Meet our new BT mum – a Downton Abbey star!
Posted by Gerry Kiernan
Online content editor
January 2nd 2013 at 17:31
Our new ‘BT mum’ Samantha Bond reveals what it’s like to play Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films and what it’s really like at Downton…
Downton Abbey actress and former Miss Moneypenny Samantha Bond stars in our new flatmates ad to be shown on TV screens from 2nd January. In the ad, she pays her son Simon a surprise visit at Flat 6, and becomes engrossed in catching up on soaps on YouView, resulting in a funny moment. Have a sneak peek here:
Filming Flat 6
What was filming like for our new BT ad?
It was a bit like shooting a very long film in one day. We filmed from 8.30am to 10.30pm so there was very little downtime unfortunately.
Had you met Daniel Rigby (BAFTA-winning actor who plays Simon) before?
I’d never met him before but I’d seen him on stage in One Man, Two Guvnors and thought he was excellent. I’ve actually worked with Rebecca Night (who plays flatmate Anna) before in BBC Four’s Fanny Hill. She played the title role, and I played her Madame. It included some fantastic lines I can tell you [so saucy that we can’t repeat them here!]
How did you feel about playing Simon’s mother in the ad?
I hadn’t really thought about it until we started filming and then I was reminded of previous BT mums such as Maureen Lipman. And I remembered that the great thing about the ‘mother BT’ ads is that they make you laugh.
Can we expect to see you in any more BT ads?
I can’t say yet…
Tell us about Bond, James Bond
What happened when Ms Bond met Mr Bond for the first time?
Oh it was astonishing. Those gorgeous eyes. I actually met him [Pierce Brosnan] first at a party at Pinewood Studios. I was with Judi Dench, standing in between two beautiful Bond girls from GoldenEye. Later, he ended up driving me around in one of those golf buggy things shouting ‘Bond! Hang on!’ It was very memorable.
Did you have a favourite Bond movie before you started playing Miss Moneypenny?
I’d never seen a Bond film at the cinema before being in one. Now I’d say Dr. No is my favourite because it’s the only one I can remember.
Obviously many women would kill to be near James Bond (pun intended). Have you met any other Bonds besides Pierce Brosnan?
Pierce is obviously my favourite as I’ve played Miss Moneypenny in all four of his Bond films [GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day] but yes I’ve met other Bonds. I know Timothy Dalton and I met Danny Craig years ago in the theatre when he was about 24. I also worked with Roger Moore for the London 2012 bid.
What was it like filming the James Bond movies? Do you have any favourite moments?
Well, despite Miss Moneypenny still being the smallest part I’ve ever played, the films were huge fun and we had great parties. My favourite filming moment has to be in Die Another Day when Miss Moneypenny finally gets to kiss Bond. I had to do it in front of 75 people which was slightly disconcerting. I really couldn’t help it that we had to do retake, after retake, after retake… yes girls, it was everything you imagined.
On being in Downton
You play Robert’s sister, Lady Rosamund, in Downton. What is it like filming at Highclere Castle?
Great fun! Stately homes are part and parcel of an actor’s life. Although Highclere Castle certainly has its own microclimate. We had lots of silly banter around the caravans. And it was wonderful for me personally as I already knew most of the actors beforehand. Maggie Smith and I first worked together 15 years ago.
Downton is famed for looking sumptuous. How did you find the costumes?
The Victorian corsets weren’t too bad but the corsets after World War 1 were absolute murder. They dig in dreadfully under the armpit right down to the hip. They’re fitted to us and are so tight that it’s impossible to eat a meal in them without feeling ill. You end up with corset tummy – a little bulge sticking out of the bottom. When they used to take them off in real life their bodies were reshaped slightly.
And finally… are you appearing in the fourth series of Downton?
I couldn’t possibly say. We’re sworn to absolute secrecy.
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