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Wow, is moviemaking a dangerous business. Just when you think you’ve got an elaborate stunt or even a simple conversation figured out, complications arise and accidents happen that can almost derail an entire production. For Jane Seymour, the 007 film Live and Let Die almost saw her on the wrong end of a painful accident that would have injured her in a major way. Yet she recently told CinemaBlend that it was James Bond himself, Roger Moore, who saved her in the nick of time -- though it incurred a terrible price upon himself.
I recently spoke with Ms. Seymour about her experience on The War with Grandpa, as well as her time in some other famous productions, including the 1973 James Bond classic Live and Let Die, and some rather interesting stories came up pertaining to both films. But --somewhat surprisingly given the pranks in the new movie -- the potential for bodily harm on the set of Tim Hill’s family comedy wasn’t as severe as that of the time Jane Seymour and Roger Moore outing. In fact, the two were involved in an incident involving a faulty forklift. Thanks to Moore’s quick thinking at the time, they lived to tell this story:
Another time when I was in the scene where I was escaping the voodoo sequence, and we tapped one of the gravestones, and then we went down to escape. That was actually done with a forked truck lift in Pinewood Studios, the bit coming down. I was wearing high heels and that white dress, and the old guy that was handling the forked truck thing obviously put it in the wrong gear. The thing collapsed, and my leg would have been broken underneath it; but Roger Moore grabbed me by the hair, which I had plenty, and threw me into himself. So my legs went up in the air, and my full body weight. Obviously my shoulder and my elbow went into his private parts. He was incapacitated for two days thanks to that. These are the fun things you did not see in the Bond film.
The audience is used to seeing a close shave or two make its way into any given James Bond movie. Yet sometimes, injuries do indeed happen on the set of the films. This is even true the more recent era films starring Daniel Craig. Let’s not forget, the poor man saw himself hurt during the making of No Time To Die, and he has shared the story to prove it. Even with more substantial injuries existing in the history of 007, hearing this story of Roger Moore saving the day and seeing an injury of this nature as a result is still a classic set story.
Honestly, when watching Live and Let Die, the scene in question looks like a pretty simple effect in practice. As Bond and Solitaire are escaping the voodoo ritual that’s supposed to kill Jane Seymour’s character, Roger Moore taps on a tombstone with a sword. Being the signal to lower the trap door into the villainous Kananaga’s lair, we see James Bond and his scene partner gradually appear in the underground space, with Bond fluidly kicking the henchman away from the controls. As you’ll see below, Seymour was absolutely correct in that you can’t tell this particular scene turned into a bit of a disaster.
Apparently, that wasn’t the end to the interesting happenings on the set of Live and Let Die, as Jane Seymour saw even more action when filming the movie that helped put her career on the map. Stories involving stuntmen crashing boats into trees, and a bout of dysentery leading to Seymour and Roger Moore sharing a trailer were also shared during our conversation; and that last story also saw Seymour toppling onto Moore, though that wasn’t anything nearly as perilous, as she told me in that exciting, but less strenuous story:
Roger and I got very ill at one point. We were in Jamaica, I think we both had dysentery or something disgusting. And somebody crazy, we’re in the wrong side of Jamaica, somebody had gone and run their car into one of the only two trailers in Jamaica. We had to share a trailer, we were both ill, and at the one point somebody bumped into our trailer, and we fell on the floor on top of one another, sick as dogs. We got to know each other rather well. Not in the romantic sense, but definitely in that sense.
With all of the excitement on Roger Moore’s first James Bond film, one can’t blame him for the fact that he and the franchise producers would employ the strategy of staking out vacation spots for the next Bond adventure in the lineup. If you’re going to get injured, you may as well do it in a place where your recuperation will be aided by the local scenery and sun-drenched surroundings.
Learning lessons in stunt work and its perils is probably something that’s better done as soon as possible. So for Jane Seymour to see these big moments happen when she did was a valuable lesson in getting into the action for a major motion picture right. For all we know, those lessons kicked in when she filmed that big dodgeball sequence in The War with Grandpa, which you can currently see for yourself as the film is now on Digital HD, as well as Blu-ray and DVD. Though if you’re looking for something more theatrical in nature, you can check out the 2021 release schedule, and see what’s coming to a theater near you in the year ahead.