Director and editor John Glen spent more than 20 years behind the scenes with the Bond movie franchise.
He's directed five 007 films, including classics such as Octopussy, Licenced to Kill and For Your Eyes Only, and worked as an assistant director and editor on Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me.
Roger Moore portrayed the famed British spy in three of the Bond movies Glen directed, but the filmmaker also worked with George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton, each of whom had a different style, he says.
Glen remembers being an impressionable age when he saw Dr. No and noting the stamp that Sean Connery put on the role of 007.
"You can’t copy Sean Connery. There’s no point. Roger put his own take on it, was much lighter and had more throwaway lines and was generally funnier," Glen said in an interview Monday on CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
Dalton moved Bond toward more hard-edged action, a tradition that current Bond Daniel Craig continues, Glen said.
He recalled to Q's Jian Ghomeshi some of the seminal moments from his history with the Bond franchise, including hearing the song Nobody Does It Better for the first time (performed by its composer Marvin Hamlisch) and convincing Lazenby he really should push the villain’s car off a cliff.
The Bond franchise survives, Glen says, because it is continually updated. The villains are particularly a crowd-pleaser, he added.
"Ask any actor and they would love to play a Bond villain because they are the most wonderful characters. You can be as extravagant as you like in your portrayal and still get away with it," he said.
However, he admits Bond girls don’t fare as well, with many of them fading into obscurity once they’ve had their moment in the spotlight.
He explains on Q how the phrase "tongue-in-cheek humour" was coined because of a Bond film and shares what's still alluring about the kind of British panache that 007 exemplifies.
Glen will speak on the Bond legacy at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Monday evening.