“The past is history. The future is a mystery. This moment is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.” Samantha Bond, Daily Mail, 2012
It’s not yet sundown, and Samantha Bond and I meet in a busy National Theatre she glides in to the NT foyer, gives me a firm handshake, then I’m whisked off to the coffee counter. We find a quiet corner upstairs; Bond is dressed in a black blazer and black jeans.
Bond is the daughter of actor Phillip Bond and television producer Pat Sandys. She trained at the Bristol Old Vic. Her desire to act began at the age of fifteen: “What I wanted to be was a ballerina and I used to dance regularly after school and then when I got to fifteen, which is when you apply for ballet school, I did puppy fat in a major way “she says wittily. “It’s funny when I talk about it now, because it should have been something that broke my heart and I don’t remember that feeling”
Samantha Bond has had a seriously successful career, on stage and on screen. Perhaps best known as Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan years of ‘James Bond’; “I mean the bit that is alarming is that I haven’t made one of them for ten years and will never make another one” But being a ‘Bond girl’ does have its advantages, “it changes the way the press view you because I had no idea before I did the ‘Bond’ films just how huge the franchise was, if you’re trying to push something from a charity point of view, it’s a huge bonus” she smiles.
Nowadays, you can often see Bond making guest appearances in ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Outnumbered’, she is quite often heard on the radio, and on various London stages. “My favourite is the theatre; I love the immediacy of it, no-one can edit your performance, no-one can light you so you look more beautiful. It is absolutely about, your integrity, your honesty, so that’s my first love”
I ask if she has any advice for students who want to become actors; “Yeah. You have to want to do it so much that the idea that you couldn’t would break your heart. “
“There’s a terrifying statistic, which means that of a 100% of actors, only 4% work all the time and 11% earn a living. And you need to know that if that’s what you want to do. It’s very interesting because the media talk to people who are successful, but for every one of us there are 4,000 who never will be.”
“It’s very easy to just buy the success of people like Benedict Cumberbatch, but the reality of this job is very different.”
Bond has had to work hard to achieve her success. I ask if she has anything planned for2013 “No not yet, it doesn’t worry me anymore. It used to, it’s much more fun not to worry”
For now, Samantha Bond is heading off to a Tim Minchin concert with her husband, then is off to dinner. Throughout our interview she was witty and entertaining.
Naomi Jeffreys, Film Editor