Sean Connery He had moved away from the Hollywood spotlights in 2003, turning them off permanently on October 31 when he died in his bed while he slept. The actor who owns a unique intensity died at the age of 90 at his home in Nassau in the Bahamas and according to his wife he had been battling senile dementia for several years. “It was not life for him. Couldn’t express himself lately“Micheline Roquebrune assured THR.
The world of cinema was completely thrown into goodbyes full of affection, even Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan paid tribute to him, and from here we want to remember an anecdote that many were unaware of. And it is that, no matter how much time passes and other actors have taken their place, Sir Sean Connery will forever be the most legendary James Bond of all. It is true that Roger Moore conquered a legion of fans with his mischief and Daniel Craig will set the bar very high for those who dare to take his place, but the Scotsman left an indelible mark on film history. He was the first, the original 007, the one that turned the character into the living image of an elegant action hero, a bit smug and a bit macho (at least in the beginning). However, the fond memory that viewers have of his character is very different from the emotions that Connery felt during his last years in the series.
Basically, he hated it.
Despite having achieved international fame as the spy in Her Majesty’s service and amassing a fortune from his work, Sean Connery grew weary of playing him. It was 1967 when he was preparing to shoot his fifth foray into We only live Twice. He was sick of doing the same thing and tired of the character not evolving, and tensions with legendary producer Albert R. Broccoli became increasingly strained. According to The Telegraph, the situation was so extreme that the actor He used to lock himself in his dressing room whenever Broccoli visited the set in Japan. And that the producer’s wife, Dana, was essential in his signing in the early 60s, convincing her husband of Connery’s potential.
Nor was he satisfied with the negative consequences of the fame achieved with the character. Connery came from a modest life working as a bricklayer, casket polisher, model and even milkman when recognition knocked on his door. It was a thing of fate. He was destined to be a movie star. He came to acting by pure chance when he was looking to earn some extra money and began working at the King’s Theater in 1951. One thing led to another and without studies or preparation, in a short time he already had his first leading role. It was after several plays, a few series and a dozen feature films that the opportunity came to play the spy created by Ian Fleming, seeing it as an opportunity that would open more doors in the industry. However, he probably did not imagine how radical his life change would be.
During the filming of the fifth installment, not only did he have a stalker who chased him during the filming, but the paparazzi also did not leave him in the sun or shade, following him into a public toilet, while the press turned him into a sex symbol with votes and lists naming him the sexiest man on the planet. And this is how he put a condition if they wanted him in a sixth film: a salary increase from the $ 750,000 collected for the fifth part to the million dollars, in addition to 25% of the box office profits that he had already been collecting..
The producers, who knows if they were also tired of Connery’s complaints or fed up, did not give in and the actor resigned. The replacement was Australian model George Lazenby in 007 at the service of his Majesty, whom Broccoli met at a hair salon. The result was not received with the same enthusiasm and two years later they released a new installment again with Connery, Diamonds for eternity (1971). However, they say that the actor did not wear the 007 suit again for pure pleasure or for the love of art, but that it was the condition he set to get them to give the green light to two other projects that he was much more passionate about than James Bond.
The boredom or disdain that Connery felt at that point for the character, or the influence he had had on his life, was demonstrated when he donated his salary to charity and, according to The Observer, he went on to say: “I’ve always hated that damn James Bond. I’d like to kill him.”
Rumors of the internal bad vibes that existed between actor and character always flew over the figure of Sean Connery. Something very similar to what has been happening with Daniel Craig after the premiere of each of his James Bond films. His supposed desire to say goodbye to the character was reflected every time it was implied that the next installment would be the last, in addition to his controversial statements assuring that he would prefer to cut his wrists before making another installment (then he clarified that that answer took place when he finished finishing the filming that had been very intense and exhausting). But as I was telling you, Connery’s bad relationship with Bond was the result of rumors and hearsay for several yearsHowever, it was Michael Caine who confirmed its existence.
Caine and Connery met in 1954 and became friends, and it was he who commented that Sean was fed up with being recognized just for his character. As Andrew Yule wrote in his book Sean Connery: Neither Shaken Nor Stirred, Caine said: “If you were his friend in those years, you didn’t bring up the subject of Bond. He was, and is, a much better actor than just playing James Bond, but he became synonymous with Bond.” A greater certainty than a house if we remember that, as I wrote at the beginning of this article, Connery continues to be the most legendary performer in the cinematographic history of 007.
“He would walk the streets and people would say ‘Look, there’s James Bond’ and that bothered him a lotCaine added.
Notably, Connery’s curmudgeon side was well known in Britain. While his romances illustrated dozens of magazines, some of his controversial words were not forgotten. In 1975 he told Playboy magazine that he saw nothing wrong with “hitting a woman” clarifying that “I didn’t recommend doing it the same way you would hit a man “. He even advised how to do it by suggesting the use of “an open-handed slap when warranted, when other alternatives have failed and there has been sufficient warning. If a woman is a bitch, hysterical, or continually nasty, then she would. “. What’s more, he added that “women are not decisive by nature” and Bond found him irresistible because he was.
Without defending the indefensible, let’s remember that Connery was the star of a male saga in a misogynistic era. The Bond stories turned women into mere sexual stereotypes, with weak personalities in the face of 007’s seduction. Unlike other versions, this adaptation of the spy offered not romance but desire and passion, and Connery’s portrayal was that of a hero. of his time: dark, unforgiving and a bit misogynistic.
Despite leaving other unforgettable jobs as in The house Russia, The name of the rose, The hill O Marnie With Hitchcock, Connery became synonymous with Bond. And although he scold the connection between the two, the character gave him the financial security that he did not have as a young man and opened the doors to a path of roses within the industry. However, his disenchantment with Bond was such that he did not make a movie in the two years following the completion of the saga.
Connery ended up retiring from acting about 15 years ago. The bad reviews it received League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plus the confusion that he said to live doing it and the lack of interesting proposals when he was already over 70 years old, led him to take the step that had been rumored for a long time. But although few remember him, he tried to give Hollywood one last chance. It was for the movie Josiah’s Canon in 2004 although one fine day, while filming the heist story in Prague, he left the set. Just like that, leaving the production starless. As he wrote The Guardian, the excuse was that he was leaving to write his memoirs while Variety pointed out that “The headaches of mega-budget movies have finally sapped his enthusiasm.” He had said goodbye to the cinema but without saying goodbye officially. He traveled to his mini paradise in the Bahamas, playing golf every morning, and was away from the spotlight forever. It was in June 2006 that he confirmed that he had retired upon receiving a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute., denying that he would appear in a fourth Indiana Jones saying that “retirement is so much fun“.
Grudge or not, the truth is that Connery returned to character once more to Never say never in 1983 (a title that is rumored to be related to his departure from the series) and, curiously, he lent his voice to the video game of 007: from Russia with love in 2005. It is probable that over time, Sir Sean Connery began to remember with a certain nostalgia and affection the James Bond that marked both his life and his career. Proof of this could be that in 2017 when he was watching the US Open in New York, they played the iconic musical intro of the saga and there he stayed, sitting with a huge smile on his face.