As "Diamonds Are Forever" celebrates its 40th anniversary today, MI6 uncovers a rare interview with Sean Connery upon his return...

This Is The Only One
17th December 2011

"Sean Connery Renews James Bond Series" - April 27th, 1971 (The Day)
Sean Connery is working again at his most famous occupation, playing James Bond. It was the money that brought him back, says Connery, but the money is not for him.

Connery said his salary for making "Diamonds Are Forever" will go to an educational trust fund he has set up in his native Scotland. "The people of Scotland don't believe that great things can be done there," he said in an interview between scenes being shot here [in Las Vegas]. "One of the problems has been a lack of money for people with ideas to do anything."

The Scottish International Educational Trust Fund will probably get more than $1 million from Connery's performance in "Diamonds". He said he hopes to persuade others who have been successful after leaving Scotland to contribute to the fund.

"We want students and other people to come to us with their ideas," he said. "We want them to do things in Scotland, not leave and go elsewhere." The fund, as Connery described it, would contribute anything from the endowment for a university chair to the financing of a bag pipe contest.

 

Connery played Ian Fleming's Agent 007 in the first James Bond film in 1962. "I just felt I had enough of them," he said. Now he's back, but only to do one film. "This is the only one. It is in the agreement."

Also in the agreement with United Artists is a clause that Connery can write, direct and act in two more films of his own choosing. That clause was a major reason for doing another Bond film, Connery said. "I have always felt I would not stay an actor. I would prefer to direct," he said.

Connery is 40, still lean and tan with only a whisper of grey in his hair. Playing James Bond is still enjoyable, he said. "It really is quite fun, you know."

What made James Bond so immensely popular and Sean Connery a very wealthy man? "There is the old escapism," said Connery. "They are set in exotic places. There are attractive birds (women). There is a humor. And they don't make any great demands on anyone."

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