Shortly before "Licence To Kill" opened across America, Timothy Dalton conducted a series of press interviews in Hollywood...

Dalton Raising Eyebrows
31st January 2012

"007 Still Raising Eyebrows" - July 1989 (Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky)
Eyebrows raised when Timothy Dalton, a noted Shakespearean actor, agreed to take over the role of James Bond from Roger Moore in the 1987 film "The Living Daylights." But the movie cleaned up at the box office, and many critics said Dalton was the best Bond ever.

Dalton, 44, returns as the British secret agent in "Licence To Kill," a hard-edged thriller that pits Bond against a Latin American drug lord. The English actor's previous training and credits were an unlikely steppingstone for the blatantly commercial Bond films. Dalton, a bachelor, lives - unlike the sybaritic James Bond - in a middle-class neighborhood in London, and drives a Toyota.

Q: You are considered one of England's great Shakespearean actors. Why did you decide to play James Bond?

A: That's a good question - one I've often asked myself. Not all reviewers have said I'm a great stage actor.

I thought the first Bond film I did was a good romantic mystery thriller. Plus James Bond does offer the one major international film part that's available to an English actor.

I also liked the challenge of knowing if I failed at playing James Bond, it would seriously damage my career. So I knew I couldn't fail.

Q: When Sean Connery first dropped out of the Bond films in the last '60s, you were offered the role. Why did you turn is down then?

A: I though it would be professional suicide because I felt Connery was brilliant in the role. I was too young, and Connery at the time was indelibly identified with the role. Since then, there have been two other Bonds. I'm the fourth. The public is used to people taking over the role.


Q: When you accepted the role of James Bond, were you afraid you might be typecast as Sean Connery was for so many roles?

A: I've got 20 years of doing other movies and plays. Bond was Connery's first big film. Bond isn't my only identity as an actor.

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