The big “will he or won’t he” question at the moment is whether or not Daniel Craig will agree to play James Bond for the fifth time in the currently-titled Bond 25. If he doesn’t, there are a number of actors ready to renew 007’s license to kill and there will be a lot of media excitement over the casting. But that wasn’t the case back in 1967 when the search was on for someone to take the place of Sean Connery.
Through a worldwide casting process, Australian model and mechanic George Lazenby was chosen by director Peter Hunt and producers Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to be the next James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
This was actually a really big deal, as the Bond films had become such a global success that few believed anyone but Connery could play the part. Indeed, Lazenby voluntarily stepped away from the series and Connery was lured back one more time for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, followed by Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Craig. And Lazenby, who did continue acting, slipped back into relative obscurity. Now Hulu has brought his story to life in the documentary Becoming Bond, which is available now and is written and directed by Josh Greenbaum.
OHMSS was a change-of-pace 007 film, getting away from gadgets and larger-than-life machinations of the villain, instead focusing on a more human Bond (though action was everywhere). Over the course of the story, he meets and falls in love with Countess Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg), who ultimately ends up being shot to death by the henchwoman of Ernst Stravro Blofel (Telly Savalas). As we said, this one was different
FHM had the opportunity to sit down with Lazenby to discuss the documentary, his reasons for leaving what could have been a life-changing role and what it was like, for a short time, to have been Bond. James Bond.
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