MI6 chatted to Shane Rimmer - who has appeared in
three James Bond films - about his lesser know Bond
roles in "You Only Live Twice", "Diamonds
Are Forever" and his extensive career...
Shane Rimmer Interview (2)
27th January 2005
MI6 chatted to Shane Rimmer - who has appeared in three James
Bond films - about his lesser know Bond roles in "You Only
Live Twice", "Diamonds Are Forever" and his extensive
Above: A rare shot of Shane Rimmer playing
Seth Harper in an early Dr. Who episode entitled "The
You Only Live Twice
Can you tell us how you landed the role in "You
Only Live Twice"?
There wasn't much pre-selection going on, so you establish
your face and the way you work. You go along and do it and
don't bump into the furniture!
I was on that film for two weeks. They had to put a lot
of things together for that film. They had to see if everything
tied together with the mission flight and what was going
on in the control room. Sometimes they had to put more into
the lines, which would give a more definite sense of what
was going on with the flight. I don't now how they did it
- the editors did such a great job on that.
Are you involved with the CGI version of Gerry
Anderson Captain Scarlet? Gerry Anderson has talked very highly
of you, why do you think this is?
No, it's a whole new computerized process, I think they wanted
to start out with clean sheet. I know that the two main characters
in Captain Scarlet aren't in it - they started off being in it.
Everything is a generation newer and if anybody showed signs of
the voice being not that new I think...
I know Ed Bishop and Francis Matthews where original scheduled
to do it but when you have co-productions you have to have
total agreement and I don't think they had it.
For all the character voice acting you did how did you
create unique and recognisable voices?
Well I don't know if they were! I think what you have to
do is create recognisable voices and if you can do that,
you create a character, don't try to doctor it to much otherwise
people can tell. You've got to get to know the character
what they do and let the voice do what it has to do.
Above: The new CGI Captain Scarlet.
Above: Captain Scarlet and Destiny.
You have work on Captain Scarlet and Secret Service,
but you also wrote scripts, how did you make the jump form
performer to writer?
Well the conveyance there was you know what the production's
about, who the characters were and how they have been shaped.
I did some writing back in Canada and I was familiar with
the characters so it came together.
A Return To Genre...
You headed back to the Spy genre in the 2001
film Spy-Game can you tell us a little about your involvement
with that feature?
I read for Ridley Scott before, "The Hunger" (1997),
but I didn't get it. He had an ending, and he was not to
sure how it was going to work. I got a call to head down
there and film a ending with Robert Redford who's a very,
very generous actor. My son was on that picture, and we
went to the premiere and I wasn't in it! They used the other
Meeting For The First Time
You had a role in "The Saint" back in
the mid 60's, did you have any screen time with Roger and if so
did this help with the Bond films?
Yes a little but not very much, I can't really remember it in
a crystal clear way. I think Roger didn't change very much - his
attitude and his participation - and I think that's what's made
him so popular as he is very comfortable to watch, and for the
people that work with him.
Diamonds Are Forever
Where did you shoot your scenes for this film? How many
days of shooting where there?
We shot at the 007 stage at Pinewood. Diamonds I think was
a week at the most, so I got promoted from after this film.
I got about two months on 'Spy'.
Can you tell us how you landed the role in Diamonds
Well again, you just go in there, and if your personality
jives with the part and you know your way around Bond because
of a previous production, it was not like stage work where
you have a two week rehearsal and you had to come on set
prepared. You had to have it nailed down - you had to be
ready to go before the cameras.
Any memories form the production?
'Diamonds' - I'm not terribly fond of. I remember shaking
in my shoes with the first sight I had of Connery because
he had this amazing forceful personality. I remember being
in the elevator and being 6 inches away from him and just
got a whole eye. The eyes are just like lasers they can
burn right through you if he turned up the power anymore.
He's alright, he never demanded anything of anybody he didn't
demand of himself. He was absolutely scrupulous about lines, moves...
You couldn't think of backing out, you had to stay there and hold
your ground and deliver your lines.
Above: Peter Sellers as Dr Strangelove.
In 1964 you stared in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove
how was it working with the legendary actor Peter Sellers
I'm not sure when it started, but
they came to a point where they didn't speak to each other.
Kubrick agreed with Sellers' performance and was very happy
there, Sellers was a very difficult man to control in those
The cockpit of the plane was suspended about 15ft above
the floor, and that morning Sellers became so incensed that
he leaned out of the cockpit and kept going. He fell to
the floor and broke his leg. That's why Dr Strangelove was
in the wheelchair the whole time.
Kubrick was very available to us, maybe this transferred off
Sellers. James Earl Jones was there and he hadn't done too much.
It worked because Kubrick was available and generous to us.
You are credited on the Internet Movie Database as an 'InCom
engineer' in Star Wars IV: A New Hope can you tell us what that
It's to do with incoming communications and all the apparatus
has to be finally tuned so they can hear all the communications.
I also had the job of putting R2D2 in that cockpit which took
a day and a half, but it was meant to take 12 minutes. We had
to get the arms and legs in the right position. Again that was
a mammoth production so you have no idea what they are shooting.
As well as the Bond films you have appeared in two of the
Superman films. Can you tell us a little about these roles?
Yeh, they were big scale productions - just as the Bond's. The
first one I was an operator in a tracker station following missile
flights to Mars... Great tracking operator I am - I didn't even
no what I was doing!
These scenes are good in the picture as they build up a intensity,
so you don't know if they are going to make it or not make it.
So it was good to be on that.
In a career that has spanned the last 40 years what
highlights have there been?
The lucky thing about London, which does not apply to Hollywood,
is that you can do both films and television in one place.
If you want to have a combined film career and theatre career,
you have to travel 4000 miles between NY and LA.
I was lucky enough to get in at the national theatre and
did a play "Death of a Salesman". If you want
to see what theatre is about, that's the place to get hired.
There are three theatres there, with some of the greatest
I remember our dressing room overlooked Ralph Richards
in this quadrangle. Every night that he was on there would
be a queue of young actors, who would go and ask him questions
about his acting. I think his acting... well I don't think
there is anybody like him. Nobody new what he was going
to say, he never delivered the say line twice. That was
one of them.
"A Very British Coup" was a film over here, for Channel
Four. Ray McAlly played the Prime Minster that was great. There
have been several on the way.
Many thanks to Shane Rimmer.
Shame Rimmer Interview -
Only Live Twice" Coverage
Are Forever" Coverage
Carter - Ally Profile
Images courtesy Amazon Associates, Columbia Tri-Star &