Interview: Irka Bochenko talks about her tribute to James Bond
Today an exclusive interview with singer Irka Bochenko by the Club James Bond France sheds further light on the background of her project. By kind permission of Luc Le Clec, the Club’s president, CommanderBond.net is able to bring you the translation.
Moonraker’s Blonde Beauty Irka sings for Bond… with Bond!
Interview by Serge Igor
Translated by Eric Saussine
Irka Bochenko wrote the song ‘Happy Birthday Mr. Bond’ to celebrate 007’s 50th anniversary on the silver screen. Sir Roger Moore couldn’t refuse Irka’s gracious invitation. The song is in French and in English. She talked about this duet, her career as a Bond Girl and about Roger Moore himself. “The idea of my being a Bond Girl was a memory. Then I was invited for three exceptional days in London and I was immediately reminded that I was Bond Girl. It was a very exciting time. That’s when I learned that 2012 would be Bond’s 50th anniversary. A few weeks later when I was about to come back on stage in the south of France I got out of my dressing room and… my character Blonde Beauty was on TV… there was a Moonraker trailer on television. That was the spark. I wrote the song.”
“I immediately thought about inviting Roger Moore. He had that elegance, that specific humour. I was keen on meeting him again after all these years. So I contacted the president of Club James Bond France who gave me the address of Sir Roger Moore’s Office. Two hours later I had Sir Roger’s reply: “Of course!”
“The recording took place at his hotel in May 2012. His first words were: “What a pleasure to see you again!” Always generous, always a gentleman! We talked about our lives, about our common friends like Helmut Newton. We also talked about Lewis Gilbert and Mr. Broccoli.”
Did Sir Roger need any direction for the song? “None. He just listened to the song. I handed him the microphone. He did speak with his beautiful low voice. And that was it. His wife Kristina was listening and she loved it too. I was in heaven.”
Memories from Moonraker
“That was a time I was modeling for magazines such as Vogue and Marie Claire… I was having acting classes at the time. Albert Broccoli encouraged me to continue in London… but I guess I was afraid to leave my family at the time… On set Roger Moore always was a class act, always smiling, professional and absolutely gentle with everyone. That was amazing for me because I couldn’t tell the difference between what he was in life and what he was in front of the camera. Roger Moore was James Bond and James Bond was Roger Moore.
Irka the singer
“That’s what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to take the microphone away from other singers and sing in their place. Under the pseudonym of Iren Bo I wrote songs for French renowned artists Garou, the L5, Mimie Mathy, Pierre Santini but also Tina Arena. I once lost my voice but it came back and I am writing an English language album. It should be out before the year is out. I also was in many festivals in France.”
“There will be a concert at Hotel Renaissance Le Parc-Trocadéro in October where I will be singing Happy Birthday Mr. Bond for a party about Bond’s 50th anniversary. I have great respect for all the people – producers, actors or technicians – who could make Bond live so long and so brilliantly and also for the fans without whom nothing would be possible.”
“My dream now would be a duet with Sir Roger on stage! That would be wonderful!”
For the original interview visit CJBF’s page here
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