February 26, 2014
“Hell no,” said Sean, fully aware of Noel Coward’s proclivities.
“But you were in the Navy,” said Sir Noel.
“It doesn’t mean a thing, I’m no homo and don’t plan to become one,” thundered the Scot. Sean told me years later, “So the subject never came up again and the two of us became great friends and stayed great friends until he died.” Connery and his wife”a dynamo who is more politically incorrect than even this writer”only come to Gstaad in the summer. What you get is what you see on the screen: a real man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Sir Roger used to live in Gstaad but left for a nearby ski resort so as to not cause pain to his Italian wife and mother of his children once their divorce came through. (I am very close to his son Geoffrey and his family who live near me.) Roger Moore introduced self-deprecation and lots of humor to the Bond role. He ad-libbed most of the double entendres that he alone made famous. He was sardonic, less chauvinistic than Sean, wore a dinner jacket better, and was more romantic. In real life Roger is simply wonderful. Full of stories and jokes, he is a true gent and has wonderful taste. When he and Geoffrey went to Florence recently, they got lost in one of those endless roundabouts while leaving the historic city and stopped traffic as they were desperately looking for an exit sign. The cops soon arrived, whistled them off the road, and an officer approached. When he saw Roger he did a double-take and then yelled into his two-way radio to his partner: “Giovanni, Ã¨ zero zero sette.” The cops then opened the way for them and with sirens wailing they escorted the two Moores all the way to the highway. Noblesse oblige, as they say.
The tongue-in-cheek Moore Bond contrasted well with the thug that walked like a cat, Connery Bond. The two are good friends, incidentally. But like everything in life, both Bonds gave up the role as they aged, however gracefully. And like everything else, Bonds have not improved in these last thirty years. Timothy Dalton was sartorially off the peg and also too introspective. Pierce Brosnan was much too frothy, with not enough backbone or grit. Daniel Craig is a reflection of today. He looks like a London cabbie. And the scriptwriters have gotten away from the formula. I call it the Bourne Identity syndrome”the hero who doesn’t know who he is.
But as another hero once said to a pretty woman, “We’ll always have Paris.” I say to you, dear readers: We’ll always have the video, and we”ll always enjoy two great men playing themselves as Bond.