MI6 talked to Martine Beswick about her Bond girl role in Thunderball, and to clear up the Dr No myth once and for all...

Martine Beswick Interview
14th June 2005

Before we get on to "Thunderball".... A lot of books and websites have you down as appearing in the opening of Dr. No as a dancing girl…
I was hoping somebody would bring this up because it’s a fallacy! Everybody thinks it happened... but it didn’t!

In 1965 we got to see you alongside Connery in Thunderball, how did this compare to your work on “From Russia With Love”? How did you land your role as CIA Agent Paula Caplan?
Well that’s because of Terence again, they did not want to use me for a second time, because they don’t like using somebody for a second time. But the character was a island girl and I am a island girl so Terence kept pushing and I had years of work in between and he felt I was better. So again, Terence, thank you very much! He is one of my favourite people, he was a fabulous man.

The mid 1960's saw the height of "Bond Fever" with Goldfinger and Thunderball. What was it like to be involved with such a high profile series at that time? What was the publicity and media frenzy like?
Well we were all in it together, Thunderball it was the absolutely the height of it all with publicity madness.

Every magazine and every station came down to Nassau, because we were all in it together - we were a part of what was happening. Afterwards there was a lot of publicity you don’t want to do but because we were all there it was OK.



What was it like working with Sean Connery?
Oh! Great it was fun he was so much fun. We were a gang! We were the Bond gang!

What are your most cherished memories from the Bond productions?
I’ve said it over and over… I done a lot of other films but there has never been a film where we were treated so brilliantly, because of Terence who was really James Bond. We had tables under the coconut trees - it was not box lunches or little rubbish stuff - it was all laid out. We had best wines and the best meals. We were invited everywhere. We lived the James Bond life, whatever we were shooting is what we were living.

How did your image as a "Bond Girl" affect your career post 1965?
It was never the best for actresses because really and truly a Bond girl is a Bond girl and it’s really hard to break out of the mould. So, from that point of view only a few have succeeded. The later girls have survived much easier compared to the earlier ones, but I don’t regret it. It was an incredible experience.

In 1974 you worked with the very young Oliver Stone on “Seizure” which was one of you last horror pictures. Can you tell us how it was working with one of today’s biggest names in Hollywood?
It was his very first film and he wants to bury it because it has nothing to do with what he is doing today. It was a very interesting film to work on. I thought he was brilliant actually, I thought he was a genius of the time. He hunted me down to play the role and I was in Europe, no one had heard of me but he found me.


00-Seven Questions

How were you involved in the Bond series?
I played Zora in "From Russia With Love" and Paula Caplan in "Thunderball"

What was your first ever Bond experience?
Seeing "Dr No"

What did you think of the last film, "Die Another Day"?
I haven't seen it yet.... the latest one I saw was Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce is not the same as Sean but I liked it.

What is your favourite Bond film?
Has to be Thunderball!

Who is your favourite Bond?
Sean Connery

What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
A few scenes from "From Russia With Love"... the Robert Shaw situation on the train, Rosa Klebb, that film had the most amazing moments.

Many thanks to Martine Beswick