Earlier this month MI6 persuaded Sarah Donohue to take some time out of her hectic schedule and talk Bond...

Interview - Sarah Donohue (Part 2)
8th January 2004

European Champion powerboat racer Sarah Donohue took a short break from her busy schedule to talk to MI6. In this two part interview we chat about her work on the opening sequence of "The World Is Not Enough" and how she got into the world of stunts...

Making A Wake

This is one of the best opening sequences of the 90’s, what was you favourite stunt maneuver in the sequence?
My favourite sequence was destroying the pier. There were loads of stunt people in it and I took it right to the limit as I hit it. The shots looked awesome. Every camera angle was superb and both Simon and Vic were over the moon, which was what I wanted. The stunt guys in the pier said they really thought I’d screwed up, they thought I was going to plough into them……na!! They haven’t seen me race, I touch all the turn buoys! I keep things nice and close!

Was there any portions of the chase missing from the final print you remember film?
Yes, two. One was all the depth chargers, which were bloody hard to dodge! And the other was going up to the Dome. Maria [me] shot passed, saw the dome, did a perfect 180 back towards the Dome, then a perfect 90 and hit the railings at an exact point, all of which was a fairly difficult maneuver to get accurate in a boat. Visually coming from me who has been around boats a long time. That must have looked spectacular from an aerial view and I was really looking forward to seeing it. I was gutted when they cut it. But hey what do I know…..I just drive the boat.

You injured yourself on the shoot, how did this happen?
I broke a couple of ribs at the lake during practice. I turned the boat in a 180 at full tilt and had no idea the G-Force would be so immense. Both me and one of the stunt guys got thrown big time and I slammed into the side, no laughing for me for a while…..I’ve been in boats a lot and I really did not expect it. I can’t say I should’ve known better, because I do and I would still put my money against it not happening!


DVD Timecode

"The World is Not Enough"
3. Blazing Boat Chase

Above: Sarah Donohue

Vic Armstrong is a legend in the stunt world and the Bond "family". What was it like working with him on the Bond project, and Simon Crane?
Both Vic and Simon are incredible. They are so easy to work with and also they had 100% confidence in me because I'm a specialist so they knew it would get done as per requested with no problems or questions. They are like working with family, I was so at home with everything and not a care in the World apart from what they asked of me.

Above: Sarah Donohue speeding down the river Thames, London


How do you feel about the advances computer imagery is making into cinema? Do you feel the days of the stuntwoman are numbered, or will there always be a need to have a person in the midst of the action for real?
I think computer imagery looks shit and makes things look ridiculous. Completely unbelievable if you take the incredible "Hulk” for example. What was wrong with getting a bodybuilder like the original?

The whole reason for watching movie stunts is to say ‘wow..look at that!’, now you here people saying ,"that looked shit!" because it’s just so NOT believable. If it is used continuously in the film world, I will eventually stop watching movies. Especially if they start to take over Bond. Bond is a ‘classic’. They could kill it. It’s the most famous name in the world and they need to keep it real. There will always be need for stuntmen. Stuntdriving/stair falls/falls/knockdowns/burns/even falling off a push-bike or tripping up, the list is endless. Stuntmen will be needed forever more. Even for the simplest of things and trust me, it’s the simple things that can sometimes be the hardest to get right!

What is your next project?
My next venture is BBC’s “SAS - Are You Tough Enough?”

If you look on BBC web site it will tell you about the show but I got down from 1000 to 100 people for a selection weekend where we had to mountain trek 20k up the mountains with 25kg on our backs! Then they picked 24 people to go through. We film in Namibia in November and train with the SAS, apparently it a horrible experience and very painful.. full interrogation the lot!!

00-Seven Questions

How were you involved in the Bond series?

What was your first ever Bond experience?
I’ve watched Bond since I was a child with my parents. It was the only time they let me stay up late because it was a family thing. I used to sit on my dad's knee.

What did you think of the last film, "Die Another Day"?
I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard some bad reviews about imagery, and why they recreated the Bond Girl coming out of the sea complete with bikini exactly the same as all those years ago, I’ll never know. She must have trained her ass off and she still doesn’t look like the original beauty. Never try to recreate a masterpiece, as failure is always inevitable!

What is your favourite Bond film?

Who is your favourite Bond?
Tough question. Until I worked with Pierce I would have said Sean, but Pierce is such a lovely guy. He really is the nicest company to be with and easy going, and on top of that he probably is the ALL TIME BEST BOND!

Which Bond girl should come back?
I don’t have a favourite Bond girl but I would say skip the last four Bond Movies and there you will find all the ‘Original’ beauties. None artificial. They are classic beauties with naturally gifted beautiful genetics. When I hear ‘Bond girl’, I never think of any of the new girls….they just aren’t the same. Wow! The old girls are just incredible. Every man’s dream! Proper hourglass, and it’s all theirs…

What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
Favourite moment, I have two. Jaws on the cable cars in "Moonraker", I used to always be so upset if Jaws wasn’t in the films. He really made the film sometimes. And New Orleans in "Live And Let Die" when there is what appears to be a funeral, but the coffin isn’t full till they kill someone then it turns into a carnival!

Many thanks to Sarah Donohue and good luck with her latest SAS endeavor.


MI6 Biography

Name: Sarah Donohue

"The World is Not Enough" - Stuntwoman

Related Articles:
Interview - Sarah Donohue (Part 1)
MI6 "The World is Not Enough" Coverage
Sarah Donohue's Official Website

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Above: Sarah Donohue autograph

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