MI6 talked to Martine Beswick about her Bond girl
role in Thunderball, and to clear up the Dr No myth
once and for all...
Martine Beswick Interview
14th June 2005
Before we get on to "Thunderball".... A lot of
books and websites have you down as appearing in the opening of
Dr. No as a dancing girl…
I was hoping somebody would bring this up because it’s
a fallacy! Everybody thinks it happened... but it didn’t!
In 1965 we got to see you alongside Connery in Thunderball,
how did this compare to your work on “From Russia
With Love”? How did you land your role as CIA
Agent Paula Caplan?
Well that’s because of Terence again, they did
not want to use me for a second time, because they don’t
like using somebody for a second time. But the character
was a island girl and I am a island girl so Terence kept
pushing and I had years of work in between and he felt I
was better. So again, Terence, thank you very much! He is
one of my favourite people, he was a fabulous man.
The mid 1960's saw the height of "Bond Fever"
with Goldfinger and Thunderball.
What was it like to be involved with such a high profile
series at that time? What was the publicity and media frenzy
Well we were all in it together, Thunderball it was the
absolutely the height of it all with publicity madness.
Every magazine and every station came down to Nassau, because
we were all in it together - we were a part of what was
happening. Afterwards there was a lot of publicity you don’t
want to do but because we were all there it was OK.
What was it like working with Sean
Oh! Great it was fun he was so much fun. We were a gang!
We were the Bond gang!
What are your most cherished memories from the Bond
I’ve said it over and over… I done a lot of
other films but there has never been a film where we were
treated so brilliantly, because of Terence who was really
James Bond. We had tables under the coconut trees - it was
not box lunches or little rubbish stuff - it was all laid
out. We had best wines and the best meals. We were invited
everywhere. We lived the James Bond life, whatever we were
shooting is what we were living.
How did your image as a "Bond Girl" affect
your career post 1965?
It was never the best for actresses because really
and truly a Bond girl is a Bond girl and it’s really
hard to break out of the mould. So, from that point of view
only a few have succeeded. The later girls have survived
much easier compared to the earlier ones, but I don’t
regret it. It was an incredible experience.
In 1974 you worked with the very young Oliver Stone
on “Seizure” which was one of you last horror
pictures. Can you tell us how it was working with one of
today’s biggest names in Hollywood?
It was his very first film and he wants to bury it because
it has nothing to do with what he is doing today. It was
a very interesting film to work on. I thought he was brilliant
actually, I thought he was a genius of the time. He hunted
me down to play the role and I was in Europe, no one had
heard of me but he found me.
How were you involved in the Bond series?
I played Zora in "From Russia With Love" and Paula
Caplan in "Thunderball"
What was your first ever Bond experience?
Seeing "Dr No"
What did you think of the last film, "Die Another
I haven't seen it yet.... the latest one I saw was Tomorrow
Never Dies, Pierce is not the same as Sean but I liked it.
What is your favourite Bond film?
Has to be Thunderball!
Who is your favourite Bond?
What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
A few scenes from "From Russia With Love"... the
Robert Shaw situation on the train, Rosa Klebb, that film
had the most amazing moments.
Many thanks to Martine Beswick