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Octopussy Memories

17th July 2013

Catch up on the highlights of the BondStars celebrations, with select quotes from the 'Octopussy' cast and crew who attended the event

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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MI6 recently attended the BondStars.com event, celebrating 30 years of the 13th 007 adventure, "Octopussy". Below are selected highlights from the Q&A with Bond stars and alumni from actress Maud Adams, to editor John Grover.

Acting twins Tony & David Meyer
Tony Meyer: Cubby Broccoli had been to Paris and seen some performing twins and thought they'd make great villains for James Bond. This was Paris and they had bouffant black hair, but when they read the script, they weren't to fond of the idea of being pushed down the cannon or thrown off a train, so they needed to look for other twins...but there weren't that many who had acting experience.

David Mayer: They looked at bouncers, taxi drivers, models, and eventually actors! The process was that we had to go in and put on those wigs and read for them and look villainous. We did actually do knife throwing exercises... we spent a lot of time throwing knives at trees so that we could at least look like we knew what we were doing. Martin Grace said: "Just hang on to me David and we'll swing backwards and forwards"! Which is exactly what we did. It was a Sunday, and they needed someone on top of the train. Kabir Bedi wasn't there and Roger More wasn't going to be on top of a moving train. So, there were supposed to be three people on top of the train and it was impossible to shoot three people without showing someone's face. So, they asked me if I'd mind going on top of the train. I should have really rung my agents and told them I need more money for this! I'm not even sure we were insured for it. But never mind.

Above: Bond and Grischka are thrown from the speeding Octopussy train.

Stuntman Paul Weston
Well, it's always a pleasure to work on a Bond film. It's not easy. There's a very tight budget on anything you do, so you have to cut the stunts to the cloth they give you. So, you have to do everything within the budget, but, occasionally, you can afford to do a good, expensive stunt. There's no safety, CGI or digital things that can help you on top of a train that's moving at that speed. But most stunts involved on a Bond are usually a challenge. Like the tiger, when Roger has to confront the tiger when it comes out of the jungle, it growls and he says "sit!" and it sits. Sounds easy, doesn't it? So, we got the tiger and we blocked off one end of A Stage here at Pinewood and they put a jungle scene in there and then put an eleven foot high fence around it. There was a slot down the centre of the fence so that Arthur (Wooster, Second Unit Director) and his team could track backwards and forwards, a trainer - who was dressed as Roger - was to aggravate the tiger so it would look vicious. Well, that was all fine. They called action, but the tiger wasn't doing anything. So the trainer gets this stick and starts prodding away. It still wasn't doing anything and Arthur said: "we really have to do something or we haven't got a shot." So the trainer gave it such a big nudge with the stick that it took off over the eleven foot fence and landed amongst the camera crew and the first thing the trainer said was: "everyone stand still!"

Supervising Editor John Grover
Editing is actually a very boring job - especially today. In those days it was more interesting because we actually had film and we had something tactile to work with. To put it all together was much more time consuming then than it is now, because now you only have to press a button and it's all back the way it was. In those days, before you made a cut you had to really think about it because you were physically cutting a piece of celluloid. When you put it together you have to ask yourself "does it work?" My job as an editor is to make you think that, when you see the film, that it's actually happening, which, of course, it's not really. It's all made up of hundreds of pieces of film. I can't describe it, really. It's a very personal thing. I've had the most exciting life with it and I've met some fantastic people.

Production Designer Peter Lamont
We did shoot in Berlin, because we had to do the circus sequence (where 009 flees from the knife throwing twins). Of course, we couldn't go over the wall into East Germany in those days. But there was a circus tent that was already there in West Berlin and the wall was visible, but of course, it was covered in graffiti. So, we got some German painters from the art department and they sprayed about a half a mile of wall, so that when you see the tent with the towers and the wall behind it, it makes it look like you're in East Germany, because you can see the two walls with the no man's land in between. So it all worked very well.

Above: Roger Moore poses for a publicity still at the Berlin Wall.

Octopussy, Maud Adams
I'm such a lucky woman to have gotten that part because after a whole life as working as an actor, the one thing that sticks with me is my Bond roles. I've been told by other actresses, when they were getting close to stopping their career, they said: "if you're remembered by one role from your career then you're lucky." So, I consider myself extremely lucky to not only to be remembered as a part of a franchise that has continued like this for so long, but also to have all of you (the fans), who really are a large part of the fact that the Bond goes on.

Magda, Kristina Wayborn
The first time I came in here (Pinewood), before we even started shooting, it was August and I had just arrived, and I stayed at the Connaught Hotel and I hadn't even seen the script, it was so secretive, and somebody pushed a script under my hotel room door. I was all alone and I thought: "Finally, I'm going to see what I'm going to do" and I started reading and I got to the scene where I say, "that's my little Octopussy". I thought "Oh, my gosh!" I called my agent and I said to her: "You better call for somebody else. I can't stay here!" The next day I came to Pinewood to have lunch with Cubby... sitting with Cubby, he was so wonderful, so paternal to all of us, he made us feel like family, so all my anxiety just fell by the wayside and I said to myself: "This is going to be okay. Just relax and enjoy yourself." And that's what I did.

Above: Moore and Wayborn in the closing to the cheeky bedroom scene.

Many thanks to Ben Williams, and Gareth Owen and Andrew Boyle at Bond Stars.

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