Why George Lazenby Performed James Bond Solely One Time
George Lazenby succeeded Sean Connery as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, however why did not he stick round as 007 for a second movie?
Why did not George Lazenby make any additional James Bond movies after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? It was a landmark second for the James Bond franchise when Sean Connery departed the function he had made his personal. For a lot of, Connery encapsulated 007 and stays the definitive model of the suave British spy to today, with no successor ever dwelling as much as the unique. Classics corresponding to Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger cemented Connery’s place in cinematic historical past, however even he could not play the half endlessly, and the actor quickly started to tire of his alter ego because the 1960s drew to an in depth.
The duty of changing Sean Connery as Bond was a frightening one, and the function ultimately fell to an Australian mannequin with minimal earlier performing expertise by the identify of George Lazenby. James Bond‘s producers first seen Lazenby in a chocolate business, and invited him to audition for 007. So eager was the younger man, he ready by visiting Connery’s personal barber and carrying a swimsuit that the Scottish actor had ordered however by no means picked up. Lazenby made his debut in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, however his efficiency (and the movie itself) attracted a spiky reception and the Australian would by no means seem as Bond once more.
It is tempting to imagine that the adverse response and common feeling that Lazenby was inferior to Connery straight led to his brief profession as MI6’s most interesting, however this wasn’t the case. Regardless of the poor value determinations of Lazenby’s efficiency, the Bond group really wished their new man to remain on, however he declined the provide and opened the door for Connery to briefly return, earlier than Roger Moore was ultimately chosen as a extra everlasting substitute. It is curious that an inexperienced actor would flip down the prospect to proceed within the main function of James Bond, particularly since Lazenby’s choice to go away was not made as a result of unhealthy press, however due to unhealthy recommendation.
Within the 2017 documentary Changing into Bond, Lazenby describes each his entry into the world of 007 and his causes for departing. Lazenby claims he was provided a contract for six extra James Bond adventures, however had been suggested by his agent, Ronan O’Rahilly, to show the deal down. O’Rahilly satisfied Lazenby that the James Bond franchise did not harmonize with the more and more widespread hippy tradition of the late 1960s and 1970s, and motion heroes corresponding to Bond would quickly be seen as outdated relics. Lazenby additionally felt that he might break into the spaghetti western style in a Clint Eastwood-esque style, however was blacklisted from the trade after turning down the Bond contract. His repute was tarnished additional by reviews of being tough on-set, and film roles proved far more durable to return by than Lazenby and his administration had anticipated.
Hindsight has pressured each Lazenby and his critics to change their perspective. The actor freely admits that he was badly suggested and may’ve taken the provide to proceed as James Bond, however maintains that the smears on his repute weren’t fully deserved, and have been extra the results of attempting to dwell as much as his star billing than outright conceitedness. Additionally attention-grabbing is that a number of sources declare Lazenby started learning drama at Durham College after showing in On Her Majesty‘s Secret Service, demonstrating a need to hone his new craft.
For the viewers’s half, fashionable opinion now sees Lazenby’s sole James Bond efficiency as a much better flip that many gave him credit score for on the time, whereas Sean Connery’s return in Diamonds Are Eternally is conversely thought of to have been a movie too far for the unique 007. Regardless of this drastic change of public sentiment, Lazenby’s movie profession vanished as shortly because it started, with Bond each making and breaking the aspiring actor. Regardless, the Australian holds a particular place in James Bond historical past, and it is fascinating to suppose the place the franchise can be at the moment if George Lazenby had made these additional 6 movies.