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Exclusive interview with Richard Kiel on Vue Sur Bond in Canada

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2006-03-30
Richard kiel on vue sur bond
From Sweden With Love (Anders Frejdh) caught up with American actor Richard Kiel (who played Jaws, often voted as the most popular of all Bond villains, in The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 and Moonraker 1979) to hear his thoughts on Vue sur Bond in Quebec, Canada.

[FSWL:] What is your general opinion about the arrangements of Vue Sur Bond event?
[Richard Kiel:] This was the most organized and best planned event I have ever attended. I know that Hilary Saltzman had been working on it for over a year. The staff did a superb job of working out our transportation needs and making sure our accommodations fit our needs. They arranged to have a wonderful driver come in from Montreal with a huge new Chevrolet Suburban to pick us up at the airport and show us around. Although he spoke perfect French he also spoke perfect English and when he took around the old city and out to the suburbs he knew all the facts about all the places and buildings and the history of the area. We were utterly fascinated with everything to do with Quebec City and even got interested in houses near Stoneham Ski Resort which also has a lake nearby. For anyone who skis the prices on a ski chalet overlooking a lake and 10 minutes from the slopes and just twenty minutes from town make Quebec City an ideal place to have a second home to rent out and visit occasionally.

What is your best personal memory from the event?
[RK:] Seeing all our good friends again. It was nice to be able to spend some time with Sir Roger and Kristina and of course Britt Ekland, Shirley Bassey and our old friend Guy Hamilton who directed me in my favourite acting role in Force 10 from Navarone (1978). It was nice to get to know Hilary better and also Nic Raine.

The one real highlight was the concert where Shirley was stupendous as usual along with a great performance by the Canadian Idol. But a new young black singer also sang that night that I am sure is destined to become one of the greats of our time. Please insert her name and the song she sang as I don’t remember either and she deserves to be recognized for her amazing talent. The evening was fabulous with the huge cocktail party before the concert and then the multi-big screens playing Bond highlights while Nick Raines was seen conducting on the big centre screen was outstanding.

The very biggest highlight for my wife Diane and me was when the spotlight found Sir Roger and the 1,800 people in the audience came to their feet in a thundering standing ovation for his work as 007 of course along with The Saint and The Persuaders but also for his 15 years of service raising millions for UNICEF. I saw his wife Kristina brush away a tear and found myself doing the same thing. For God’s sakes don’t let that get out!

How did you experience the weekend and what do you think they thought about the public attending the events?
[RK:] The weekend was great! I was so grateful that Hilary and the film commission presented all of us with warm ski jackets as it was extremely cold outside when we went to that ski event. The public must of absolutely loved it as they screened 10 or 11 Bond films on the big screen and free! We all signed many autographs and took dozens if not hundreds of photos with many of those who attended the events that raised money for UNICEF.

What do you think Harry Saltzman would have thought about the event and its purpose?
[RK:] He would have been so proud of Hilary for pulling off the perfect weekend honouring her father and also raising a substantial amount of money for both UNICEF and the Tri-America film commission. She truly produced a perfect event in the tradition of her father and Cubby Broccoli who always worked so hard to make a bigger and better Bond movie each time out.

Was it your first time in Quebec? What did you think of the city and its people?
[RK:] I have been in the Province going to Montreal three times. But this was the first time in Quebec City and I found it most charming and the people super-friendly. Diane and I really liked it.

Was there anything you thought should have been included in the weekend program that wasn't possible for some reason?
[RK:] Free popcorn! All kidding aside, I don’t know how Hilary and Yves could have put on a better Bond weekend.

Do you think there will be any similar event like this one ever again?
[RK:] I hope so. I should say that Diane and I attended a special Bond weekend in Jamaica that was spectacular as well and another in San Francisco that was quite nice. This weekend, however, will be a tough act to follow.

Will there be another opportunity to meet you again at a Bond event in a near future?
[RK:] Blanche Ravalec, who played Jaws’ girlfriend Dolly in Moonraker, will be joining Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore, and me at Autographica at the Radison Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow Airport (near London) the 1st weekend of June. She and I will also be at an event called 'Meet the Stars' in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 16th.

Our sincere thanks to Richard Kiel for taking time to make this interview possible.

Visit Richard Kiel's official website for more information about his life and career.

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#vue_sur_bond

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