06 December 1969: Daily Sketch

Diana Rigg on that Bond film: 'A case of get on or shut up'

Diana Rigg has enviable legs, a lot of strong ideas and a parrot who says unprintable things and eats the kitchen chairs.

The parrot is understandably chirpy at the moment.

Now that Miss Rigg is back from a two-week non-stop tour of the United States, where she was promoting her James Bond picture, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, he has much more to look at than the showcase of stuffed birds on the other side of the studio.

While Miss Rigg was away, stories of her unhappy relationship with the new James Bond, former Big Fry star George Lazenby, have been getting out of hand.

"But it wasn't that bad," she says. "There was one moment..." at which moment she gritted her teeth, "but by and large we got on all right. You've got to when you work with someone for eight months. It's a case of get on or shut up."

Miss Rigg, who is 30, hs no illusions about her casting in the Bond movie.

After all those other well-equipped ladies I must have been a bit of a surprise. But I think they wanted me there for weight.

"George had never acted before so they needed a professional who could feed him lines.

"Anyway, I enjoyed the whole thing and if the right part came up in the same kind of movie came up, I would do it."

The Bond trip to America was her first experience of the U.S. publicity machine.

She says: "I was completely out of my depth. Actors and actresses there are professional publicists as well and they expected the same of me.

There are a lot of late night chat shows and I was supposed to be the carrot. It was quite fun, but I got exhausted with all that talking."

Since the Bond epic, she has appeared in the film Julius Caesar and taken a long holiday in Spain "to look around and re-evaluate myself and what has happened."

One of her main preoccupations is professional mobility. "I like to keep moving and not get stuck in a particular pattern. If I think I am getting bogged down, I break the pattern immediately.

"Now, for instance, I've proved I can do a Bond type film and I would like to go back to the stage or do something experimental. I'll try anything."

Her way of life is very dear to her. She holds well-known, untraditional views of marriage.

She doesn't fancy it, despite the fact that she has lived with the same film and TV director for six years, and has happy family snaps of them together decorating the walls of their home.

"Just recently," she said drily, "my opinions seem to have become quite fashionable."

Diana Rigg has the knack of being straightforward without being dull. She describes herself as " a straight, middle class girl from Yorkshire."

That may explain her ability to be a balanced actress. "I come home from filming, wipe off my daytime personality with wads of cotton wool and drink a glass of wine in the bath.

"It's what I call my resurrection process."

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