It’s one of the most frenetic scenes in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: Martine Beswick and Aliza Gur as two gypsy women wrestling to the death over the same man. Born in Jamaica, Beswick is the rare example of a Bond girl who has appeared in more than one of 007’s on-screen adventures, returning in THUNDERBALL to play Bond’s ill-fated assistant in Nassau. Here, she talks to us about that iconic gypsy fight
Q Even after 50 years, the wrestling match between you and Aliza Gur still looks intense. How did you train for that fight?
A We trained for three weeks and it worked like a dance routine, with punches. We had to learn to fall and learn how to miss. The whole point of those rehearsals was that Terence [Young, director on three Bond films] wanted to come in there close with a handheld camera and follow us, which gave that terrific fight its authenticity.
Q What was Terence Young like to work with as a director?
A He was very straight-forward but also had a wonderful sense of humour and a way of making things fun, even when there were serious things that we needed to do. Terence really was James Bond. He was the most elegant man I’ve ever known.
Q You also worked with Sean Connery on THUNDERBALL. How was your off-screen relationship?
There was this mischievous thing between us, a sort of ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’. It wasn’t at all sexual – I loved his wife Diane Cilento too, she was fabulous – it was just a fun relationship.
Q What was the atmosphere like on the set of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE?
A It was pretty amazing, but this was my first major film so I had no comparison. There was a buzz because of DR. NO, and around Terence and the actors involved. It was pretty fantastic being in this major movie so early on. Basically, I was spoiled.
Q Lots of fans think you were one of the dancing silhouettes in the credits for DR. NO, is that true?
A No. I don’t know who started that rumour. I was never even on set. I did go for the part of Honey Ryder in DR. NO, which was my first major audition after I came to London. That was when I met Terence, and he told me, ‘Go and get more experience, I want you in my next film’. I would own up to it immediately if I’d danced in that film!