Last week MI6 chatted to Caroline Munro about setting
out as a model, turning to acting and landing roles
in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and several Hammer
Caroline Munro Interview
8th June 2004
Last week MI6 chatted to Caroline Munro about setting out as
a model, turning to acting and landing roles in "The Spy
Who Loved Me" and several Hammer horror features...
Above: Caroline Munro
Can you tell us how you got started in the modelling
Yes I can, I was at school in Rottingdean a little old village,
and I wanted to study art. At that time you had to have
'O' levels in Maths and English, but because I was dyslexic
this was a problem. Not that I couldn't do it, it just took
me much longer. Art is where my ambition lay, I'm not Picasso
but I wasn't too bad. My mum said how about Art School?
I said great but I'd didn't get in full time because I did
not have my Maths and English, but I did do a part time
course which I loved.
I was at Art School doing a life class and there was a
chap studying photography there, he asked if he could take
a couple of photographs of me, so I said of course. Unknown
to me he asked my mum if he could send the pictures to a
Newspaper where David Bailey was running a competition.
Because David Bailey was the photographer of the times,
in the late 60's the competition held great credibility,
my picture won and I went on and won the 'Face of the Year'.
Tell us briefly about your first modelling job?
I went for an interview at Lucy Clayton, which was a modelling
agency, my first job was for designer Sweaters for America Vogue,
and they flew me to Malta. There I was sitting in the sea in a
jumper, and that was the beginning of my career, which was way
back in 67.
Your modelling led to small roles in films such as
"Casino Royale"? Can you tell us a little about
It was very small
It was very small
Again it was through the modelling agency, they were looking
for girls that looked ok-ish, and I was chosen to be one
of the girls to be in the film! I think I was in the back
line of the girls.
But I was chosen to do the publicity for the film the photographs,
so it looked like I was in it but I would not have seen
me in it!
Above: Christopher Lee and Caroline Munro
Is there a particular Actor/Actress who inspired you?
I like a lot of the older actors and actresses; I love Rita Heyworth,
and actors from the 50's. Also I like a lot of the European actors
Sophia Loren. Of the modern day ones I think there is a lot, for
screen presence De Niro and Pacino and of the woman Debra Winger,
Barbara Streisand as both a singer and actress.
Above: Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
You got roles in several Hammer Horror features can
you tell us a little about this period in you career and
It was wonderful, I loved my time with Hammer, I didn't
expect it, I went along for an interview, I had just done
a poster in England for' Lamb's Navy Rum', . I was part
of the 'Lamb's Navy Rum' poster campaign for around 12 years,
quite a record for a model to be used in the same campaign
for that long.
Sir James Carreras saw the posters on Bill Boards when
he used to travel down to Brighton on the train. He asked
me to go in and do a reading, which I did, which lead me
to signing a contract with Sir James and Michael Carreras.
I went on to do two films for them, the first being Dracula
AD72 and the second being Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.
It was great because I got a chance to work with good Directors
I worked with Alan Gibson I was a little nervous of him
because he was a strong director and I hadn't been used
to that sort of thing before, I also had the chance to work
with Stephanie Beacham and of course Peter Cushing, Christopher
Lee, Vincent Price, Michael Kitchen.
At the time Michael Kitchen, Stephanie and Marsha Hunt were kind
of the brat pack of all new English actors and there was myself
who was Cabbage Green, as I had not done much. I was thrown in
the deep end but I absolutely loved it. One of my scenes for Drac
AD got a round of applause by the cast and crew. That was it;
I knew then that I wanted to act.
Kronos went on to be very special to me, Carla was a great part
.The film has just come out on DVD in England and the States.
I did the commentary on the disc with Brian Clements the Director.
Is it true that you got to work with George Lazenby?
Yes, it was years ago. George and I were both modelling and doing
commercial work We worked together on an ad for 'Fry's Turkish
Delight' it was shot in Spain and I had to wear a yashmac and
George was carrying a box of Frys Turkish Delight, he is a very
handsome man, and it was a very romantic commercial. I would love
to see it again.
The Spy Who Loved Me is seen as one of Roger Moore's finer
Bond's. Can you tell us how you landed the role of Naomi?
Well, again it's thanks to 'Lamb's Navy', Cubby Broccoli saw me
in a 'Lamb's Navy' poster, this time I was in a wet suit portraying
a strong image, not the type to mess around. Cubby asked me to
come to his office to do a reading. He offered me the job on the
spot, I was also offered, at the same time the role of Ursa in
Superman, I was told to take Bond. Sarah Douglas got the role
as Ursa and was fabulous. My agent said do the Bond, as it was
already established, I was very lucky; it was a wonderful opportunity
to be involved with Bond. To be working with great people like
Lewis Gilbert the Director and Claude Renoir the DP and of course
Roger, who was a joy, very cheeky and naughty but we loved him.
Can you tell us how it was working with Roger Moore
and any fun stories from the set?
It was a really funny experience working with him. He is
super professional I was a bit nervous when I started but
he made me feel totally at ease. He used to have lots of
one-liners. I was fine with it. I loved his sense of humour
and would love to work with him again.
Could you tell us of one of your fond memoirs from
The Spy Who Loved Me?
It was just a delight to work on, Richard Kiel and I were
asked to do the publicity for the film in Europe and some
in the States. The European experience was wonderful, they
flew Richard and his wife and I first class to all the cities
in Europe to promote the film and I remember every time
we would set off the plane Cubby would give us Five Hundred
Pounds! Back then that was an absolute fortune, we would
ask "what's this for" and he would say just for
being here. Cubby did things in such a classy way, he was
a mountain of a man in every way, and he made you feel very
special. I think working on a bond film is a great honour
and you carry the mantel were ever you go. Barbara Broccoli
has done such a wonderful job of carrying the mantel on,
he would be so proud of her.
Above: Caroline Munro
How did your image as a "Bond Girl" affect your
career post 1977?
Being involved in a bond film opens doors for everyone involved,
from the actors to the tea ladies, everyone was treated with the
greatest respect and when you talk about being involved everyone
is interested. It can be equated to working for Vogue if you are
a model. A funny story is that we had just had the Leicester premiere
of Spy and I was out shopping and the supermarket had an offer
on a loo paper, as I'm a one for a bargain I grabbed all the loo
paper. I could feel somebody looking at me from behind, I stopped
and he came up to me and said it is Caroline Munro isn't so I
said yes, he told me he was at the premiere and we discussed the
film. He then asked me why was I shopping, and I said because
I need bits, he said don't you have someone to shop for you! It's
just a strange thing how people perceive you when you have done
a Bond film. I still shop for my own loo paper by the way!
Career wise my roles since Bond have been quite diverse I haven't
been typed cast, I think Bond women are strong, particularly my
character who was certainly her own women.
Can you tell us about "OMEGA" the Dr Who Play you
have been involved in?
I did that really recently with Peter Davidson, it was a wonderful
very wordy play and was a challenge to do, as I'm dyslexic, but
I loved every minute of it, I think sometimes being Dyslexic is
an asset as you are continually trying to push boundaries to prove
to yourself and others that you can do it. I had very good reviews
for the play which was wonderful as I was judged totally for my
acting skills and not at all on how I or my character looked.
I am at my happiest when I am working and would love to do more,
especially a soap, the calibre of acting in soaps in England is
so good now I would love to get my teeth into a good character
How were you involved in the Bond series?
I played Naomi in the Spy who Loved Me.
What was your first ever Bond experience?
Seeing Dr No.
What did you think of the last film, "Die Another
It was great; I went to the premiere at the Albert Hall
What is your favourite Bond film?
The Spy Who Loved Me and Dr No.
Who is your favourite Bond?
Roger Moore for his line delivery and Sean for his sexuality.
Which Bond girl should come back?
Ha ha all of us!
What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
Ursula coming out of the water.
Name: Caroline Munro
"The Spy Who Loved Me" - Naomi
Many thanks to Caroline Munro. Images
courtesy Caroline Munro and Paramount
"The Spy Who Loved Me"
Naomi - Bond Girl Profile