Culture

Weekend Read: Moore In Winter

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For your reading pleasure, I recommend Roger Moore's 2008 memoir My Word Is My Bond. The celebrity dish is pretty mild. (Tony Curtis smoking pot outside 10 Downing Street; dying David Niven getting brutalized by his drunken wife; Frank Sinatra proving himself a mensch; Moore's presenter's-eye view as Sacheen Littlefeather fights the last of the Apache Wars.) But it's a reliable index-reader's delight thanks to Moore's amiability and vigorous self-deprecation. Sample sentence: "I had a pretty intense—or as intense as I get, at least—scene with Lois in the final reel of the film."

And I got this one for Spice World

I should disclose that I loathe James Bond in pretty much all his instantiations. But as a thoughtful host, I like to know at least one person's having a good time. Moore and the Moore-ish Pierce Brosnan at least delivered that. (The current guy is the reductio of the lousy fad for hard and edgy reboots: a Bond who seems to be suffering even more than the audience.) Here, Moore remembers his duty to put the F.U. in fun. Observe the combination of pity and showbiz brio Moore brings to his remembrance of Hervé Villechaize, the beloved, tragic little-person scene-stealer from Fantasy Island, Forbidden Zone, and other classics:

When we were leaving Hong Kong,  I asked him how many girls he'd had during our stay.

'Forty-five,' he replied in his squeaky French voice.

'It doesn't count,' I replied, 'if you pay for them.'

'Even when I pay, sometimes they refuse," he told me, sadly.

Hervé tried it on Maud Adams one day, in the lobby of the hotel. He walked over to her, his head only reaching the bottom of her skirt, looked up and said, 'Tonight, Maud, I am going to come into your room, climb under your sheets and make wild passionate love to you.'

'Yes,' said Maud, without missing a beat, 'And if I find out you have, I'll be very angry.'

Hervé told me another sad, funny thing. 'I can never stay on the second floor or above at a hotel,' he said.

'Why?' I asked.

'Because I cannot reach the buttons in the lift!'

Some surprises too: Moore actually opposed the one scene I have ever truly loved in a 007 film: The Margaret and Dennis Thatcher lookalikes at the end of For Your Eyes Only. Moore fears they tended to "devalue the seriousness of the film," but I'm pretty sure this scene did more than medium-range nukes to convince the Russians they couldn't compete with NATO: