Lucy Fleming Interview

26 Sep

Lucy FlemingTo celebrate the release of the new James Bond audiobooks we caught up with Ian Fleming’s niece, the lovely Lucy Fleming, about 007 and the books. 

Do you have a favourite Bond novel, and if so, why is it your favourite?

I have several favourite Bond novels:

Casino Royale because it was Ian’s first book and where James Bond began- and the great car chase.

I like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service because it is such a great story and is exciting and fun- with great skiing chases.

Also Goldfinger  because it was where we first meet Blofeld.

What makes the character of James Bond such an enduring one?

I don’t know. But people love him- he is fun and, like George and the Dragon, he slays the villain, gets the girl and does it all for King and Country.

How would you feel if you met James Bond?

OOOH. Very excited, very, very curious and quite apprehensive…he would love me –of course.

The similarities between James Bond and your uncle have often been made. Do you personally see anything of your uncle in James Bond?

There are similarities between Ian and Bond. Mostly the things  that happen to Bond or the things he enjoys doing- cars and driving, swimming, skiing, golf, gambling, playing bridge (Moonraker) and his appreciation of beautiful girls.

Of course Ian used his experience in Naval Intelligence during the Second World War to  give the stories authenticity too.

What do you think your uncle would have made of the continued success of his character and books?

I imagine he would be very amused with the continuing success of the books and the films- and very proud.

It must have been fascinating to produce the audiobooks which such a superb array of British actors; who in particular did you enjoy working with and why?

I particularly enjoyed working with all of the actors during the recordings. It was a fascinating and humbling experience because it takes a huge skill to read any book  for audio– let alone the Bond books with all the different and familiar characters, accents and places. All the actors brought their own interpretation of Bond, M, Moneypenny, the girl and the Villain in different ways and they all made Ian’s prose come off the page wonderfully.

Each of Ian Fleming’s books is read by a different actor, how did you decide which actors were suited to particular books?

It was fun doing the “casting” as it were. David Tennant was an obvious reader for OHMSS because of his wonderful  Scottish voice. Bill Nighy was brilliant at all the nasty characters  and Gala Brand in Moonraker. Damian Lewis with his fantastic American accent was  an obvious choice for Diamonds Are Forever.

We were lucky to get Rosamund Pike to read The Spy who Loved Me as she knows Canada where it is mostly set and does the most amazing Canadian accent. And, of course, Martin Jarvis can do any accent so we were thrilled when he tackled all the Japanese in You Only Live Twice.

Did any of them bring a new aspect to Bond for you?

I don’t think they brought a new insight into Bond for me but they did let me hear all Ian’s stories read out personally and refresh my memory of all the different stories. One thing I did notice is how very good Ian’s descriptive writing is.

You can buy Octopussy and The Living Daylights and other stories read by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming and For Your Eyes Only and other stories read by Samuel West from AudioGO now.

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