Famed Bond Girl Honor Blackman is to host a Bond music concert tonight with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davis, at 7.30pm. The woman with the golden voice who played Pussy Galore in 1964’s Goldfinger also talked to Liverpool’s Daily News, in an interview featured on culture site icLiverpool.
As arguably the most enduring Bond girl of all, Blackman officially renewed her acquaintance with the James Bond industry by hosting a hugely successful concert of music from the films conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Liverpool Summer Pops.
Finally, four years later, she is back with the concert on Thursday evening, this time at the Philharmonic Hall.
In typically forthright manner she says: “If somebody had said you’d still be talking about this bloody film 40 years later I would have said don’t be daft. It’s astonishing that they’re even still making the Bond series.”
“The snowball started with Goldfinger. I didn’t realise how big it was going to be. I had seen From Russia with Love and thought it was an awfully good film. It was exactly like going into The Avengers, you don’t have any idea what its future is.”
There was nearly a riot in Leicester Square at the premier when the crowd pushed the cinema’s plate glass window in. The film was hyped with gimmicks like a solid gold finger especially moulded for Blackman to wear.
“There’s no question that Sean Connery was the best Bond. Gert Frobe, who played Goldfinger, was lovely. The problem was that it was his first picture in English and he learned the language as we went along.”
My first scene with Gert at Goldfinger’s ranch, the director Guy Hamilton told us to rehearse. Gert had the first line and I thought, ‘Jesus, I’ve no idea what he’s saying, so I waited for his mouth to stop and then I said my line and so on. I mean, I was sitting next to him and couldn’t understand a word, so heaven help the audience. Ha-ha-ha!”
“I said to Guy, ‘Nobody will understand him,’ and he said, ‘Don’t worry darling, he’ll be dubbed,’ which I think was done by Charles Gray.
Honor goes on to talk about the apparent media shyness at the time when it came to mentioning the infamous Fleming name “Pussy Galore.”
“Initially the Americans would not let it in because of the character name of Pussy Galore. It wasn’t until they saw a newspaper with the headline ‘The Prince and the Pussy’, showing me talking to Prince Philip that they thought if the Prince can take it, we can do it. And that’s how it got in.”
This sends her into more peals of laughter. “All the names are metaphors for the characters, although it’s a bit naughty to say that, including Goldfinger and Oddjob.”
“Nobody considered it risqué here, but it upset an awful lot of TV presenters in America, some of them would not say it all when interviewing me. The fact that they can take it all so damn seriously is hilarious.”
She has never seen Goldfinger since that West End premier, adding: “Everyone keeps telling me it was a very good movie and they go on showing it forever. I only wish to God I got a penny or two every time it was shown. Wouldn’t that be lovely? I would be lying here in mink or some-thing.”