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New Zealander Roger Green recalls James Bond audition

26-Jun-2014 • Bond News

Roger Green played for the Junior All Blacks. He screen-tested to play James Bond in Diamonds are Forever and acted on the big screen with Orson Welles. He married into British high society. Drove a white Mustang across the US. Made a fortune importing meat into Saudi Arabia.

But he also had fights, criminal convictions, and three failed marriages. And he looks back on it all with disdain, reports Stuff.co.nz.

It was, he says, a destructive life built on an addiction he refused to recognise. Not until the age of 41 did Green accept he was an alcoholic.

"It took me years to accept the consequences of my disease," he says. "I thought they were just consequences of my living or how the world treated me."

Green fell into acting after meeting the British screenwriter and playwright Robert Bolt (who wrote the screenplays for Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia) and his actress wife, Sarah Miles, at a dinner party.

He even screen-tested for the part of James Bond in Diamonds are Forever. "The director sat me down and said ‘Roger, you've got a great chance of getting this part'. I drank for a week on that one. Ten people did the test that day and one by one were told they were not wanted, except for me. Then I read in the paper a couple of months later ‘Sean Connery agrees to do two more Bonds'.

"I loved the acting profession. Most of my contemporaries were gay - I wasn't, there were all these women. What a profession to be in for a practising alcoholic."

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