Ian Fleming wrote Bond an obituary for You Only Live Twice. From it, we learn that Bond’s parents were Andrew Bond, a Scottish man, and Monique Delacroix, a Swiss woman. Mr. Bond worked for a weapons company and traveled often with his family. Both parents died when Bond was 11. He lived with an aunt in England, studied at Eton and Fettes College in Edinburgh, graduated from high school at 17 and was recruited into the Royal Navy. “The world is not enough” is the Bond family motto. (Incidentally, Fleming also studied at Eton and was recruited into naval intelligence.)
From Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, James Bond has killed 352 people and slept with 52 women.
Q’s real name, Major Boothroyd, is only mentioned in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and The Spy Who Loved Me.
Fleming chose the name “James Bond” because he wanted to find a name “as mundane as possible.” Bond’s namesake is actually the ornithologist Dr. James Bond – lifted from a birdwatching book that Fleming had handy.
Actors once up for the role of Bond: David Niven, Cary Grant, Patrick McGoohan, Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler, Sean Bean, and Will Smith. (Spoiler alert: Sean Bean would have died.)
Stuntman Bob Simmons is the figure who appears in the opening gun barrel sequence for the first three James Bond movies.
The five pilots flying the planes in Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus in Goldfinger were actually men wearing blonde wigs.
Casino Royale’s car barrel roll stunt with the Aston Martin DBS broke the world record for the most barrel rolls assisted by a cannon – the car completed seven full rolls.
Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, could only keep his metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time, and the chain that he bit through at the Pyramids in The Spy Who Loved Me was made of licorice.
Sammy Davis Jr. filmed a deleted cameo scene for Diamonds Are Forever — he was at the casino playing roulette.
Many claim the Bond character was based on Ian Fleming: both preferred coffee to tea, smoked the same kind of cigarettes, were commanders in the British Navy, loved women, and preferred their martinis shaken – not stirred. Fleming was also a spy. Once he was recruited into naval intelligence, he became the personal assistant to Admiral John Godfrey – who may have served as inspiration for M.
Ursula Andress’s voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl due to her heavy accent. Van der Zyl dubbed many women’s voices from Dr. No in 1962 to Moonraker in 1979.
Each scene that shows Roger Moore running in his seven Bond films was performed by a body double – Moore felt he looked awkward when running. Despite handling and being around many firearms on set, Moore suffers from Hoplophobia – a fear of firearms which dates back to a childhood accident where he was shot in the leg with an air rifle by his brother.
While Bond producer Cubby Broccoli was impressed with Sean Connery after seeing him in Darby O’Gill and the Little People, he wanted verify his attractiveness to women – so he took his wife to another screening of the film. Mrs. Broccoli was impressed.
M’s house in Skyfall is the former home of John Barry, Bond composer.
President JFK is partly responsible for Bond’s success in the US. In a 1961 interview with Life Magazine, he listed From Russia, With Love as one of his favorite novels of all time. Sales boomed, and the next Bond film made was From Russia, With Love due to the president’s influence. Incidentally, this is the last movie JFK ever saw – he watched it one day before his trip to Texas in 1963. JFK also included Fleming in conversations about how to defeat Fidel Castro in Cuba – perhaps why some of the plans sound like something out of a James Bond novel!
Daniel Craig was given 85 copies of Bond’s Tom Ford suit for the opening sequence of Skyfall. Skyfall’s cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition while undergoing weapons training.
Goldfinger was the first Bond film to feature Bond driving an Aston-Martin and using gadgets – it was also the first film in history to feature a laser beam.
Stuntman Bill Cumming was paid a $450 bonus to jump into Largo’s shark infested pool in Thunderball.
The Man With The Golden Gun’s corkscrew car jump over a canal was performed in one take and was captured by 8 cameras. It was the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modeling.
A visit to Jamaica during World War II inspired Ian Fleming to buy an estate there, which he called Goldeneye. Fleming wrote many of his 14 novels there and, long after Fleming’s death, it became the namesake of the 17th Bond film – Pierce Brosnan’s Bond debut.
George Lucas found inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones by watching Sean Connery’s portrayal of Bond. When Connery was cast in The Last Crusade, Lucas said: “Who else but Bond could have been worthy enough to play Indiana Jones’ dad!”
Ian Fleming wrote the Bond novels on a gold-plated Royal typewriter.
Sean Connery wore a toupee in each of his Bond films. While filming Diamonds Are Forever, actor Joe Robinson accidentally pulled off the toupee during a fight scene.
Judi Dench’s ringtone is the James Bond theme song. Dench, who has played M since Goldeneye in 1995, was filming for Skyfall when her phone went off.
To get more behind-the-scenes Bond, check out Ian Fleming’s biography, written by Andrew Lycett and available now from St. Martin’s Press!
Read more about it here: http://us.macmillan.com/ianfleming/AndrewLycett
“The only Fleming biography I have read which gets to the heart of this complex, fascinating man.” — Charles Cumming, author of A Foreign Country and The Trinity Six