Decades after the first James Bond film hit theaters, many see the late Sir Sean Connery as the definitive Bond. As some know, Connery was virtually an unknown when cast as the MI6 agent, with the role propelling him to megastardom.
There were many reasons why the newcomer ended up with the role. One of those reasons was due to something as simple as how Connery walked.
Sean Connery nearly blew his James Bond audition because of his attitude
Although he left a good impression, Sir Sean Connery nearly cost himself a chance to be James Bond because of his outburst. Before the franchise that would turn him into an icon, Connery was a young actor looking for a big break. He finally got that break when he went to a party that Bond film producer Albert Broccoli went to.
According to Express, Sean Connery: The Untouchable Hero author Michael Feeney Callan wrote that Broccoli liked Connery’s look and accent. Broccoli’s wife, Dana, also helped Connery’s case, as she found the future Bond’s “macho aura inescapably attractive.” Because of this, Broccoli invited Connery to an interview to give the then-newcomer an opportunity.
“He wore a brown shirt, brown suede shoes and no tie – garb befitting the Buxton [pub] on a Friday night, hardly a million-dollar movie audience,” Callan wrote.
Connery went on to impress his interviewers by reciting a passage from the Ian Flemming James Bond book Live and Let Die. The producers, including Broccoli, were sold on Connery as their next Bond. But after the interview, they criticized Connery’s less than professional appearance. This prompted Connery to lash out at the producers.
“At one juncture he told the producers, ‘You either take me as I am or not at all,’” Callan wrote.
But the outburst worked in Connery’s favor, as Broccoli appreciated the actor’s assertiveness.
“He pounded the desk and told us what he wanted,” Broccoli said. “We agreed, he walked out of the office and we watched him bounce across the street like he was Superman. We knew we had our James Bond.”
Sean Connery was cast as James Bond because of the way he walked
There was another piece of detail about Connery that helped him nab the part. In an interview with Express, Casino Royale director Martin Campbell compared the hiring process for both Connery and recent James Bond Daniel Craig. He noted that, like Connery, Craig was also an unknown when he was cast. But for Connery, there was something very natural about him that cemented him as the first ever Bond.
“There is an interesting story about how Connery got cast,” Campbell began. “When he met the Broccolis to discuss the role, the first thing out of his mouth was to ask what expenses he was going to get paid. After he left the interview, Cubby Broccoli’s wife looked out of the window and called over her husband to watch the way Sean was walking across the square. That panther-like walk helped him get the part.”
Sean Connery didn’t mind returning to the James Bond franchise as a villain
Connery was once critical of his time as James Bond. But in his older age, he began to appreciate his status of 007. Daily Mail once asked the actor if he was concerned about ever losing the James Bond tag.
“It’s not something that’s ever likely to happen,” Connery said. “It’s with me until I go to the box.”
The actor even shared he would’ve been returning to his Bond roots, albeit in a different capacity.
“I wouldn’t mind coming back as a Bond villain,” Connery said. “But I don’t think they would pay me enough money.”