James Bond ‘Foul-mouthed’ Roger Moore and ‘absolutely thrilling’ The Spy Who Loved Me set

Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better – The Spy Who Loved Me

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Kevin McNally is best known for playing first mate Mr Gibbs to Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow in the five Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But the 65-year-old’s first proper acting job was in a Roger Moore James Bond movie as HMS Ranger Crewman. Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, he said: “You can imagine! I was 19-years-old, I’d just left drama school and I was in a Bond film.”

McNally, who was promoting his new film Decrypted, continued: “I mean I didn’t have any lines, I’ll have to tell you. But what they did is, if you remember The Spy Who Loved Me, they had these three abducted submarines.

“And so very cleverly [director] Lewis Gilbert filmed them with professional actors in case any acting was required or any lines needed to be distributed.

“So rather than using supporting artists, he filled them with actors and I was one of the actors.”

The future Pirates actor may not have had any dialogue, but he did get to share a scene with the Bond star himself.

McNally remembered: “The best thing I had to do on it was… Roger Moore, when he helped us escape from the prison, threw me a gun.

“And I opened a door and shot a man with an orange jumpsuit on. Sadly it was at the very extreme right of the frame.

“So it wasn’t until about 2002 when I got a widescreen television did I even see my performance because in the original you’d just see Roger Moore throw a gun out of frame. So that was a great thrill for me when I bought the DVD!”

The 65-year-old also has fond memories of relaxing with the Bond star on The Spy Who Loved Me set.

McNally recalled: “We used to hang around and he would tell anecdotes. He was great. He was very much a team player, a lovely man. Foul-mouthed, which I quite enjoyed.

“But, y’know, to be on that big classic Bond set… was just thrilling. It was absolutely thrilling. And one of the best Christmas periods of my life really. It was my Christmas present in 1976!”

The Spy Who Loved Me was shot on the newly constructed 007 stage at Pinewood Studios at the cost of $1.8 million. It had been conceived by production designer Ken Adams, who had built Blofeld’s volcano lair a decade prior for Sean Connery’s You Only Live Twice.

The new sound stage was set to be a permeant structure that could be rented out to other productions.

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On December 5, 1976, the 007 stage was christened in an opening ceremony which saw a bottle of champagne broken on one of the submarines inside. The event was attended by British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Roger Moore and many others associated with The Spy Who Loved Me’s production.

Since then the sound stage has been burnt down and rebuilt twice, once in 1984 while Ridley Scott was filming Legend and secondly in 2006 when Casino Royale’s Venice set was being dismantled. And in 2019, a controlled explosion shot on No Time To Die, in the since renamed Albert R Broccoli 007 Stage, caused extensive damage to the external wall.

McNally added: “Funnily enough, I revisited it in 2010 on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides because we built and shot the Fountain of Youth on the 007 stage. I actually wasn’t in the scene but I went up there to have a look for old time’s sake. Regaled everybody with me shooting men in orange back in The Spy Who Loved Me!”

Kevin McNally’s new movie Decrypted is out now on digital download.

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