MI6 caught up with Michael Lonsdale who played the maniacal Hugo Drax in "Moonraker" and reprises his role in the "007 Legends" videogame...

Michael Lonsdale Interview

8th October 2012

When you accepted the role of Hugo Drax in "Moonraker", were you concerned that playing a Bond villain might affect your career?
Not at all! On the contrary! Because, I made so many films that were not really very popular or didn't make much money, and I only made poor films, so I thought I might like to be in a rich film.

What was it that attracted you to the character of Drax, and what did you bring to the role to distinguish yourself from the other Bond villains?
Well, I'm half French, half English. My father was English, my mother was French, so I suppose I had a duality. My teacher, when I was at school for the theatre, told me that one day you will have to play someone very nasty...but really, he is such a terrible character, a sort of Nazi. I mean, Drax is like Hitler. He wanted to destroy everybody and rain down a new order of very athletic, young people...he was mad completely.

As Drax you have some of the most memorable lines in "Moonraker": Did you have any input over your lines?
No, no, no! I did what was written... It was very simple and to the point. I just had to look nasty, and that's all!

It was reportedly quite a difficult shoot, shot in France with an Angelo-French cast and crew. What are your recollections of the shoot?
Well, you see, it was a great experience to make a very popular film. Everybody was so kind. Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Richard Kiel were all wonderful. There was a beautiful understanding between the actors, and so I was very happy to do that.

How did you become involved with the 007 Legends video game?
Well, I was asked because I'm the voice of Drax! And my agent is quite professional, you know! [Laughs.]

All the evidence suggests that video games are becoming more popular and ultimately more lucrative than films. What do you think about this phenomenon and what do you think this means for actors and filmmakers?
Well, I like to do some modern stuff and not be an old actor and not be stuck in the past. I think you have to do things for the modern audience. But, you know I don't think I will do many video games, because I like to be myself, really. To act on the stage or in film is different. This, for me, you have to get used to it.

Many thanks to Ben Williams. 007 Legends will be released on October 16th in the USA and 19th October in the UK and features six classic Bond films in one incredible game.

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