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'Dr. No' actress Marguerite Gordon kicks off Bond festival in Vancouver

21-Aug-2013 • Event

Event: Bond vs Bond screening & Marguerite Gordon appearance
Location: VanCity Theatre, Vancouver, Canada
Date: Friday 23rd August 2013
Time: 19:15 PST

Taking centre stage Friday night (August 23) at a gala fundraiser at VIFF’s Vancity Theatre, Marguerite Gordon will help launch the society’s new Bond retrospective, 007 Reloaded: Bond vs. Bond. A 20-film program running until September 5, the series features 19 of the 23 official EON Productions films, as well as the non-canonical Never Say Never Again, featuring Sean Connery’s 1983 return to the role.

Marguerite Gordon, who appeared with Sean Connery in the very first Bond film, Dr. No (1962), holds a rarified place in the pantheon of Bond Girls. “I really was the first evil woman that James Bond ever met,” she told Straight.com over the phone from a local hotel.

“I was checking in first-class passengers to London,” she recalls, “and Terence Young came up to me and said, ‘Would you like to be in the movies?’” Gordon, as would anyone, thought it was a line. “He said, ‘I’m going to make a series which will become the most famous in the whole world,” and I said ‘Have a nice trip.’” About three months later, Young reappeared at Gordon’s desk with a bottle of Miss Dior perfume and a contract. “You don’t know who I am, or if I can act,” she told him. “Take back your contract and take back your perfume, I do not accept gifts from strange men!”

The 73-year-old Gordon laughs as she tells the tale, noting that she was still living a sheltered life with her parents at the time. But she later thought about Young’s offer, and decided to go in and meet with casting.

Slated to read for the risqué part of Dr. No’s henchwoman Miss Taro, the young Gordon was not impressed. “I’m looking at the script, and it said I’m to be wrapped in a towel lying on a bed, kissing this strange man, and I said, ‘I’m not reading for this part, my parents wouldn’t like it.'”

Of course, Gordon—like most people—had no idea who Sean Connery was at the time (“I’ve never heard of him,” she told Young, “You soon will,” he replied), and she now regrets not taking the Miss Taro role. But before she could walk out, Young offered her another role, which, although smaller, still had prominent screen time—the Afro-Asian freelance photographer (and Dr. No operative) Annabelle Chung.

“Ian Fleming always had a thing for the mixtures in Jamaica, so they decided to make me half-Chinese. They taped back my eyes with Durafix,” Gordon recalls, noting that they put two elastics behind her head to change the shape of her eyelids. “It was odd to put on but I got accustomed to it.”

Click here to read the rest of the interview on Straight.com.

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