Connery, Sean: In His Own Words

Sean Connery, Golden Globe winner and Cecil B.deMille recipient, in 1976

The man who famously said “I like women. I don’t understand them, but I like them” certainly had an affinity with his most famous role, James Bond, who did not understand women, either.

Below is Connery in quotes over the many years in which we have met and interviewed him:

On quitting Bond:

“It was the demand on my time. I got 6000 Pounds for the first film and 9000 for the second. So there was a constant conflict between the producers and myself about the monetary returns that were never really resolved until I came back for Diamonds.  And then I was unable to plan any projected film in the future. I could not get a start or stop date, they were all so erratically planned, the Bond films, and they took six months when they got more and more involved with special effects and gadgetry, consequently I rebelled against it. I saw Live and Let Die. I saw Moonraker and Octopussy.

I saw Octopussy while I was in the Bahamas shooting Never Say Never Again, and I never really had any regrets at not doing it.”

On getting fit:

“I can only attribute it to a lot of whiskey and aggravation.”

On his diet:

“As long as it is good Scotch, it’s alright. I don’t know about muscle tone.”

On comparisons between him and 007:

“I don’t think I am actually as courageous and certainly not as indestructible.”

On his Scottish patriotism:

“I have no English blood in me at all, which I am quite pleased to say, only because I really believe in nationalism. I do. I believe in the whole tribal system and I believe in not conglomerates. I believe in fragmentation. I think small is better.”

On friends, food and booze:

“I like my meals and my time with chums like Michael Caine and Albert Finney and Donald Sutherland and Michael Crichton. I still have very good relations with all the guys I’ve worked with and I like meeting them. Dinner is still a very important kind of social scene for me. And drinking. I like drinking. I’m not always responsible for my actions after I’ve had some.”

On his children:

“I have children, I have stepchildren and I have grandchildren. I have more dependents than Gandhi.”

On his acting influences:

In the British scene I like Ralph Richardson, I liked Laurence Olivier. On the American scene I liked Spencer Tracy and obviously Marlon Brando.”

On Alfred Hitchcock:

“Contrary to what they say about him not liking actors, he was very, very considerate, very humorous and some of the portraits they’re painting about him in some books do not match my experience with him. In fact, he was full of boyish jokes, for example when I was doing the scene with Tippi Hedren in the car, he said: “Well, I would like some doggies’ feet”, and I said: “Well, what are doggies’ feet?” and he says “Pauses”. I was speaking too quickly and not giving it enough time. I found him absolutely first-class. Terrific.”

On money and things:

“I’ve never felt the need to have possessions, in fact, when my wife and I got together, she couldn’t find anything of mine because I didn’t have anything. I don’t have the same attachment to my house, either. I mean, it’s just a house, and I don’t feel strongly about it. Same with the motorcar. It has to go. That’s the important thing because I don’t know how to fix it. I jokingly said, the only thing I save is money. But it’s true. I still don’t have the same desire for any possessions.”

On his own favorite films:

“The Man Who Would Be King is probably my favorite, and John Huston will forever be my favorite director. On the Bond front it would be From Russia With Love, because that story worked.”

On getting older:

“I’m certainly not enamored of the idea of dying, but the idea of getting older, I don’t think I have a choice. I am not afraid of getting older. In actual fact, there is an area where there are very good parts for men between 50 and 60, very interesting parts. Some of the Hollywood actors might be reluctant to touch it in case they start to feel that they got out of the romantic leading man’s age, but I certainly wouldn’t agree with that. If it’s a good part it’s worth playing.”