Friday, 26 October 2012

When The Incredible Suit Met James Bond: Episode Two In A Comically Unlikely Series Of Six

So there I was last Friday, minding my own business, wandering through London and daydreaming about the time I terrified Pierce Brosnan, when I received a mysterious tweet from the spectacularly-surnamed Dave Sztypuljak, of movie blogging titans HeyUGuys.
Well, two of my favourite things right now are Skyfall and checking my DMs, so I did as Dave suggested. The gist of the enormous chain of messages he'd sent (email, Dave, email) was that HeyUGuys had been invited to the Skyfall press junket, and would I like to attend on their behalf? It would involve spending an entire day at an obscenely fancy hotel on Park Lane interviewing Bond girls, the Bond film producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, Sam Mendes, Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig.

After I was picked up off the floor by some passing tourists I called Dave and told him that it seemed like an OK thing for me to do. I reckon I was fairly cool on the phone and definitely didn't cry, shake or ruin yet another pair of pants.
And so, three days later, I rocked up at the Dorchester ready to meet my second James Bond. This time, as opposed to The Brosnan Incident, he was expecting me. I had an appointment and everything. Also it would be a round table interview, meaning there would be ten more people in the room so if things got a bit hairy they could at least pull me off him.

Before I could get to D-Cragz, though, I had to meet the rest of the talent. And before I could meet the rest of the talent, I had to wait. And wait. And wait. So wait I did, in a room full of proper journalists, some of whom I overheard complaining about how Quantum Of Solace was three hours long. I resisted the urge to get the official BBFC running time of 105 minutes and 58 seconds up on my phone and jam it in their eye, and instead concentrated on trying to look like everyone else, i.e. professional and bored.

But then Lorraine Kelly breezed in, and I could faintly hear the plummy, excitable tones of Lizo Mzimba from the next room, and I realised that I was hopelessly out of my depth around such titans of celebrity interrogating. What if BBC London's Brenda Emmanus turned up as well? I'd have had to leg it before I was found out.

Before I had the chance to escape, however, my ten co-interviewers and I were called in to "do" Bérénice Marlohe, who plays Bond Totty #1 Sévérine in Skyfall. She was delightful, gorgeous and possibly mad - her description of her character as "a creature between a male, a female and an animal... and a dragon" left me baffled but enamoured. Also I managed to bag the seat next to her, and spent fifteen minutes with my left knee resting gently on her right knee. To be honest it could have been the table leg but if it was it was a very sexy table leg.

Next up were Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, two people almost directly responsible for the kind of person I am today, i.e. so obsessed with another man that I have more pictures of him in my house than I do of my wife. We had twenty minutes with Mike 'n' Barb, and it wasn't nearly enough. I could have spent all day interrogating them on Bond, and one day, when I find out their addresses and daily schedules, I will. On this occasion though, I got to press Barbara on Craig's as-yet-unofficially-confirmed comments that he'd signed on for two more Bond films. "At LEAST two more," she corrected me, placing a gentle hand on my arm. I'd managed to sit next to her too and was enjoying all the physical contact that this seating arrangement afforded.

Javier Bardem followed, and I ensured that I took my usual seat in case he wanted to cop a feel too. I mean come on, the man is biutiful. He was droll and slightly odd in an endearing, Spanish kind of way, and sure enough, while he was struggling to remember the word "audience", he gently brushed my hand in that slightly over-friendly way continental Europeans do. This was brilliant. At this rate I was going to be having full sex with Daniel Craig before the afternoon was out.

Naomie Harris, Skyfall's Eve, was also charming and stunning, but despite my proximity to her she did not molest me in any way. And while I did manage to squeeze in a couple of questions my concentration was failing because I knew that the next person to sit in her chair, just six inches away from me, would be James Bloody Bond.

And then, very suddenly, there he was. Daniel Craig burst into the room in surprisingly ebullient fashion, considering he apparently can't bear talking to the press. Immaculately decked out in a black suit, pale blue shirt, cream and black tie and an only slightly alarming puffed pocket square, he plonked himself down next to me and the interrogation began. He was in spectacular form, laughing and joking with the assembled hacks, but steadfastly refusing to stroke me no matter how close I subtly edged towards him. At one point I caught him eyeing the cuff of my shirt, no doubt wondering if the weave was that of a hand-tailored Turnbull & Asser, but the question was left unspoken. He was definitely checking me out though.
I asked him about how much he gets involved in the development of Bond's character behind the scenes, and hit him with my only vaguely-formed 'Trilogy Of Trust' hypothesis (upon which I'll expand in my BlogalongaBond post on Skyfall, if I've worked it out by then). Although his answers were unsurprising (they boiled down to "quite a lot" and "that's unintentional") they did give him the opportunity to fix me with those incredible sky-blue eyes which bored into my very soul, seeming to say "Pierce told me all about you. Ask me for a photo and I'll kick your face off."

At one point Daniel forgot who co-wrote Skyfall with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, so I leapt to his rescue with a slightly high-pitched "John Logan!", for which he was grateful, and I took that to mean that we were now a team. It was me and him against the other ten journos. I proved myself again shortly thereafter when someone expressed surprise that Craig had kept his role in the Olympics opening ceremony a secret from so many for so long. "He's a secret agent!", I said, and turned to him expecting a high-five or a chest-bump or similar. Instead he muttered a mildly embarrassed "yeah, I'm not", and our formidable partnership ended as swiftly as it had begun.

Too few minutes later, Daniel Craig was whisked out of my life by an efficient PR-type and I was left delighted and awed. The encounter had been far less excruciating (though no less nerve-wracking) than The Brosnan Incident, and of the two Bond actors I've now met, Daniel Craig is far and away the one most likely to invite me round for a cocktail one day. All that was left was for me to chat to Sam Mendes (he talked a lot, which took FOREVER to transcribe) and float off down Park Lane to return to normal existence.

If you'd like to read the fruits of my labour, head over to HeyUGuys where all six interviews nestle snugly among exclusive new images from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and DVD reviews of shit like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Meanwhile, I am in the process of girding my loins for the next Bond to cross my path. I'm getting better at this, so by the time I meet Connery he'll be the nervous one and I'll be the one refusing a photo. Watch this space.

Further reading


  1. This is my favourite thing.

  2. This is the absolute pinnacle of your recent Bondmania. I might have to stop reading your blog if you go back to talking about normal films.

  3. Poo doo. I wanted a cop and feel too!

  4. I so want you to meet Dalton and read your report on that.