I first fell in love with, and
they remain the ones that I return to most often. No one else has portrayed Fleming’s iconic
secret agent with as much obvious pleasure, and the joy that he clearly expressed on screen
translates directly to me every time I revisit one of his seven cinematic classics. More than just
my favorite Bond, he’ll always be my favorite movie star.

5. Earliest Bond Memory?

In 1977, when I was just 9 years old, my aunt took me to see The Spy Who Loved Me at a
theater in Massachusetts and nothing has been the same since then. At the time, I had no idea
that this mind-blowing movie was part of a long-running film series. I’d never even heard the
name James Bond before. All I knew was that I wanted to see it again, and again, and again.
Jaws’ metal teeth haunted my monster-obsessed imagination, and Bond’s submersible Lotus
Esprit was cooler than all the special effects in the recently released Star Wars movie. From the
moment that Roger Moore sauntered past that opening gun barrel I was hooked for life.

6. Location You’d Most Love to Visit?

I’ve been fortunate to visit several Bond locations over the years, including the Gran Hotel
Ciudad de México, which was featured in both Licence to Kill and Spectre, the Palacio Hotel in
Portugal, which was seen in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Fort Carré in France, where
scenes from Never Say Never Again were shot, the Las Vegas strip from Diamonds are
Forever, plus several locations throughout London that were featured in a variety of Bond films.
If I could choose any new location to visit, I’d probably pick the ESO Hotel in northern Chile that
was featured at the end of Quantum of Solace. It’s such a strange, austere, and futuristic-
looking structure. The perfect setting for the most visually stylish Bond movie of all time.

7. Favourite Scene in the Series?

The incredible tanker truck chase from Licence to Kill is probably my favorite sustained action
set-piece in the entire series. Director John Glen delivers a Spielberg-level sequence that keeps
building and building until the entire screen explodes with excitement. Utilizing a masterful
combination of fiery special effects, flawless stunts, and gripping camera work, Glen pulls out all
the stops, crafting a jaw-dropping climax that’s as thrilling as anything you’ll find in an Indiana
Jones movie.

8. Favourite James Bond Theme Song?

No other Bond song captures my imagination quite like the theme to You Only Live Twice. From
those cascading opening strings to the poetic lyrics and east-Asian touches, it never fails to
transport me to another time and place. Nancy Sinatra’s dreamy voice is like a half-remembered
whisper from the past, and John Barry’s sterling production combines the lush atmosphere of
ancient Japan with a cool ‘60s Hollywood vibe. The result is a timeless classic that feels fresh
whenever I listen to it. Tom Jones’ galvanizing title track to Thunderball is a close second.

9. Most Bondian Thing You’ve Ever Done?

Jumping out of an airplane at 4,000-feet is definitely the closest I’ve come to starring in a real-
life Bond movie. It happened at a skydiving school in Wisconsin, and I leapt out of the tiny
aircraft by myself while attached to a static-line. The fall was incredibly exhilarating and the view
from that height was truly amazing. Luckily, Jaws didn’t try to bite my leg on the way down. In
the years since, I’ve had a many other Bond-related experiences, including an unforgettable 3-
hour private tour of Pinewood Studios, costuming myself as Blofeld for Halloween, escorting
curious visitors to the final resting place of Albert “Cubby” Broccoli in the Hollywood hills, and
the time I interviewed both George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan for Variety in the same month.
And then there was the day I spent strolling through Ursula Andress’s Beverly Hills bedroom,
but I think I’ll keep that story private for now.

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