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Sean Connery’s Nerves

“There is one major difference between James Bond and me.

He is able to sort out problems!

– Sean Connery

I remember the first time I saw a James Bond movie.

It was watching Dr. No on TV at home in Kilkenny as a child and myself and my brother Mark became immediate fans – subsequently tormenting my parents with our antics in the home to ‘save the world’.

A key part of us buying into Ian Fleming’s world was of course Sean Connery.

Initially, Fleming was very much against Connery playing the role as he saw the Scot man as being too rough and coarse. But with some coaching from the director, Terence Young, the author soon changed his mind and an incredible movie franchise and acting career was launched.

Many stories have emerged over the weekend with the sad news of the actor’s passing. One of the more amusing ones I came across was initially told by the actress Eunice Grayson who played Sylvia Trench in Dr. No.

She said that it took Connery quite some time to realise that the success or failure of the first movie would rest on his shoulders.

But once he did, he became a nervous wreck, and on the first day of shooting things came to a head during the filming of the famous line:

“The name is Bond…. James Bond.”

Apparently Connery just couldn’t get it right.

He was so nervous that his first attempt was

“The name is James Conn…”

The director paused the shooting and Grayson took Connery to lunch – and encouraged him to take a few drinks to calm his nerves. Initially he resisted as he’d been off alcohol in preparation for the role of a lifetime but then changed his mind.

He returned to the set after lunch and nailed the first take.

The lesson for me?

(No it’s not that alcohol solves problems… 🙂 )

Even the greats get nervous. Even the greats mess up.

The main thing is to keep showing up.

Where can you apply this in the week ahead?



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