The Den of Geek interview: Caroline Munro

Caroline Munro joined an elite group when she played the Bond girl in The Spy Who Loved Me. And now? She's spared some time to talk to us...

On Saturday 24th November, at the Memorabilia show in Birmingham, we caught up with the wonderful Caroline Munro. She’d spent a busy day signing autographs by this time, but still had plenty to talk about…

People obviously come to see you at these conventions with a tremendous enthusiasm and reverence even…It’s incredible how many people come by and say hello. And they’re always terribly nice, very warm. I’m a warm person too, so it’s always a pleasure to chat with them.What kind of things do they ask you?There are a quite a few things they usually ask about; about Bond, of course, where I played the helicopter pilot in The Spy Who Loved Me. They also ask about Sinbad, and Dracula, Captain Kronos…they’ll even say things like ‘You survived!’, you know, because of the helicopter getting blown up in The Spy Who Loved Me.Everywhere you went in the UK in the 1970s and early 80s, there you were, twenty feet high in the Lamb’s Navy posters. Did you get tired of seeing yourself everywhere?That’s a new one! Hmm, I don’t know really. I don’t think seeing myself in those posters and in photos [indicates autograph photos] is something that really connects as part of my own life, and the life of my family. I mean, I recognise myself, of course, but it’s not really part of my own world. The photos don’t represent who I am, really. It’s work!Did you develop other leading roles in the period where you were the lead in Maniac and Starcrash?Yes, there were a number of projects that I was put forward for, a number of scripts. One that I was very keen on was a pirate film, where I would have played a pirate myself. It was a terrific script but it never actually got off the ground in that period. It was made many years later…what was it called? Cutthroat Island…?

With Geena Davis.That’s right, Geena Davis did it in the end, but that was in development for so many years, and I’m sorry it didn’t get made in the time I was up for it, because I think that would have been a lot of fun, though I remember that the film that finally got made didn’t do so well, so maybe, I don’t know, maybe it was for the best. The original script was a lot different to what they made with Geena Davis.

I heard that you turned down Vampirella in the early 1970s?Yes, I was offered that from an Italian studio. It wasn’t something that I was really interested in doing.

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Was it a bad script?Well…it was…just something where I didn’t feel the opportunity was right, to be honest. And of course, there was also the Modesty Blaise script, and that would have been a very interesting project. It’s been around for such a long time in development, I suppose they will make it someday, but I don’t know who the actress would be that they’d want for it now.What was it like having Christopher Lee bite your neck in Dracula A.D. 1972?Great! Chris is a really nice man, and I loved doing the film. It was a lot of fun, I thought, quite light really, with all that kind of hippy clothing and so on; I thought it was terrific.

What were your favourites among your own performances?I think probably Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter for Hammer, which was something that came together very well, and it’s now quite a cult film. There was actually a sequel planned, and it got a fair way along but once again, it didn’t actually get made. I think that would have had some potential as a series and I would love to have done it, but it’s one of those things. People liked me I think in The Spy Who Loved Me, and that was such a thrill to do as well, so I probably did well there, too!

We would like to have seen you in more roles since the mid-80s…

Well I do actually have a film coming up shortly, I hope.

What genre is it?A thriller. I’m in contact with a woman producer on this project, and perhaps that makes a difference. If you get to a certain age as an actress, it seems like you only get to keep working if you have it all done [mimics having face stretched back], and it’s so short-sighted, really a shame. It’s not like the audience really goes away, but the producers go away. There are still people who’d like to see you working and making films, but the producers and film-makers maybe don’t agree and sometimes that’s that.

Caroline Munro, thank you very much!

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Caroline Munro has an official site, and you can find it here.