from suburban New York, Jersey girl Deborah Lipp is a
technical writer and the author of four books. She has
recently finished writing The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book,
which is being released on September 30. I got to pose some
questions to the single mum, who has dedicated her forthcoming
book to her son, about her new book - which promises to be a
worthy edition to the over-burdened bookcase of Bond fans.
Johnson: HOW DID YOU BECOME A FAN OF JAMES BOND?
Deborah Lipp: Well, I tell that story in the book! Like many Bond
fans, I was introduced to Bond as a child; my father took me to my
first Bond film. But around the time of Moonraker, I wandered away
from Bond films. I have always been the sort of fan who prefers the
grittier, edgier stuff. Most of us who started on Connery are like
that. So the sillier
vehicles turned me off.
It was only in 2000, watching the movies with my son, that my
love of Bond was reawakened. We started watching them in order, and
soon I was just head over heels. I became a really hard-core fan and
started reading all the trivia I could get my hands on and
participating on message boards and so on.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE SECRET OF THE LONG TERM SUCCESS OF
THE JAMES BOND FILMS?
Well, the films started out brilliantly, with great writing and
acting and style. In fact, the Bond films epitomize the principal of
collaboration: Production, direction, writing, acting, set design,
costume design, music, title design, stunt coordination,
cinematography-each element is a vital part. So when you ask about the
long-term success, partially you're asking how the series has survived
the not-so-great entries.
First, give credit to Cubby Broccoli. He stood by his vision of
Bond through thick and thin, and made sure the movies kept getting
made the way he wanted them made.
Second, Bond is a timeless hero. The fact that the Bond films
are always set in the present, or just a day or two in the future,
gives Bond a mythic, ageless quality. He is here, now. He is OUR hero.
Third, I'd attribute the overall experience; the pleasure
available in exotic locations, cool gadgets, beautiful women, awesome
Finally, Bond is *everyone's* hero. He is accessible to children
and adults, to all generations, to all sorts of people.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF EACH OF THE ACTORS THAT PLAYED JAMES BOND? DO
YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?
It is so difficult to have a favourite. I have to say that I
was a dreadful actor. Okay, he's a nice guy
when you meet him at events, but that's forty years later! His
delivery was wooden. And I never cared for
interpretation of the character.
That leaves three, and it's painful to choose among them. I love
Connery, I love
Dalton, and I love
Brosnan. They are all wonderful
actors and they have all genuinely moved me as James Bond.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING DANIEL CRAIG BEING
GIVEN THE ROLE OF 007 IN CASINO ROYALE? WHAT D YOU THINK THE NEW
FILM WILL BE LIKE?
On November 12, 2005, I had an opinion piece printed in the New
York Times on exactly this issue!
I think it was a terrible mistake to let
especially with such disregard.
had a brilliant run as
Bond and should have had one more film; he deserved a crack at the
last un-filmed Fleming novel.
I was disappointed and shocked by the choice of Daniel Craig. In
fact, I thought him such an unlikely choice that until the very
day of the press conference, I believed it was all a crazy
rumour. I don't think Craig has the look or the vibe to play James
That said, I will definitely be in my seat on opening day with an open
mind. Craig is a talented actor, and the news coming out of the
production is all very promising. The teaser trailer is quite
thrilling. So I'm optimistic.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BOND GIRL?
I have a very warm place in my heart for Kara Milovy, because I
think the romance in The Living Daylights is the most tender and
beautiful in the series. She is innocent and beautiful, and yet, in
her own way, brilliant. She is a "damsel in distress" who
needs to be rescued, but don't forget, she's a consummate musician. I
love the idea that she has this totally separate skill that isn't
useful in the action but which sets her apart from, and in a way
above, James Bond.
I also love Sylvia Trench because she is so bold and forward.
For 1962 she was astonishingly modern.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GADGET - AND WHY?
None of the small gadgets come to mind as a favourite without
giving it some thought. I mean, I could come up with a great answer
but I don't go around with a favourite gadget in my head. Many of them
are delightful. The meaningful "gadget" for me is the 1965
Aston Martin DB5. Not a gadget, really, but the most iconic and
identifiable *thing* in franchise history.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BOND FILM?
From Russia With Love. No contest, really. It is perfect in
every aspect. A flawless film with a tightly-written adventure, the
best villains of the series, and lots of sex and violence.
IF YOU HAD TO SAY WHAT YOU THOUGHT THE DEFINING MOMENT IN THE
HISTORY OF THE JAMES BOND FILMS WHAT WOULD IT BE ?
Oh, certainly the "ejector seat" is what the general
public thinks of when they think Bond.
DO YOU LIKE THE JAMES BOND BOOKS BY IAN FLEMING AND THE SUBSEQUENT
Fleming was uneven. Most of his books were good or very good,
but I have to confess that Diamonds Are Forever is not well-written,
in my opinion. I'm not really familiar with the subsequent authors; I
could just never make myself care.
HOW DID YOU COME TO GET THE ULTIMATE JAMES BOND FAN BOOK
Getting a book published is HARD WORK. You have to knock on a
lot of doors, and be incredibly persistent. But I believed so deeply
in my book, I was just sure someone would see it my way.
HOW DID YOU RESEARCH THE NOVEL?
First, The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book is not a novel. It's a
compendium of lists, trivia, facts, and opinions.
My primary source of research was watching the movies over and
over and taking copious notes. I read lots of other Bond experts (John
Cork, Lee Pfeiffer, Steven Jay Rubin...) and I worked to corroborate
any "fact" where there were contradictions out there. (For
instance, I correct the "Donna Garret is Bambi" error.) I
corresponded with other fans who had done research.
IN THE BOOK YOU RATE THE BEST AND WORSE OF THINGS. IS THIS DONE
USING A SYSTEM OR BASED ON YOUR OWN PERSONAL OPINIONS?
Both. One of the most important things to me was that no Bond
fan feel excluded or slighted. Bond fans have all sorts of opinions.
There are fans whose favourite movie is A View to a Kill. So whenever
I say something is bad, I try to be respectful of the people who think
it is good, and share their point of view. I write the whole thing
almost like a discussion on a message board. I say Kara Milovy is
great, and someone else says she's bad, and I state my reasons, and
they state theirs. In the book, I always win these arguments, which is
an author's privilege, but I never ignore the fact that fans disagree.
I also share a lot of survey information gathered from Bond fans, film
buffs, and the general public.
HAVE YOU ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE OF WRITING YOUR BOOK?
it was a labour of love.
The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book promises to be an informative
treasure trove for the fans of 007! A full review of the book will
feature at a later date here at Bondpix.com.
thanks to Deborah for taking part in this interview. Her book is to be
released in paperback in the UK and US on September 30th by Sterling
& Ross Publishers, Inc.
the image below to pre-order your copy securely online with Amazon
Ultimate James Bond Fan Book by Deborah Lipp
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