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Barbara Broccoli talks to The Times about her Bond downtime

05-May-2013 • Spectre (2015)

Producer Barbara Broccoli talked to The Times recently about her work between 007 outings and her latest theatre project, 'Once'. "Bond does take over your life for a good two-and-a-half, three years. So I feel like I decompress from Bond doing theatre," she explained. Naturally, the conversation did include the topic of James Bond, although she refused to be drawn in to specifics about Bond 24.

Asked about how they can top the incredible record-breaking $1.1 billion worldwide haul from 'Skyfall', Broccoli agreed it will be a tough challenge. “Yeah, it will be very difficult to compete with that film. It’ll be tough. But we’ll try.” As the producers, Broccoli and Wilson tend to be responsible for the basic idea for a film, the locations and the cast. In what is traditionally a director’s medium, they wield a lot of power. “Well, we are the custodians,” she says. They have two starting points: the personal, making sure the story stretches their hero “emotionally as well as physically”, and the political: “We think, what is the world afraid of? Where are we headed? And then we try to create a villain that is the physical embodiment of that fear.”

And if the series is riding high now, she gives Craig a lot of the credit. “He has allowed the audience to get a glimpse of the inner life of Bond. Bond doesn’t talk about his feelings very much, so everything that Daniel does he does through his acting, which is very subtle — so subtle that I think people don’t realise what a great actor he is. He conveys a lot of complex emotions without talking about them. He’s been a huge part of the success.”

Broccoli and Wilson always get credited jointly. Wilson is 18 years her senior, Dana’s son from her first marriage. Is there a hierarchy between them? “No, we have to agree on everything. Which, in business, we do. We don’t agree on politics or religion, we have the typical brother-sister disagreements on other things. But I can’t remember when we disagreed on something to do with work. We were educated by my father, we both have his sensibility.”

“He used to say, make a decision, even if it’s wrong. Because the paralysis caused by indecision in film-making is time-consuming and costly. So, you know” — and suddenly her accent goes 100 per cent British — “get on with it. If you make a mistake, you can deal with it. In a long-running series, 50 years, you’re going to make mistakes. We certainly have. But make them your mistakes. And learn from them. You learn from your failures more than your successes.”

Thanks to `HMSS` for the alert.

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