I’m a huge James Bond fan. I have all the Bond posters. I’ve interviewed just about everyone who wrote a Bond film between 1962 and 1987, the producers, a few of the directors, and every actor who’d played Bond up to that point…except Sean Connery. But I did encounter him once, in the early 1980s.
I went to the Plitt, a movie theatre that once existed in Century City, to see an early show of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. I was getting popcorn when I realized the man standing next to me was Sean Connery. I was speechless. The first thing that struck me was, holy shit, that’s Sean Connery. The second thing that struck me was that he looked so, well, ordinary. He was wearing one of those sweat suits with the stripe down the sleeves and pant legs. My grandfather had one like it. And because he appeared so ordinary, I decided not to bother him by saying anything, to treat him as I would anybody else. I gave him a polite smile, he smiled at me in return, and I took my popcorn & Coke and went into the theater.
And, as it turned out, he and his wife sat right behind me. For a while, I was frozen. OH MY GOD. SEAN CONNERY IS SITTING RIGHT BEHIND ME. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with my head or my body.
The movie started… and his wife wouldn’t stop talking. It really began to get on my nerves. I stopped thinking about SEAN CONNERY. I started thinking about that woman who was ruining the movie for me. I was about to turn around and ask her, Mrs. Sean Freaking Connery, to please lower her voice when Sean Connery turned to her and said:
“Would you please shut up? I can listen to you any time. I came here to listen to Jimmy Woods.”
It was an epiiphany for me. Sean Connery looked like an ordinary guy because he was… he just happened to be one who made his living as an actor rather than, say, a contractor or mechanic. And from that moment on, I was never intimidated or uncomfortable around a celebrity again, which has been a big benefit in my career.
He will always be, at least for me, the one and only true James Bond.
9 thoughts on “The Time I Met Sean Connery”
Great story & he was “one of us”
An interesting story. It would be nice if everyone realized that we’re all just ordinary people.
I never met him but I did have a close encounter in 1979. My friend, an RCA executive, was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She called me saying, “Get over here right now. I’m in the pool with James Bond.” By the time I got there the pool was devoid of 007s so we had a drink and a chat. When I went to get my car from valet I found myself standing between two men , also waiting. Roger Moore and Sean Connery.
I don’t often run into the famous, but I figure they want their privacy and I respect that.
Wonderful story. It helps that he went out in public as just another guy.
I was an extra on “The Patriot,” and Mel went out of his way to interact with the extras who were there for a few days, playing soldiers. He joke with them, and was willing to pose for photos if someone brought a camera out. He spotted two of the soldiers who were twins, ran off, got a couple packs of Doublemint gum, and had his picture taken with them holding up the gum.
I heard, when rain interrupted filming, that he fled into one of the tents used by the soldiers from the local Rev War group who were camping on the site. Turns out he and the extra he talked to raised cattle, so they spent the time talking cattle breeds.
Great story, Lee. It reminds me of the time we saw I movie in Bellevue and Bill and Melinda Gates were sitting in front of us.
It was during the movie “Chicago” they were talking and the Gates moved.
Thanks for sharing the story about Sean Connery. I grew up thinking I was going to be James Bond! Great to hear he was a regular guy!
I really enjoyed Lost Hills! Looking forward to the next book in the series. Congrats and I wish you continued success!
He was the best at portraying Ian Fleming’s James Bond. He will be missed.